Tim Minchin has pulled his two sold-out Perth Festival performances at King Park due to the five-day full lockdown after WA recorded its first case of COVID-19 community transmission in almost 10 months.
The Perth-raised global entertainment superstar was due to play concerts with the WA Symphony Orchestra on Friday and Saturday night, but has announced that he would be unable to adequately prepare for shows that are highly unlikely to go ahead.
Each show was expected to draw capacity crowds of 5300 people, based on the 2sqm rule.
“We had five days of rehearsals scheduled, starting (Monday),” Minchin tweeted on Sunday evening, adding that there were also stages and production to build in the lead-up to the gigs.
“Even if we could somehow just turn up and perform the chances that 5K people will be allowed to gather this weekend are somewhere between Buckley’s and none,” the 45-year-old added.
“We are going to try to figure out how to reschedule! Stay tuned. And I’m incredibly sorry. Such a bugger. xxx”
Minchin said that the festival would contact ticket-holders for the WASO concerts, which follow the release of his major label debut album Apart Together.
The album peaked at number three on the ARIA charts in November and features the singles Leaving LA, The Absence of You and I’ll Take Lonely Tonight.
The Helpmann and Olivier award-winner also posted a tweet for followers outside of WA explaining why he had cancelled the Kings Park gigs.
“For others reading this: Perth is by, virtue of a massive desert, kind of an island, and has had 0 Covid cases for 10 months,” Minchin wrote.
“I came to open the Festival with the WA Symphony Orchestra, but a case has been discovered in the community, so the city has been locked down.”
Minchin’s announcement follows Fringe World’s decision to shut down soon after the lockdown was announced on Sunday afternoon.
The festival hopes to resume performances an hour after the lockdown is scheduled to finish at 6pm on Friday night.
In a statement Fringe World organisers said staff will be working from home during the lockdown, and plan to recommence operations on February 5.
“In line with the announcement of a five-day full lockdown in Perth metropolitan, Fringe World events and venues will be closed effectively immediately,” organisers said.
“All staff will be working from home during this time. We have the systems to ensure that we can maintain operations so that we can re-commence the Festival and Rooftop Movies from 7pm on Friday 5 February.”
People who purchased tickets to events during this period will be refunded.