Entertainment and hospitality operators lashed out at Victoria’s health authorities, saying inconsistent rules continue to devastate the state’s previously thriving event industry.
On Friday, the state government disrupted the Paradigm Festival dance music event, leaving thousands of revelers stranded, several non-concert international DJs and out-of-pocket event organizers.
At a press conference on Saturday, Victorian COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar was asked how Super Netball could have up to 5,000 fans at the John Cain Arena this weekend, but up to 4,000 dance music fans couldn’t. attend the festival.
“When you have interstate shoots around the place to have a major musical activity with, as I understand it, a good number of people in a confined space for many hours, I think it is appropriate [to stop it] for this particular time, given the broader restrictions we’re still operating under, ”Weimar said.
The Paradigm Festival was to have been staged in a modified warehouse and series of large tents in Port Melbourne, with three times the required number of COVID-19 Marshals. Each customer would have been given a Bluetooth device to track their movements.
Weimar noted that the length of a music festival compared to a sporting event was a factor that authorities considered, although it added that it did not know the details of this case.
“I understand that it is frustrating,” he said. “I understand that people are disappointed when they work so hard to put these things together that they find they can’t do it at any given time.”
Paradigm’s last-minute cancellation blinded organizers, who insisted they had adhered to strict state health guidelines, including a ban on dancing and a requirement that all attendees remain seated.