Aussie Promoters Don't Expect Overseas Tours Until Next June; Local Acts 'Can't Wait To Play'

19 June 2020 | 9:40 am | Neil Griffiths

"Most acts can’t wait to play to fans again and as we can see the capacities are starting to increase."

Australia won't be seeing any international bands or artists tour the country until around next June according to one of the heavyweight figures of the local music industry. 

Following comments by Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham, who said that Australia's borders will likely remain closed for the remainder of 2020 due to COVID restrictions, legendary promoter Michael Chugg predicts international touring will not be possible until mid-2021.

"... I would suggest that unfortunately my projection for international travel reopening around June 2021 is well on target, and that could well still carry quarantine period," Chugg told The Music.

Fellow industry leader Michael Gudinski, who believes that we won't see international bands and artists tour Australia until February or March next year, says Birmingham's comments aren't a "huge surprise", however the local music scene is in a "wait and see scenario".

"You just need to look at what’s happening overseas to see that the likelihood of Australia’s borders being opened anytime soon is slim," Gudinski told The Music.

"On a positive note it does seem like Australia is moving to a situation where Australian acts will have the chance to shine, which I’m incredibly excited about.

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"Most acts can’t wait to play to fans again and as we can see the capacities are starting to increase. There are so many fantastic Australian artists that will be opened up to new audiences and opportunities during this time so this could be a real positive for our local artists and industry after these incredibly hard months they’ve all had to endure.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed at a press conference yesterday that he has met with entertainment industry groups to discuss "the ability to move in and out of Australia... about tours and promotions and artists".