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Splendour in the City cancelled due to lockdown, XR continuing online

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29 Jun 2021

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With no end in sight for Sydney’s tango with lockdown, Splendour in the Grass organisers have pulled the pin on their upcoming spin-off event.

As lockdowns, restrictions and border closures continue to evolve across the country, the Splendour team has made the heavy-hearted decision to cancel the maiden pop-up music and comedy event, which was scheduled for July.

The decision comes as a big blow to Splendour, who had been planning the event in collaboration with the NSW Government and Destination NSW, a state government initiative pushing to re-energise Sydney’s CBD. 

Splendour in the City was created in a bid to fill the Splendour in the Grass-shaped hole left in the nation thanks to the roadblocks of COVID-19.

The collaboration was set to lure people back into the city post-pandemic, as well as provide artists and production crew with compensation after a tumultuous year in the music industry. 

With the IRL version of Splendour in the Grass landing on our doorstep in November (if COVID-19 plays nicely), organisers have opted to cancel the Sydney pop-up event, rather than postpone it. 

Co-CEO of Secret Sounds, Jess Ducrou, said it was a ‘heartbreaking situation’ for the staff, volunteers, suppliers and artists involved.

“Splendour In The City was set to provide much needed income for our live music industry which has been devastated since March 2020. We want to thank all of the music lovers out there who purchased tickets. Your ongoing support is very much appreciated.”

Splendour in the City was one of many events and initiatives the festival had chalked out for 2021. As well as steaming ahead toward the sun-kissed spring Splendour taking place in Byron Bay on 19 – 21 November, the festival still has a few tricks left up their sleeve.

As a sign of the times, the avant-garde virtual Splendour XR is 100% COVID-proof and set to go ahead online as planned on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July.

COVID-19 has been one hell of a ride for those who call the music and events industry home, with key players in the industry continuing to call for the reintroduction of JobKeeper, Event Cancellation Funds and assistance for live entertainment operators to deliver live events in accordance with a COVID-safe format. Only time will tell what the future looks like for festivals like Splendour in the Grass, but in the meantime, at least we can rock out virtually. Will you be tuning in?

Photo: Charlie Hardy / Splendour in the Grass 2019

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