Grapevine Gathering, Rod Stewart cancelled; Hope Rocks postponed in wake of NSW Omicron outbreak

DEVASTATING BLOW: The Veronicas were set to play at Grapevine Gathering in the Hunter Valley this Saturday, which was cancelled on Tuesday due to restrictions on singing and dancing at outdoor music festivals in NSW.
DEVASTATING BLOW: The Veronicas were set to play at Grapevine Gathering in the Hunter Valley this Saturday, which was cancelled on Tuesday due to restrictions on singing and dancing at outdoor music festivals in NSW.

Two major live music events in the Hunter Valley have been cancelled this week and one was postponed as New South Wales continues to deal with a massive surge of COVID cases.

Grapevine Gathering - which was to be held at Roche Estate, Pokolbin on Saturday - was cancelled four days out due to an overnight change to the Public Health Order which banned singing and dancing at outdoor music festivals.

In the wake of the Omicron outbreak, the NSW Government reintroduced restrictions on singing and dancing at hospitality venues, entertainment facilities, nightclubs and major recreation facilities last Saturday. Outdoor music festivals were added to the list on Tuesday.

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In a social media post on Tuesday, the organisers of Grapevine Gathering said they were "extremely heartbroken" to be cancelling the event, which was set to feature the likes of Peking Duk, Jungle Giants and The Veronicas, and had already been postponed from its original October date.

"Grapevine Gathering NSW has had an approved COVIDsafe plan for months and we have been in constant communication with the NSW Government regarding all required safety measures," the post said.

"This is a devastating blow not only to the live music industry, but also to regional tourism. A projected loss of over $5.2 million to the greater Hunter Valley region is expected from this cancellation.

"Over 1400 jobs are now lost across our artists, food vendors, security, production crew, ticketing staff and more who were deep in preparation for the weekend."

DEEP CUT: Sir Rod Stewart's Australian tour, which included a Hunter Valley show, has been cancelled. Picture: Penny Lancaster

DEEP CUT: Sir Rod Stewart's Australian tour, which included a Hunter Valley show, has been cancelled. Picture: Penny Lancaster

Legendary rocker Sir Rod Stewart has also called off his upcoming Australian tour, which was set to arrive at Roche Estate on March 26.

Event promoter Live Nation said on Thursday the tour was "regrettably" cancelled due to the "ongoing surge of COVID in Australia and the reimposition of entertainment venue capacity limits in several states".

"My dear friends, once again I feel we've all been cheated by this evil disease, so it is with great regret that I announce my shows for 2022 have had to be cancelled," said Stewart, who turned 77 on Monday.

"My thoughts are with all your families at this difficult time as we come out of the joyous and hopefully safe holiday season and I look forward to returning to Australia as soon as the health situation permits.

"I'm absolutely gutted with disappointment and when I do eventually get there we'll have the party to end all parties. Guaranteed!"

Meanwhile, Hope Estate has postponed its Oz Rock extravaganza, Hope Rocks, from February 5, with a new date to be announced.

The line-up included James Reyne, The Baby Animals, Rose Tattoo, Choirboys, Models, Boom Crash Opera and Nick Barker and the Reptiles.

The organisers encourage ticketholders to hold onto their tickets until the new date is confirmed, and direct any ticket-related questions to Ticketmaster.

NEW DATE TO COME: James Reyne headlines Hope Rocks, which has been postponed from February 5 to a date to be announced. Picture: Kane Hibberd

NEW DATE TO COME: James Reyne headlines Hope Rocks, which has been postponed from February 5 to a date to be announced. Picture: Kane Hibberd

This story COVID surge hits Hunter Valley concerts first appeared on The Advertiser - Cessnock.

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