REACTION: Mayor Simon Richardson.
REACTION: Mayor Simon Richardson.

BLUESFEST FALLOUT: $59m lost to Northern Rivers’ economy

BYRON Shire mayor Simon Richardson said the cancellation of Bluesfest 2020 was "necessary but disappointing".

Cr Richardson said the cancellation was disappointing for music fans but devastating for those who were going to trade or work during the event.

"So many people were looking at earning money from accommodation, companies offering services behind the scenes, tradies, and it moves like a wave towards the rest of the area's economy," he said.

"There will be a lot of businesses that will feel the pinch," he said.

The five-day event was expected to attract 100,000 people during the Easter weekend, but organisers were forced to cancel it due to the national reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As part of a study commissioned by the festival, the event attracted $83.5 million into the New South Wales economy, and of that, $35.5 million was spent in local Byron Shire area with a total of $59.1 million spent in the Northern Rivers region.

Cr Richardson said this is the time for the community to unite behind the common effort to eradicate the outbreak.

"As a community we need to have faith in other, trust each other and perhaps not spend our time judging each other's responses to this," he said.

"It's about supporting each other; for those who can support local businesses to do so, for those who are hoarding things that others need perhaps reflect and pass them on to their neighbours.

"We get sick together or we get well together."

Cr Richardson said Byron Shire Council will be open as usual, offering normal services.

"We will be monitoring the situation with libraries, swimming pools and childcare, and we'll adhere to the authorities' guidelines," he said.

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