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NSW superspreader events lead to festival cancellation

New South Wales (NSW) Health has ordered the cancellation of a hip hop and electronic dance music festival today (Thursday) just two days before it was due to take place.

Lunar Electric festival in Newcastle, New South Wales, has been forced to cancel under a Public Health Order, following a number of events leading to a high count of positive COVID-19 cases.

More than 200 people contracted coronavirus at Argyle House nightclub in Newcastle.

After another event, a Taylor Swift-themed dance party in nearby Sydney, there were at least 97 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The themed evening, ‘On Repeat: Taylor Swift Red Party’ at Sydney’s Metro theatre was the subject of an alert issued by New South Wales (NSW) Health. Around 600 people that arrived at the event after 9pm were deemed close contacts.

The Taylor Swift fans must now test and self-isolate for seven days and their household contacts need to test and isolate until they receive a negative result.

As a result of the superspreader events, NSW health authorities have ordered for Newcastle’s Lunar Electric festival to be cancelled.

A statement from NSW Health said: “The Lunar Electric music festival due to take place this Saturday, December 18 in Newcastle, has been cancelled under a Public Health Order.

“NSW Health considered that the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in the Newcastle area, where the majority of a record number of cases are the Omicron variant of concern, presents too great a risk for the festival to take place this weekend.

“NSW Health has advised the organisers of the festival this afternoon of the cancellation.”

The statement added: “NSW Health continues to be concerned about the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in the Newcastle area, where several venues and events have now seen extensive transmission.”

Image: Joel Reyer on Unsplash