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Perth Festival extends season by five days after delay

Perth Festival has extended its season after postponing for a second week following Western Australia’s five-day lockdown last week due to COVID-19.

The music and arts festival was scheduled to kick off on Friday with the first of two sold-out concerts from Tim Minchin (pictured) and the WA Symphony Orchestra, but was advised by the Western Australian government and chief health officer to delay the event.

Perth Festival had planned to reopen on Saturday, the day after the end of the five-day lockdown, but organisers have opted to postpone for another week. While South-West WA has been able to return immediately to pre-lockdown conditions like the rest of regional Western Australia, Perth and Peel have been subject to transitional restrictions until February 14.

The event, which was originally scheduled to be a 23-day event, will now take place between February 15 to March 14, making it a 28-day event to “make up for lost time.”

With performances to be rescheduled, all current festival tickets remain valid and ticket holders will be contacted regarding rescheduled dates.

Festival artistic director Iain Grandage said: “As we ready ourselves to celebrate our artists and welcome our audiences, we appreciate being able to do so in such challenging times.

“Our enthusiasm is tempered by our thoughts for those who have lost so much in the bushfires of this week and we can’t begin to comprehend their sorrow. Festivals exist to bring people together and with our friends at Fringe World we are seeking to shine a little joy in these unsettling times. We’ll do everything we can to succeed.”

In 2019, the festival’s total attendance was 454,986 for free and ticketed events, with box office income at A$5.4m from 147,355 tickets sold.

Image: S Pakhrin / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size