“First there were bushfires, then a pandemic, and now La Nina.”
La Nina has sunk Australia’s Strawberry Fields festival.
After numerous set-backs and postponements, first due to bushfires, then the pandemic, flood waters have ruined the 2022 edition.
With a lineup featuring such international acts Egyptian Lover, The Pharcyde, Moodymann, Kamaal Williams, DJ Python, and a DJ set from Massive Attack’s Daddy G, the outdoor event was scheduled to take place over the weekend of Oct. 28-30.
Mother nature has different plans.
After hosting the event in Tocumwal, New South Wales for the best part of a decade, weather events have rendered the site unworkable.
“Oh the joys of the past three years,” reads a statement from organizers. “First there were bushfires, then a pandemic, and now La Nina seems to be that unwelcome guest left at the house party that we just can’t kick off the couch.”
The statement continues, “We are absolutely devastated to announce that we must cancel Strawberry this October due to flooding.”
The now-nixed October event was to be the second Strawberry Fields of the year, as organizers made up for a lost 2021 show, which was initially postponed and reshaped as a two-weekend program in March and April of 2022.
The Murray River, “which normally is the star attraction of our beloved festival,” the statement continues, “has experienced unprecedented flooding levels.”
Critical access and entertainment areas are now “meters underwater,” and “expert advice suggests the situation could only worsen from here.”
Laughter, it is often said, is the best medicine, and the directors of Strawberry Fields went for the funny bone with a quip about their sinking show.
“Trust us,” they continue, “while the idea of throwing the first music festival exclusively accessible by houseboat, tinny, personal snorkelling or flotation device was somewhat tempting….we decided Australia probably isn’t quite ready for the concept just yet.”
Strawberry Fields is the latest in a long line of NSW festivals whose sites have been impacted by floodwaters, a list that includes the Splendour in the Grass and Bluesfest, both of which went ahead.
Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology recently shared the weather forecast no one wanted to hear – that the La Nina weather event is well underway for the third consecutive year, bringing wet, windy summers, well into 2023.
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