‘They're trying not to stand down 50 staff’: MP on Bluesfest
BALLINA MP Tamara Smith say she trusts that Bluesfest Byron Bay will refund patrons after the 2020 festival was cancelled.
The member said she had discussed the issue with the festival's director, Peter Noble.
"In terms of Bluesfest, I can say with a hand on my heart that in conversations that I've had with Peter Noble I have been assured that people will either be getting their money back or they are getting a ticket for next year in exchange," she said.
"I cannot speak for (LiveNation) the multinational corporation that owns Splendour and Falls."
Bluesfest activated its insurance claim with Loyds London in March.
Ms Smith said she understands that ticket holders may be frustrated while waiting for their refunds.
"At the very basic level of reputation and branding, when a live music event is cancelled people normally gets a refund," she said.
"I think that hasn't happened as quickly as some punters would have liked in this case, but these are very unprecedented times."
"At the moment, I believe that they are trying not to lose their staff, they are trying not to stand down up to 50 staff.
"They had the announcement that they couldn't proceed just weeks before the festival, I am not used to defending businesses, but in that short term I think it would be very hard to stop everything.
"I believe they are working hard to pay refunds to everyone who requires it," she said.
The Greens MP said that she understands the economic impact for the area that comes with music festival cancellations, but the focus has to be on ensuring public health comes first.
"I am very grateful that politicians are not making decisions on their own," she said.
"It's public health experts who are helping make decisions on what people can and can't do to avoid spreading the disease.
"What we all wants is to go back to normal, and the path back to normal has been laid out for us, and it really does depend on how successful we are at containing the disease."