COVID-19 has taken yet another 2021 victim with the Gympie Muster tonight being cancelled after uncertainty around border closures.
In a post on their website, the Muster team states:
Dear Gympie Muster Mates,
This announcement today is one we desperately did not want to make.
It is with great disappointment and sorrow that we have to inform you of our 40th Birthday celebration cancellation.
This decision has not been made lightly as our team has been working tirelessly and were ready to deliver a first-class festival, that you all know and love. Many of our Muster family – ticket holders, artists, contractors, volunteers and vendors come from far and wide and we feel it is only fair that we notify all as soon as possible.
Our CoVid19 plan was in place, however the risks involved in continuing with the festival this year are escalating daily. In the interest of the Gympie Music Muster’s long-term sustainability and our brand we have had to make the hard decision for all involved.
Our 40th celebration was shaping up to be the best Muster ever. Ticket sales have exceeded all our expectations with a third of our patrons coming from interstate. Patron’s, Sponsor’s and Vendors funds are not ours until such time as we are able to deliver our event. Financially the event relies on unrestricted travel to and within the Queensland for patrons, artists and suppliers. We are a Not-For-Profit organisation and the current situation and the uncertain future poses an unacceptable financial risk. Unless the event can be delivered with a full program and with unrestricted interstate attendance, we cannot deliver value for our patrons and guarantee payment to our suppliers. In the event of a late cancellation or any sudden lock don we simply could not refund tickets and pay suppliers which would be financially catastrophic for the future of the event
We assure you that we will be ready to host you as part of our Muster family in 2022 when the majority of Australians have been vaccinated and travel restrictions are relaxed. All our current ticket holders, will be offered the opportunity to transfer tickets to our next festival to be held Thursday 25 August to Sunday 28 August 2022 or to receive a refund. By transferring your tickets, you are demonstrating your ongoing support for our iconic music and camping festival & guarantee that you are already set for the 2022 Muster at the 2021 price.
The news comes after this week’s cancellations of BIGSOUND Festival, Leaps and Bounds and countless artist tours. With the music industry on its knees and without the support of JobKeeper, the future of the live music industry hangs in the balance, not only with income from events disappearing, but also the pipeline of audience-building for new artists.
With 2021 being the second year without a CMC Rocks and the first year without Tamworth, Gympie was the great hope for country fans and artists to emerge from COVID-19. With festivals playing a huge role in the nurturing of new talent, the pipeline has been broken and needs repair for our artist’s sake.
The country industry now turns its attention to Savannah In The Round, scheduled for the October long weekend in Mareeba. With all attention now on each day’s infection numbers and the state of border closures, the whole country music scene has its fingers crossed that we can still meet again for the first time in 2021, just a little further north than anticipated.
Countrytown wishes the promoters, artists, stall holders and everyone that is affected by this decision all the best as we deal with a very dark time for the live music industry.