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State & Territory COVID Restrictions for Nightclubs & Music Events in Australia

Last Updated: 29 July, 2021
Tip Published Thursday 29 July 2021

New South Wales

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Stay at home orders are currently in place for Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

All Venues are once again closed along with Dancefloors.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

All music events and festivals are restricted at this stage.

NSW Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

In Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas, people must work from home if they are able to do so.

It is unlikely rehearsal spaces or recording studios can open during the current lockdown.

NSW State Government Website:

COVID Greater Sydney Rules Update

COVID Restrictions - Places that are Closed

Victoria

From 11:59pm on Tuesday 27 July 2021 restrictions are in place in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • Entertainment venues can open with up to 100 people per indoor space and 300 per outdoor space.
  • Density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm applies in non-seated areas.
  • COVID Check-in Marshals must be present at all entrances to ensure attendees check-in.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

  • Nightclubs can open but only for seated service, so long as a density requirement of 1 person per 4 sqm is maintained or no more than 100 people indoors (whichever is smaller).
  • Dancefloors are closed.
  • You must remain seated at the venue, except when ordering food or drink, using toilets or entering and leaving the facility.
  • COVID Check-in Marshals must be present at all entrances to ensure attendees check in.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

From 11:59pm on Tuesday 27 July 2021 restrictions are in place in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • Music Events and Festivals are limited to 100 people per indoor space and 300 per outdoor space.
  • Density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm applies in non-seated areas.
  • COVID Check-in Marshals must be present at all entrances to ensure attendees check-in.

Victoria Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

The Victorian Government announced its lockdown ended at 11:59pm Tuesday 27 July.

Businesses and venues can reopen with COVIDSafe measures in place and the Authorised Worker List will no longer apply.

Face masks will continue to be required indoors and outdoors (except at home) unless an exception applies.

If you can work from home, you should work from home.

Band members (except singers and woodwind or brass musicians) must wear a face mask while they perform indoors or outdoors, unless an exception applies. 

To keep customers, staff and performers safe, it is strongly recommended that: 

  • Performers keep at least 2 metres distance from each other. 
  • Performers should be distanced at least five metres from the audience where practicable. 
  • If you are feeling unwell, do not perform. Stay home and get tested.

You can find advice and more information on current restrictions by visiting Arts and recreation services sector guidance.

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm any additional COVID restrictions that may be in place and if they have reopened for business.

Victoria State Government Website:

Queensland

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

FROM 6:00am Friday 23 July 2021 to 6.00am Friday 20 August.

Nightclubs and venues must operate in accordance with a COVID Safe Event Checklist which includes:

  • one person per 2m2 or 100% allocated seated + ticketed capacity;
  • dancefloors with no more than 1 person per 2m2 dancing in the dance area;
  • control measures to manage crowding in dance areas;
  • contact tracing using the Check In Qld app;
  • regular and thorough cleaning;
  • availability of hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser.

Requirements for wearing a face mask apply for the Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redlands, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Sunshine Coast local government areas.

While not mandatory, you are encouraged to: carry a mask with you at all times when you leave home; wear a mask when travelling on public transport, in a taxi or ride share; or in any indoor or outdoor space when physical distancing is not possible.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Music Events must operate in accordance with the Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction. The requirements for music events depend on whether the it is held indoors or outdoors and whether patrons will be dancing.

Indoor events

Events at indoor spaces must operate in accordance with a COVID Safe Event Checklist which includes the following requirements:

  • a maximum occupant density of 1 person per 2m2 or 100% allocated seated and ticketed capacity
  • collection of contact tracing information using the Check In Qld app
  • regular and thorough cleaning
  • availability of hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser.
  • implement control measures to manage crowding in dance areas.
  • people at the event observe physical distancing to the extent possible.
  • Patrons must be seated to eat and drink.

Events with patron dancing

Indoor or outdoor events with patron dancing must operate in accordance with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. The checklist includes the following additional requirements for events with patron dancing:

  • operate an area for dancing with no more than 1 person per 2m2 dancing in the dance area

Outdoor events without patron dancing

Outdoor events without patron dancing do not need to operate in accordance with a COVID Safe Event Checklist, however the following requirements still apply:

  • appropriate public health controls including cleaning, hygiene measures, regular washing of hands and availability of hand sanitiser

Ticketed venues

100% capacity with allocated seating (e.g. theatre, live music, cinemas, indoor sports, universities and other higher education institutions).

Stadiums

75% allocated seated and ticketed capacity for stadiums over 20,000 people (with COVID Safe Site Specific Plan).

  • Patrons must wear a mask at all times, including when seated.
  • Masks can be removed when eating or drinking.

Note that COVID Safe Event Plans are no longer required for any events.

Additional Information from Queensland State Government Website:

South Australia

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs must have a COVID Management Plan unless the total number of patrons present is less than 1000 and the density requirement of 1 persons per 4 square metres is met in the premises.

Dancing is not permitted.

No singing unless the person is performing (no karaoke).

Other requirements include:

  • Approved contact tracing;
  • COVID Marshal
  • masks in shared indoor places
  • seated consumption of alcohol (and food)
  • no seating at bar or service area
  • no communal food or beverage areas

All Licensed Premises (Under Liquor Licensing Act 1997), were the venue is used for the purpose of loud music, dancing and drinking, must have a COVID Management Plan in place before being able to operate.

Any gathering of more than 1,000 people can only take place outside with 1 person per 4 square metres, with patrons taking reasonable steps to maintain 1.5m physical distancing

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Fixed seating at a music concert, live theatre, or any other live performance space or place of entertainment must have a COVID Safe Plan.

If the event has over 1,000 people attending, then a COVID Management Plan is also required.

Dancing is not permitted.

Other requirements include:

  • Approved contact tracing
  • COVID Marshal
  • masks in shared indoor places
  • seated consumption of alcohol (and food)
  • no seating at bar or service area
  • no communal food or beverage areas

SA Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

All rehearsal spaces and recording studios as a defined public activity must have a COVID-Safe Plan. Contact tracing records are also required.

The density restriction is 1 person per 4 square metres, with the maximum number of attendees at a place of business 10 per day.

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm if the most recent COVID restrictions have changed what is possible in these spaces and if they are open for business.

South Australia State Government Website:

Western Australia

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

There are no longer any capacity restrictions for venues and events. This means nightclubs, music events and concerts can go ahead at full capacity.

However, COVID measures remain in place including:

While not mandatory, patrons are encouraged to maintain 1.5 metres separation between people who are not from the same household or groups of other patrons.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Events with over 500 patrons, are required to complete a COVID Event Checklist or Plan.

All event formats in WA are permitted without patron caps or the 2sqm rule. However, COVID Event Plans, Checklists and Guidelines remain important to reduce the potential risk and spread of COVID-19.

All events must still be registered with the Department of Health, and held or conducted in accordance with the completed COVID Event Plan or Checklist.

COVID Event Checklist (less than 2,500 patrons)

A COVID Event Checklist is required for events where the anticipated number of patrons is over 500 but does not exceed 2,500.

This simplified document must be completed, signed and submitted to the local government in which the event is being held, along with all other relevant documentation required for an application to hold a public event. An authorised officer from the local government will ensure it has been completed satisfactorily before an assessment of the event application is undertaken and final event approval can be granted.

COVID-19 Event Plan (more than 2,500 patrons)

A COVID Event Plan is required for events where the anticipated number of patrons is more than 2,500.

This document must be submitted to the local government in which the event is being held, along with all other relevant documentation required for an application to hold a public event.

The document will be considered in the assessment of the event application by the local government. An overall event application approval may be withheld until the plan appropriately addresses infection prevention and control risks.

COVID Event Plans for all events exceeding 5,000 patrons must be provided to the Department of Health, for their records, a minimum of 4 weeks prior to the event occurring.

While not mandatory, patrons are encouraged to maintain 1.5 metres separation between people who are not from the same household or groups of other patrons.

For more information, see COVID Event Plans - Frequently asked questions.

WA Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

There are no longer any capacity restrictions for the number of people a rehearsal space or recording studio can accommodate.

However, you should still check with your local space/studio to confirm any COVID restrictions they may have in place and if they have reopened for business.

