THE pandemic's tendrils have stretched into 2021 already, with a Newcastle music festival forced to postpone until late next year.
This That told ticketholders on Tuesday that it would reschedule its Newcastle event, initially planned for February, until November 6 next year. Its Queensland event, at Sandstone Point, will shift to October 30.
"Due to state government and current standing federal government Public Health Orders regarding COVID-19, multi-stage mass music gathering events are not permissible in 'true' festival format just yet," the festival's organisers announced on social media.
"Coupled with planning timelines, this has made it impossible for us to deliver the well-loved THIS THAT festival format by February - one that would both satisfy current government compliance, and more importantly give you the full THIS THAT experience you've come to love."
Organisers asked ticketholders to consider holding onto it "to support live music", nothing that a refund window is open and names can be changed via Oztix.
The Hunter leg of the festival had been slated to feature performers including Confidence Man, Client Liason, Jack River, The Chats and Kota Banks.
The sister festival, Scene & Heard, also at Wickham Park, has also been moved from its February date to November 7. The same headliners to remain with event, including Grinspoon, Regurgitator, Ratcat, Frenzal Rhomb, Custard, COG, Killing Heidi and Caligula and the DCM stage.
"We're currently working with our wonderful line up to lock everyone in for the rescheduled dates, whilst also looking to add more great acts," organisers said.
How it went in 2019
By JOSH LEESON
NEWCASTLE'S This That Festival is about far more than just music.
One might argue that music merely provides the soundtrack to what has become an annual rite of passage for young Novocastrians.
It's an opportunity to dress up outrageously, party with friends and embrace your wild side.
Clear skies and mild late spring temperatures greeted the crowd of around 17,000 at Wickham Park on Saturday.
In contrast to past years there did appear a heavier atmosphere within the crowd due to the increased police presence. This That was one of 14 events placed on the NSW Government's "higher risk list" earlier this year following six drug-related deaths at music festivals.
There were at least 30 police positioned at the entrance and many more patrolling within the festival site. Sniffer dogs were also in use at the front entrance.
This was despite Deputy State Coroner Harriet Grahame making a recommendation on Friday that police should cease using sniffer dogs at music events following an inquest into festival deaths.
Of course the outfit is central to a Millennial's music festival experience. They were bold and brave, and incredibly elaborate.
Baggy Hawaiian shirts seemed the hot item among young men this year, while less was more for many women, despite temperatures never rising above the low 20s.
Melbourne indie rocker Alex Lahey warmed up the crowd early, before Sydney band Middle Kids delivered one of most inspiring sets of the day.
Frontwoman Hannah Joy may have been heavily pregnant to the point she could feel her "baby rocking out of my cervix", but she delivered a tireless performance as the ripped through a best-of set with tracks like Mistake, Real Thing and Salt Eyes.
The finale, Edge Of Town, brought the crowd together for a mass singalong.
However in the vocal stakes, Meg Mac was the festival benchmark. Soulful, passionate and powerful. Mac had it all and deservedly drew the biggest crowd of the afternoon acts.
The crowd continued to build in the late afternoon, but the beauty of This That is the variety of options.
If you weren't soaking up the atmosphere at the main This Stage, there were the likes of electronic acts L D R U and Jai Wolf dropping beats in the tented That Stage.
A more laid-back option was to relax on the hill above the smaller The Other Stage and watch Newcastle dance-rock band Raave Tapes unveil unreleased tunes and Alex The Astronaut perform her folk songs.
Unfortunately Alex The Astronaut struggled vocally throughout her set.
Night fall brought out the big guns in Hermitude and Peking Duk. While Hermitude's set was uninspiring, Peking Duk showed why melody remains vitally important even in electronic music.
Tracks like Fake Magic and Say My Name brought the crowd alive, as did their fireworks.
Producer Golden Features then brought This That 2019 to a close with a powerful set of EDM to turn Wickham Park over to Generation-X and their Scene & Heard Festival on Sunday.
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