Organizers of an inaugural electronic festival say losing their title to Omicron won’t stop Golden Sounds from continuing into next week.
The chart-topping electronic music producer Dimension tested positive for the Omicron Covid-19 variant three days before he was due to play at the Rhythm and Alps festival starting Thursday night. He was also scheduled to headlining Golden Sounds at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim on January 6.
Dimension, aka Robert Etheridge, had violated self-isolation protocol, entering the community after three days of isolation at a private address on Waiheke Island, but before receiving the results of his ninth test. day.
Arriving on a flight from the UK with a border exemption for essential workers on December 16, he returned three negative tests before his ninth day test on December 25. Over the next two days, he visited several places in Auckland, including the Impala nightclub in the city center. , before receiving the positive test result on December 27.
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During his two days in the Auckland community, Dimension had come into close contact with artists who were also to play Rhythm and Alps, including Culture Shock which was on the lineup for Golden Sounds. On Friday, close contacts were isolated and were negative.
Dimension posted his shock and apology on social media, saying he believed he properly ended the isolation when he entered the community and felt sorry for anyone he put in danger.
“I realize the gravity of the situation and deeply regret those who have been affected; including members of the public, event planners and close contacts.
Endeavor Live co-founder Hamish Pinkham said there were “a number of acts” in the Golden Sounds lineup that were close contact with Dimension, but declined to say who or how many. “It’s a private matter. But there was a gathering of about 30 people with a lot of acts involved.
“We are confident that we will see the show through … His close contacts will be released in time for the Blenheim show, on the basis that they are not positive.”
In the worst-case scenario, Pinkham said any act that tested positive could be replaced.
This had happened before for Rhythm and Alps, which replaced Dimension and four other major groups at the last hour with Kiwi groups including Fat Freddy’s Drop.
Pinkham said all replacement acts for Golden Sounds would likely be Kiwi electro artists, to “keep him in the dance crowd.” “We have a vibrant Kiwi industry that we can take advantage of… we wanted it to be an international level event, but we definitely have options if we need to bring someone in. “
Pinkham and the Endeavor Live team were currently preparing for Gold Rush in Waihi on Monday, the first of three “Golden Run” festivals. Golden Sounds will be followed by Golden Lights in Auckland on Friday.
There was still Golden Sounds tickets available. They were selling fairly well, but Pinkham said he knew people tended to book last minute, once they were up to the Christmas and New Years plans. The event was capped at 10,000 tickets.
Pinkham said he was looking forward to moving to the east grounds of Lansdowne Park, next to the parking lot, which he said reminded him of Coachella as a place of green grass with the Richmond Ranges north and south of the Wither Hills offering picturesque backdrops.
The comfort of creatures such as shadow and water, during the eight-hour R18 event, would be provided by the very experienced crew, he said. “It will be a fantastic place. “
The loss of the main act to Golden Sounds had been just the latest hurdle in the roller coaster of planning a major event as the country transitioned from alert levels to traffic lights. Marlborough’s early designation as an orange region was a relief in November, as other events succumbed to red status.
“It’s been a few days of testing, just trying to figure out all the variables,” Pinkham said on Friday.
“But our intention is to keep going and show people what kind of festival we can bring to them.”