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‘Devastating blow’ as organisers cancel Grapevine Gathering

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The NSW entertainment industry is reeling from new COVID-19 restrictions as the state waits for a way to register the results of rapid tests.

NSW recorded another 25,870 coronavirus cases on Tuesday 11 January.

But, with testing numbers the lowest they have been all year and no way to track results of rapid tests, the number of positive cases is thought to be much higher.

On Tuesday, restrictions on music festivals came into force, requiring organisers to ensure no-one sings or dances on the premises aside from performers after an amendment signed off by Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant.

That’s had an immediate flow-on effect, with Grapevine Gathering succumbing to the latest NSW Government constraints.

The concert – featuring Peking Duk, The Jungle Giants, Vera Blue, The Veronicas, San Cisco, Cc:Disco!, King Stingray, Rest For The Wicked and The Inspired Unemployed – was set to take place at Roche Estate on Saturday 15 January.

Organisers said they were “extremely heartbroken” to be cancelling the event four days before it was due to go ahead.

“It’s another devastating blow not only to the live music industry, but also to regional tourism,” they said in a statement.

“Grapevine Gathering NSW has had an approved COVID-safe plan for months and we have been in constant communication with the NSW Government regarding all required safety measures.

“We are deeply sorry this news has come at the final hour.”

It follows a similar setback to the popular Lunar Electric, which was also cancelled in Newcastle last month.

Founder and managing director Simon Leigh had no option but to pull the pin – just 48 hours before a sell-out crowd of 12,000 revellers were due to converge on Camp Shortland – after receiving a last-minute Public Health Order.

  • with AAP

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