Over the weekend, the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival Committee met to work through the latest COVID-19 restrictions and the ability to continue with this years 10th anniversary festival. While the committee has remained optimistic and continued to explore ways of proceeding in 2020, the re-introduction of Stage 3 restrictions throughout Regional Victoria means this is no longer the case.

The committee has made the difficult decision to postpone the 10th anniversary festival to 4-7 November 2021 and promises it will present an even bigger festival with more artists showcasing local venues and attractions. As Festival Director, I’d like to thank our major sponsors, artists, and venues for their generous support over the last few months as our determined committee explored every contingency to find a path to make a 2020 festival possible.

It’s obviously disappointing, that after 9 straight years, our 100% volunteer run festival needs to go on ice, due to the global pandemic. It’s been heartbreaking to witness the effect COVID-19 restrictions has had on our partner venues, the many hospitality workers out of work, and of course the artists that we love to work with, whose careers are basically on hold, until live gigs as we know them are a reality again.

I have complete faith we will be back in 2021 – bigger and better than ever. In the meantime, our committee will continue to do what we can to bring live music to our music-loving fans supporting some of the many talented blues and roots musicians we know and love. This includes our live music broadcasts presenting The Blues Tram at 2:00pm on the second Saturday of the month and “Bendigo Underground” on the last Friday of the month at 8:00pm. These live broadcasts are free to watch thanks to sponsorship from Explore Bendigo and the City of Greater Bendigo, and your generous contributions.

While we will miss staging Bendigo’s biggest home-grown music festival this November, we know this is the right decision and we thank everyone for their continued support of live local music, and we look forward to welcoming you back to live music in the near future.

Colin Thompson
Festival Director
Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival