Mr Carmichael added that Bon Iver’s sold-out performances will continue as planned, subject to government advice.


The announcement comes as one of America’s largest music festivals, Coachella, announced it will postpone for six months due to the coronavirus. The festival, held over two weekends in the Southern Californian desert, was due to start in April. It will now be held in October.

This year’s festival was due to be headlined by world-renowned acts such as Frank Ocean, Rage Against the Machine and Travis Scott.

“While this decision comes at a time of universal uncertainty, we take the safety and health of our guests, staff and community very seriously,” Coachella organisers said in a statement.

Not all festivals are being called off. Bluesfest in Byron Bay has assured patrons it will proceed next month as planned but has asked people feeling unwell to stay at home.

“Bluesfest will be supplying additional hand sanitisation facilities at our toilets and throughout the festival site,” an email sent to ticketholders reads. “If you’ve already purchased a ticket for Bluesfest, your ticket purchase is fully insured in case of cancellation due to this [virus].”


A spokeswoman for the NSW health department said Bluesfest is “not considered high risk under the Music Festivals Act”. Several artists contacted by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age confirmed they would still be attending the festival at this stage.

It’s a similar situation for Canberra’s National Folk Festival, which will be held between Thursday, April 9, and Monday, April 13. Managing director Helen Roben said the festival would be going ahead as planned.

“We’re going to increase the availability of handwashing, particularly soap washing but also hand sanitising points around the festival,” she said. “It’ll be that message of … cough into your arms and please, if you do feel unwell, please stay at home.”

American singer Miley Cyrus announced this week that she was cancelling an upcoming bushfire benefit concert due to the coronavirus. The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne’s Albert Park is going ahead, however.

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