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Entertainment Show goes on at Mitchell Creek Rock 'N' Blues Festival pandemic style

05:20  21 september  2020
05:20  21 september  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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The Mitchell Creek Rock ' N ' Blues Fest , in its ninth year, was the first three-day festival of its kind to be held in Queensland during the COVID-19 pandemic . The festival — a sell-out with 3,000 tickets — wrapped up yesterday on a 40-hectare property in the rolling hills of the Mary Valley west of Noosa.

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a group of people standing in a room: Festival-goers could book chairs closer to the stage to get up close to the action. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Letea Cavander) © Provided by ABC Health Festival-goers could book chairs closer to the stage to get up close to the action. (ABC Sunshine Coast: Letea Cavander)

The crowd sat in allocated spaces in their friendship or family groups. No-one was allowed to dance and it was BYO, so there was no chance of people congregating at the bar.

Pump bottles filled with hand sanitiser were side of stage for performers and strict campground rules included staying out of others' campsites.

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Mitchell Creek Rock ’ n ’ Blues Festival sends A BIG THANKYOU to the Yabba Creek Rural fire Brigade and Imbil QFS Firefighters for their ongoing support Who would you like to see perform at Mitchell Creek This year? Make a suggestion or share this post to your favourite band's page. (please note

Mitchell Creek Rock ’ n ’ Blues Festival sends A BIG THANKYOU to the Yabba Creek Rural fire Brigade and Imbil QFS Firefighters for their ongoing support Who would you like to see perform at Mitchell Creek This year? Make a suggestion or share this post to your favourite band's page. (please note

The Mitchell Creek Rock 'N' Blues Fest, in its ninth year, was the first three-day festival of its kind to be held in Queensland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival — a sell-out with 3,000 tickets — wrapped up yesterday on a 40-hectare property in the rolling hills of the Mary Valley west of Noosa.

In pre-COVID times, the festival sold between 2,500 and 3,000 tickets.

In order for it to happen safely, months of planning included hundreds of documents, re-modelling the site, thousands of dollars on the line — and Queensland-only musicians.

Musician Minnie Marks said performing in front of a socially distanced crowd that had to stay in their seats did not feel weird.

"Honestly, you can think about it so much and you can put all these pictures in your mind," she said.

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It's Live In Queensland!! The 7th Mitchell Creek Rock ' n ' Blues Fest was the best yet. Thank you to all who attended, and Tourism and Events Queensland for

Give a Mitchell Creek rock n Blues ticket, with our Buy Now Pay Later Option! Select the link for more MCRBF Info! http Howling at the moon @rocknbluesfest mitchell creek blues and rock festival . Best little festival been to in 20 yrs.pic.twitter.com/BUKSmfFNP3.

"But the end of the day there are all these people there to support your music."

How did they do it?

Musician Tracey Hammel organised the festival's COVID-safe plan, and said it had involved "so much work in logistics" including re-spacing the camping areas.

She said meetings with multiple State Government agencies started months ago and key elements of the plan included infrastructure and remodelling the event's site.

"We've got areas where people can mark out an area with ribbon or string on the ground that they can put their name on and be able to set themselves up there at a distance away from other groups," she said.

"We moved things around, created 10,000 square metres of space in front of the stages, put some seating in front of the stages that could rotate between patrons, so everyone has a chance to be up front.

"Obviously there's no dancing in front of your seat or anywhere else, it has to be in the chair itself."

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An Australian Premier Music Festival hosted on a private 100 acre property up in Noosa Hinterland's beautiful Mary Valley, in Queensland's amazing Sunshine Coast region. Escape to the bushland for an adventure-filled weekend of rock blues and roots music.

The Bay Collective. 3pm Saturday Arvo, 2019. Caught on camera, this fine moment is where all band members are introduced and get show up their chops!

'Dancing in our chairs'

Festival-goers welcomed the new look, especially if it meant being COVID-safe.

Christine Randall from Redcliffe and her friend Michelle Connor from Doonan were keen to nab some space for the weekend near the front of the stage early on.

"We've been dying, absolutely dying, had our fingers crossed since March that Mitchell Creek would still be on," Ms Randall said.

"Even though we can't dance, we'll be dancing in our chairs."

Emma Tilley from Palmwoods said the biggest difference to other festivals would be "not mingling on the dance floor".

Alison, who travelled from Wynnum Manly in Brisbane, was not deterred by this year's changes after attending the festival two years ago.

"I guess why I came back is because of the music, it's great, and where it's situated — it's a great campground."

Lorraine Boss from Burpengary said she was nervous about attending a festival during the pandemic but decided to go after researching its COVID-safe plan.

"There's nothing else on," she said.

"I'm really a rockabilly chick myself, but I do love country, and I do love blues."

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The 2014 Rock and Blues Festival , three days of non stop music, over 150 artists alternating between two side by side sound stages. Free camping, BYO grog

Live footage from Mitchell Creek - great festival of Blues in QLD with Belle Hendrik - Bass and Vocals Barry Milan - Guitar and Vocals John Hill - Keys

Director's great relief

Festival director Jimmy Budgen said his engineering background had helped him redesign the festival to adhere to the Government's COVID-safe protocols.

He said Queensland Health advised that festivals were treated like construction sites, and the day before the festival started government officials were out inspecting the site.

Mr Budgen said the documentation that went along with the festival planning was incredible.

"There would be something like 2,000 pages of 300 or 400 documents that we had to pull together and marry as one to do this."

In the lead up to the festival he worried that if intrastate travel had again been restricted, he would have been forced to cancel the event and lose money in the process.

Mr Budgen said hearing the first song play was a great sense of relief.

"I think there's an old Willie Nelson song about 'Don't count your money until the dealing's done' and pretty much that's in the back of my mind all the way through."

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