Australia’s arts and music festivals scale back for 2021, will focus on local artists

Posted on: November 20, 2020

“Covid-19 has thrown huge challenges at Australia’s major arts festivals this summer, not least the maintenance of audience physical distancing at crowded events and border closures excluding most international artists,” writes Steve Dow in Tuesday’s (11/17) Guardian (U.K.). “This January, Sydney festival will build a large stage for several shows … designed to keep people seated at safe distances…. At Perth festival, held in February, artistic director Iain Grandage says large-scale events of previous years … will not be possible due to Covid-19…. The Covid-19 outbreak in Adelaide in mid-November has forced the Adelaide festival to indefinitely delay releasing details of its full program … because of Covid safety concerns…. Adelaide festival still plans to … bring several international guests from the US and the UK on … temporary activity visas, paying for their 14-day quarantine in Australia … and taking responsibility for the artists remaining in the state…. Confining itself to just West Australian-based artists, Perth festival is still premiering 10 commissions in theatre and dance, four in classical music and 30 in visual arts. In addition … Sydney-based [comedian] Tim Minchin … will premiere his new album Apart Together with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra in Kings Park.”