August 20, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier
Outback Music Festival Group, organiser of the Birdsville Big Red Bash and the inaugural Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash set to take place next April, has introduced compulsory vaccination for anyone attending either of the remote festivals next year.
“The health and safety of our patrons, staff, volunteers, contractors as well as the local outback communities has always been and will continue to be the highest priority for the Outback Music Festival Group,” said Greg Donovan, founder and Managing Director of the group.
“Every decision related to the operation of the festivals is made with health and safety as an overriding consideration.”
“Staging festivals in such remote locations, where patrons come from all over Australia and travel through small regional and outback communities, many of which have large indigenous populations, has led us to carefully review our position on vaccinations.
“Whilst we respect the choice of individuals as to whether or not they decide to get vaccinated, due to the nature and location of our festivals we have decided to make vaccination a condition of attendance for everyone aged 16 and over – including patrons, staff, contractors, vendors and volunteers. This will offer all in attendance the best available protection against COVID-19. It will also ensure that remote communities are protected as much as possible from our patrons travelling through and visiting these towns and communities.”
The group is offering refunds to anyone who has already bought tickets to the Mundi Mundi event, which was scheduled to take place in August before being postponed twice to April 2022, for those who don’t intend to comply with the vaccination policy.
“As an organisation we always strive to do everything within our power to ensure our festivals can be enjoyed safely by all those in attendance. Whilst this might impact some people’s decision to attend the festivals, we know we’ve made the right decision to keep everyone, including small regional and outback communities, as safe as possible,” said Donovan.
The two festivals are expected to inject $35 million into the economy next year, including into outback communities.
The Birdsville Big Red Bash was able to run with a sold-out crowd of 10,000 last month.