Western Australia State Government Website:

Northern Territory

Northern Territory live music venues and nightclubs must review their COVID-19 Safety Plan every six months, appoint a COVID Safety Supervisor and collect customer contact details to assist with contact tracing.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs in the Northern Territory can operate and dancing is permitted with physical distancing. Groups who do not know each other should abide by a 1.5m rule.

A COVID-19 safety checklist.is required for any gathering over 500 people.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Events with less than 500 people do not require completion of a checklist or safety plan. Physical distancing is encouraged - with attendees to remain 1.5 metres apart from other groups. Hygiene principles should also be in place.

Events with 500 to 1000 people in attendance inside a major population centre do require completion of a checklist or safety plan, COVID-19 Small Event Checklist. Further to this the organiser of the event must appoint a COVID-19 Safety Supervisor and display a QR code or alternate method of checking in.

Events with 1000 or more people in attendance located inside a major population centre must submit a COVID-19 Event Safety Plan and receive formal approval from the Chief Health Officer prior to the event proceeding. Further to this the organiser of the event must appoint a COVID-19 Safety Supervisor and display a QR code or alternate method of checking in.

NT Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Recording studios and rehearsal spaces that follow the NT guidelines and checklists can reopen.

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm any additional COVID restrictions that may be in place and if they have reopened for business.

Northern Territory Government Website:

Tasmania

All Tasmanian venues are required to implement measures to meet the minimum COVID-19 safety standards and record this in a COVID-19 Safety plan. This is outlined in the COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs are permitted to operate under Stage 3 restrictions. Where alcohol is sold, patrons must be seated, meaning activities such as dancing is not permitted.

Gathering and density limits also apply.

The maximum number of people permitted to attend venues such as Nightclubs, Bars and Pubs is:

  • 250 people for an undivided space in an indoor premise; and
  • 1,000 people in the outdoor space of a premise.

The maximum density is one person per 2 square metres of available space.

Where the number of people permitted according to the density limit is less than the gathering limit, the lower number applies.

For mixed-use venues with multiple indoors spaces, the 250 people indoor gathering cap applies separately to each single undivided space indoors, allowing for two square metres of space per person.

Where a mixed-use venue with multiple indoors spaces also has outdoor spaces, a maximum of 1,000 people in total are permitted in the outdoor areas of that premises at one time.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

The Tasmanian Government has developed a Framework for COVID Safe Events & Activities in Tasmania to help organisers plan COVID-safe gatherings that exceed the gathering limits specified in the Management of premises direction. Depending on the risk profile of the gathering, an event or activity will be classed as Level 1, 2 or 3, and different controls apply to each level.

From 1 May 2021, Tasmania moved to allow 100% of seated indoor and outdoor capacity for gatherings at music concerts, venues, stadiums, and arenas.

Smaller venues with up to 250 seats can go up to 100% seated capacity without applying.

For venues and events with 250 people or more indoors and 1,000 people or more outdoors, they must apply to increase to 100%.

For all venues holding events at 100% seated capacity, under changes to the public health directions, the following limits will apply:

  • in seated areas, the number of seats up to 100%, plus
  • in unseated areas such as the foyer, food and drink areas, toilets, etc, the number of persons equivalent to 1 per 2 square metres of the floor space.
  • employees/performers/volunteers/service attendants do not count towards these numbers.
  • no face masks required at these events.

Maximum capacity and current gathering restrictions for all other premises and events remains unchanged.

The application form to apply for 100% seated capacity can be found here: https://stategrowth.smartygrants.com.au/seatedcapacity

If the event does not exceed ordinary gathering limits

You must still complete and adhere to a COVID Safety Plan. This includes adhering to the current gathering restrictions. You do not need to register your event.

If the event does exceed ordinary gathering limits

You must thoroughly read the Event Framework, complete and adhere to a COVID Safety Plan, and register your event for approval.

All events must collect patron contact details for the purpose of enhanced contact tracing, using Check in Tas app.

Organisers can register their Level 2 or 3 event for assessment here. Outcome assessment will be notified within 21 days unless further information is required.

Level One:

  • Free moving and mixing: max. 250 people inside and max. 1,000 people outside
  • Seated (capped at 50% seated capacity): max. 500 people inside and max. 2,000 people outside
  • Combination: Event with multiple separate areas or sites: max. of 2,000 people.

