IF you needed another reason to roll up your sleeves, two of Australia's biggest outback music festivals now require patrons to be vaccinated.
Organisers of both the Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bush and the Birdsville Big Red Bash have advised all current and future ticket holders, staff, volunteers, contractors and vendors that vaccination will be required to attend their events in 2022.
All events are staged in remote outback locations and are camping-based, operating over a period of up to five days and nights, with each event attracting a crowd of 10,000 music fans and outback travelers from all corners of Australia.
According to Greg Donovan, manager director of The Outback Music Festival Group, the decision was made in the interest of health and safety.
"The health and safety of our patrons, staff, volunteers, contractors as well as the local outback communities has always been and will continue to be the highest priority for the Outback Music Festival Group. Every decision related to the operation of the festivals is made with health and safety as an overriding consideration," Mr Donovan said.
"Staging festivals in such remote locations, where patrons come from all over Australia and travel through small regional and outback communities, many of which have large indigenous populations, has led us to carefully review our position on vaccinations.
"Whilst we respect the choice of individuals as to whether or not they decide to get vaccinated, due to the nature and location of our festivals we have decided to make vaccination a condition of attendance for everyone aged 16 and over - including patrons, staff, contractors, vendors and volunteers. This will offer all in attendance the best available protection against COVID-19. It will also ensure that remote communities are protected as much as possible from our patrons travelling through and visiting these towns and communities."
With vaccination roll-out a continued Government priority, it is expected that by the time the first Mundi Mundi Bash runs in April next year, everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have had the opportunity to do so.
"As an organisation we always strive to do everything within our power to ensure our festivals can be enjoyed safely by all those in attendance. Whilst this might impact some people's decision to attend the festivals, we know we've made the right decision to keep everyone, including small regional and outback communities, as safe as possible.
"We understand that this policy introduces a new condition of entry that wasn't in place when current ticket holders of the Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash purchased their tickets, so a refund will be available for any ticket holder who will be unable to attend due to this new policy," added Greg Donovan.
The April 2022 Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash will feature an all-star lineup of rock legends including Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, John Williamson, Kate Ceberano, Russell Morris, Glenn Shorrock, Ross Wilson, Vika & Linda, Wendy Matthews, Shane Howard, Shannon Noll, Dragon, The Radiators, Chocolate Starfish, Mi-Sex, The Chantoozies, Bjorn Again, Mark Gable, Steve Balbi and Caitlyn Shadbolt.
The line-up and ticketing details for the July 2022 Birdsville Big Red Bash and August 2022 Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash are yet to be released.
All of the Outback Music Festival Group events are all-ages and dog-friendly festivals offering up a uniquely Australian destination adventure for families, grey nomads, camping and caravanning enthusiasts and intrepid travellers.
In addition to the music line-ups, the events will also feature a jam-packed program of outback activities - from a Nutbush City Limits World Record dance off attempt (the current record of 2,787 dancing revelers was set by the Big Red Bash on Thursday July 8, 2021) to a Mad Max costume dress up world record attempt for the two Broken Hill events, comedy and outdoor film screenings, scenic helicopter flights, camel rides and charity initiatives such as the Birdsville Bashville Drag Race and 'Mundi Mundi Undie Run' fundraising for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.