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The threat of extreme weather and flooding is forcing the cancellation of many festivals

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Extreme weather threatens music festivals. Photo: Charlie Hardy

Several popular festivals, such as Strawberry Fields, were forced to cancel their annual events this year after extreme weather became a new threat to the music scene.

In a recent statement, Strawberry Fields directors said they were “absolutely devastated” by the cancellation of the October event on the Murray River in Tacumvale on the Victoria/NSW border.

“Oh the joys of the past three years. First there were the wildfires, then the pandemic, and now La Nina has become that unwanted house party guest that we just can’t get off the couch,” they said.

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They noted that the River Murray had experienced unprecedented levels of flooding in the run-up to the event.

“Having been in Takumvala for ten years, we have never seen these heights maintained,” they said.

Extreme weather has become a new threat to the music scene.  Photo: Ian Laidlaw
Extreme weather has become a new threat to the music scene. Photo: Ian Laidlaw

“Critical access and entertainment areas are currently several meters under water, and expert opinion suggests that the situation can only get worse.

“At this stage, it is impossible to start the construction of the event, nor to be sure that the festival can take place safely.

“Following consultation with our local stakeholders and emergency services, we have been left with no other option but to cancel.”

Strawberry Fields is not alone in its fight against climate change.

Splendor in the Grass, held at North Byron Parklands in northern New South Wales, has turned into a dirty nightmare for many people.

Following the Covid-19 hiatus, this year’s event was increased from 35,000 to 50,000 attendees.

Crowds of festival-goers queued for more than 12 hours only to be forced out of flooded campsites before the event could even begin, forcing some to sleep in their cars.

The first day of performances was then canceled and there were problems with long waits for buses, with visitors expressing their frustration on social media.

The Splendor in the Grass campaign has been struggling this year.
The Splendor in the Grass campaign has been struggling this year.

As if dealing with labor and supply shortages due to Covid-19 wasn’t enough, several music festivals have been canceled or postponed due to bad weather this year.

The Australian Actuaries’ Climate Index, which measures extreme weather, recorded its highest reading this autumn since records began in 1981.

Weather issues are also having a troubling effect on insurance, with KPMG’s April review highlighting the glaring issue.

“Continued increases in the number of natural perils are likely, and as we have seen most recently, the March 2022 East Coast floods will cost the insurance industry significantly, with early estimates from the Insurance Council of Australia at $2.32 billion,” the report read .

“The industry is increasingly concerned that the frequency and severity of natural hazards will significantly push up premiums and make some areas uninsurable.”

Several music festivals have been canceled or postponed due to bad weather this year, while those that have come before have been a messy mess.  Photo: Tessa Fleming
Several music festivals have been canceled or postponed due to bad weather this year, while those that have come before have been a messy mess. Photo: Tessa Fleming

Meanwhile, the federal government’s Live Performance Support Fund, which aims to cover events linked to the Covid-19 lockdown between November and January, may have come too late.

The Greens are calling on the federal government to extend it for events canceled due to extreme weather.

CANCELED EVENTS THIS YEAR:

  • Sunset sounds — Wagga Wagga — April;
  • Love in the jungle — Somerset — April;
  • Yours and owls — Wollongong — April;
  • Wine machine — Hunter Valley — April;
  • Strawberry fields — Takumwal — October;
  • Flow Festival — Wagga Wagga — October;
  • Holiday of the Sun — Port Macquarie — November; and
  • This festival — Sandstone Point/Newcastle — October and November.

Sydney

Angie Raphael has nearly two decades of journalism experience. Angie began her career in regional and community newspapers, then spent 10 years with the Australian Associated Press before joining the NCA Ne… Read more

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https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/threat-of-extreme-weather-and-floods-forces-many-festivals-to-cancel/news-story/11f16b1a083a6c35ba99183d3f02ace2

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