As the world adapts to the ‘new normal’ of living with Coronavirus, music festivals and other large-scale events are going to be quite different to the mosh pits and drinks queues we’re all used to. So what does the future of music festivals look like?

If the plans organised by the promoters of the Under the Southern Stars music event are anything to go by, it could mean festivals have ‘COVID safe’ as a headline act alongside all their other attractions!

The future of music festivals

Under the Southern Stars was originally scheduled for April this year but has since been pushed back to February 2021 due to COVID-19.

Promoters of Under the Southern Stars, McManus and Jones, say they have come up with a complete COVID-Safe plan to demonstrate to the Australian federal government how this event – and all other music festivals – could be held safely in the future.

If the promoter’s petition to the Australian government is successful, Under the Southern Stars will be the first major international music tour for Australia since the coronavirus outbreak.

The festival, which features headliners LIVE, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots, is slated to play gigs in Perth and Adelaide, as well as at various venues around Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.

Pioneering a COVID safe event 

McManus and Jones say Under the Southern Stars will have ‘military style transportation’ and will implement thorough security and health measures to ensure the bands, crew and audience members stay safe.

To do this, restrictions will be in place such as allowing acts to travel with only two support staff. All other crew must be hired within Australia, replacing the band’s typical USA touring entourage. Good news for local jobs!

All band members will be tested for COVID-19 before leaving Los Angeles, and they will need to be tested again once they arrive in Australia. 

For the journey to Australia, band members will need to be segregated from other travellers on flights and will require a ‘military style’ escort between gig locations once they arrive.

When the plane lands, the bands will need to self-isolate within a compound for 14 days. For the bands’ convenience, the isolation location will feature a rehearsal studio. 

During the tour, the band members will be required to stay in locked hotel floors in order to maintain their health and the health of those around them.

 

Audiences will need to play their part 

Audience members will also be required to adhere to restrictions if they wish to attend any of the Under the Southern Stars shows around Australia.

Punters will need to have the COVID-safe app downloaded to attend a gig and they will face temperature checks when they arrive at the door. 

Once inside the venue, strict social distancing will be required and shows will only sell enough tickets to have 70% capacity at each event.

If McManus and Jones’ plans are successful, the Under the Southern Stars festival will kick off in Perth on 16 February 2021, and conclude on the Sunshine Coast on 7 March.

Time will tell whether the music industry will be back up and running next year, but one thing is for sure – large-scale events are bound to look a bit different to what we have been used to.