Level Two:

  • Free moving and mixing: max. 500 people inside and max. 2,000 people outside
  • Seated (capped at 50% seated capacity): max. 1,000 people inside and max. 5,000 people outside
  • Combination: Event with multiple separate areas or sites: max. of 5,000 people.

Level Three:

  • Free moving and mixing: max. 1,000 people inside and max. 5,000 people outside
  • Seated (capped at 50% seated capacity): max. 2,000 people inside and max. 10,000 people outside
  • Combination: Event with multiple separate areas or sites: max. of 10,000 people.

Important considerations for event capacity:

  • Density limit applies at all levels, which requires a minimum of two square metres per person.
  • Physical distancing for all people of 1.5 metres from each other applies where practicable.
  • Seated patrons must not exceed 50% of the venue’s total seated capacity.
  • All people in the venue (patrons, staff and performers) count towards the capacity limit at the relevant event level.

Support Material for Events

Tasmanian Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Rehearsal spaces and recording studios can operate, but must implement measures to meet the minimum COVID-19 safety standards and record this in a COVID-19 Safety plan. Further details are outlined in the COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework.

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm any additional COVID restrictions that may be in place and if they have reopened for business.

Tasmanian State Government Website:

Australian Capital Territory

From February 2021, the ACT is now in its ‘COVID Normal’ stage of its Recovery Plan Roadmap.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

If licensed venues (including nightclubs) wish to permit dancing, they will need to review their COVID Safety Plans to implement risk mitigation strategies to reduce the risks associated with the activity. Advice is as follows:

  • Venues must have a dedicated dance area.
  • As the activity presents a higher risk, venues should carefully monitor the number of people in a dance area at any one time to avoid overcrowding. Venues must limit the number of people in an indoor or outdoor dedicated dance area using one person per two square metres.
  • Encourage patrons to dance within their social group only and to avoid mixing with people they do not know. This can be done through signage across the venue.
  • If venues have an outdoor space, consider using this area to allow dancing to take place – noting that outdoor activities are safer than indoors.

Event organisers who are considering arranging an event for which dancing is a key activity should first review the COVID Safe Event Protocol.

For live performances:

  • Choirs and performers should maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres from each other and two metres way from the audience/ congregation.
  • Congregational singing is discouraged. However, if congregations wish to allow singing they need to include this in their COVID Safety Plan and ensure that members maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres from each other whilst singing.

Additional cleaning should be undertaken of areas or equipment in range of singers/performers.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

A COVID Safe Event Protocol has been developed to assist with returning events to the ACT and provides guidance to event organisers to ensure that their event is COVID Safe. All event organisers in the ACT will be required to develop a COVID Safety Plan for each of their events.

COVID Safe Event Protocol

  • Events with 500 people or less can go ahead without an exemption as long as the Public Health Directions can be met.
  • Event organisers for events for between 501 and 1,000 people are asked to notify ACT Health and submit their COVID Safety Plan via the online form.
  • Event organisers can apply for an exemption to hold an event of more than 1,000 people.
  • Events more than 10,000 people are unable to be considered for an exemption at this time.

All event organisers in the ACT must have a COVID Safety Plan. The COVID Safety Plan must also be submitted with your notification for an event for 501 to 1,000 people, or your exemption application for an event with more than 1,000 people.

Note: the Event Exemptions team are currently experiencing a high volume of applications. If your event is within three weeks of the date that you submitted your request, while we will endeavour to assess your request, you may not receive your exemption in time. In this case, you must run your event under the current restrictions.

Please note – the Event Exemptions team are currently experiencing a high volume of applications. If your event is within three weeks of the date that you submitted your request, while we will endeavour to assess your request, you may not receive your exemption in time. In this case, you must run your event under the current restrictions.

ACT Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Recording studios and rehearsal spaces can have 25 people across the entire space or if they want to have more than 25 people, they can use 1 person per 2 square metres of usable space in indoor and outdoor spaces, provided they use the Check In CBR app.

Recording studios and rehearsal spaces not using the Check In CBR app can continue to have 1 person per 4 square metres of usable space in indoor spaces and 1 person per 2 square metres in outdoor spaces.

You should check with your local space/studio to confirm any additional COVID restrictions that may be in place and if they have reopened for business.

Australian Capital Territory Government Website: