Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Unfavourable weather poses threat to Australia’s live music industry

NF Times, Pratap Prusty : Strawberry Fields, described as “four days of live music, large-scale art, workshops and wild river swimming” is held annually on the Murray River in Tocumwal, a town on the Victoria-NSW border.The bush bash was scheduled for October 28 to 30, but after watching flood levels on the Murray River rise well into September, organisers made the call to cancel the event at the “11th hour”. It was a month out from the festival, and right before construction needed to start.
The waterlogged mess of this year’s Splendour in the Grass was just the start, with organisers, artists and attendees alike warning that wild weather has put Australia’s live music scene under serious threat. This year alone, more than eight music festivals have been cancelled or postponed due to bad weather.
“It’s been totally devastating,” said Tara Benney, director of Strawberry Fields. “If I’m being completely honest, it’s just a massive moment for us all to stop and reflect on what is happening to our planet.”Strawberry Fields is not alone. This That Festival, Yours and Owls, Jungle Love and many more have been forced to postpone or cancel this year due to weather-related events.
Extreme weather events as a result of climate change are becoming more frequent across Australia and conditions are intensifying. The Australian Actuaries Climate Index measures extreme weather conditions in the country, recording changes in the frequency of extreme high and low temperatures, heavy rainfall, dry days, strong winds and changes in sea level. This autumn, the index recorded its highest measurement since records began in 1981.
Coping with these weather events, alongside widespread labour and supply chain shortages, and trying to recover from COVID-related cancellations, is having a cascading effect on the live music industry. And risks associated with putting on a good show are greater than ever, as an industry already on shaky ground faces rising insurance costs and hesitant insurers.

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