Victoria looking ahead as festivals return

Festival organisers in Victoria are cautiously planning for a return this year after the tumultuous events of the last 12 months.

Events with crowds between 1000 and 5000 people will need to have an approved COVID-safe plan, while any event with more than 5000 will also require approval from the Victorian chief health officer and Major Events Taskforce.

Small events under 1000 people only need to register and submit a COVID-safe checklist to go ahead.

But festival organisers still face significant challenges not least of which is the inability to get Covid cancellation insurance. The industry is looking to government to launch a scheme which will underwrite those costs.

“While it’s great to see some festivals and live music making a comeback, our industry is far from business as usual,” Australian Festival Association Manager Julia Robinson told The Herald Sun.

“With capacity restrictions, border closures and an inability to insure events against the risk of a shutdown still threatening some of our favourite shows.

“Festivals that do get gates open may look a bit different while restrictions remain in place.”

Creative Industries MP Danny Pearson said the government was keen to get “music festivals and events back up and running”.

“I encourage Victorians to get back into exploring the music festivals and events we all love but please also do your bit to keep Victoria safe and open,” he told The Herald Sun.