Byron Bay’s Bluesfest has officially had its 2021 event cancelled one day before the festival was due to kick-off, after a recent coronavirus outbreak in Brisbane resulted in a three-day lockdown and a local case in Byron Bay was discovered on Wednesday.

In a public health alert fired out by NSW Health, the state’s Health Minister Brad Hazzard made the call on Wednesday afternoon to cancel the Easter long weekend festival, after the festival’s team were determined to hold the annual gathering this year.

The statement also said that the state’s health department is “adopting a cautious approach” considering contact tracking and investigation into the recent positive case in Byron Bay.

“This action is being taken to minimise the risk of the highly infectious COVID-19 variant of concern being transmitted in the local area, as well as across states and territories,” the statement read.

“Infectious Queensland travellers attended a number of venues in the Byron Bay area and the new locally acquired case was infected at one of these venues. While urgent investigations and contact tracing are ongoing, NSW Health is adopting a cautious approach to keep everyone safe.”

The 2021 festival was due to bring artists like Jimmy BarnesTash SultanaOcean AlleyThe Teskey BrothersJohn ButlerKasey Chambers, and a whole hap more to the Byron region from April 1st to April 5th.

With the decision to cancel the event a day out from the festival’s first day, Brad Hazzard said he hopes that punters will hold onto their tickets, as it’s believed the Bluesfest team will be figuring out new dates for the 2021 event.

“While the cancellation of Bluesfest is disappointing for music lovers and the local community,” he said.

“I hope that ticket holders would support Bluesfest and hold on to their tickets as I understand Bluesfest will be working on a new date as soon as possible.”

With the new case in the Byron Bay region, snap restrictions are being brought in for the Byron Shire, as well as the Ballina, Lismore, and Tweed shires from 5pm today until 11.59pm on Monday, April 5 at the latest.

Masks will be compulsory for public transport, in shops, and all public indoor settings, the one person per four square metres rule will come back in for indoor public spaces, and the number of visitors to households will be capped at 30 per day, which also includes holiday rentals.

Image: Getty Images / Mark Metcalfe