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

Tip Published Thursday 21 January 2021

Last Update: 24 March, 2021

New South Wales

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

For the first time in more than 12 months, there will be no COVID-19 restrictions on dancing in NSW after the NSW State Government announced a major relaxation of social-distancing measures.

The overhaul will take effect from 12.01am on Monday, March 29 and means:

  • no restrictions on dancing anywhere
  • all venues to move to the two square metre rule (25 people allowed before 2sqm rule applies)
  • no restrictions on singing anywhere
  • 100% seated capacity at entertainment venues (stadiums, theatres etc.)
  • Mask use on public transport will move from "mandatory" to "strongly recommended"

People however must still check-in electronically at all venues.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

From 12.01am Monday March 29, entertainment facilities (including stadiums, music venues, concert halls, theatres, and the like) can have:

  • 100% seated capacity (indoors and outdoors);
  • dancing anywhere, with no restrictions;
  • no restrictions on singing anywhere

All venues must still use the two square metre rule (25 people allowed before 2sqm rule applies)

NSW Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

From 12.01am Monday March 29, there are no restrictions on the number of people that can attend a recording studio or rehearsal space.

There are also no restrictions on singing anywhere.

If you are rehearsing at a private home, there is no longer a cap on visitors in the home. However if there are more than 100 people, there must be a COVID-19 safety plan and electronic recording of visitor details.

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.

NSW State Government Website:

Victoria

COVIDSafe Summer restrictions now apply in Victoria.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

  • Nightclubs can reopen along with bars, pubs and other types of hospitality venues.
  • All Nightclubs and venues must apply a density quotient of one person per two square metres – and for dancefloors a density quotient of one person per four square metres, with a maximum of 50 people dancing at one time per dance area (e.g. nightclubs with multiple dance floors).
  • For all other indoor and outdoor hospitality venues a density quotient of 1 person per 2 square metres applies.
  • Venues can have up to 25 people before the two square metre rule needs to be applied.
  • It is strongly recommended face masks are worn while watching indoor performances or while at an indoor entertainment or cultural venue – except for when eating or drinking.
  • All venues are required to use electronic record keeping when applying the density quotient of one person per 2 square metres. There are no other limits on the number of people.
  • Venues can open for seated and unseated service.
  • Live music venues can open for up to 75% of seating capacity (maximum of 1,000 patrons). This applies for both indoor and outdoor seated entertainment venues.
  • Indoor non-seated entertainment venues can open up to 50% of capacity (max. of 1,000 patrons).
  • Outdoor non-seated entertainment venues must apply the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping. If using paper-based records, the four square metre rule applies.
  • Face masks are strongly recommended throughout performances, when paying, or using facilities.
  • Performers recommended to remain two metres apart, and five metres away from the audience. 
  • Large venues that can have 500 or more people in attendance, must publish their COVIDSafe Plan on their website.  

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

As of 16 March 2021, lower risk Tier 2 public events can now occur, without going through the government approval process, if they meet all these criteria:

  1. less than 5,000 people: and
  2. attendance not exceeding 75% capacity limit of the venue.

If however the event is indoors and unseated, they must also meet the additional criterion of:

  1. not featuring behaviours that present a greater COVID risk such as singing, dancing, chanting or consumption of alcohol.

These events must also provide:

  • Declaration form and attest to COVIDSafe requirements – e.g. ticketing and record keeping; and
  • COVIDSafe Event Plan - identifying public health risks and mitigation strategies event organisers will consider and incorporate into event planning.

Victoria has three phases as part of its COVID Safe Summer plan, with a gradual easing of restrictions taking place every 14-days. Subject to public health advice these include:

COVID Safe Summer Phase 1 (current)

  • 75% of seating capacity, up to a maximum of 5,000 people seated;
  • 1 person per 2 square metres to non-fixed seated areas – e.g. grassed areas; QR codes must be used to check-in for these events.
  • Tier 3 events with fewer than 1,000 people are permitted some standing and roaming as per the Restricted Activity Directions.
  • Tier 1 and 2 events with more than 1,000 people are allocated seated events only.

COVID Safe Summer Phase 2

  • 75% of seating capacity, up to a maximum of 25,000 people seated;
  • 1 person per 2 square metres to non-fixed seated areas – e.g. grassed areas; QR codes must be used to check-in for these events.
  • Allocated seated events only. Free-standing events not permitted, unless permitted under the Restricted Activity Directions.

COVID Safe Summer Phase 3

  • gradual return to 100% of seating capacity; and
  • gradual return of free-standing events.

Other Entertainment Venues

  • Indoor and outdoor seated entertainment venues can open for up to 75% of seating capacity up to 1,000 patrons.
  • Large indoor venues, such as the NGV and Princess Theatre, can open for up to 50% of the total venue capacity (up to a maximum of 1,000 patrons).
  • For non-seated areas, venues can use the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping. If using paper-based records, the four square metre rule.
  • Outdoor non-seated entertainment venues can open and can apply the two square metre rule if using electronic record keeping.
  • Indoor non-seated entertainment venues can open up to 50% of capacity (max. of 1,000 people).
  • Large venues that host over 500 people at one time must publish their COVIDSafe Plan on their website.  

Victoria Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Recommended musicians and singers keep at least two metres from each other in the rehearsal or recording studio space. Wearing a face mask is strongly encouraged when singing indoors or outdoors, if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Singing outdoors or in a well-ventilated room is strongly recommended whenever possible.

If you are rehearsing at a private home, the number of musicians is limited to the household cap of 30 visitors per day, with band members encouraged to maintain at least two metres between each other.

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

  • Dancing is allowed in all indoor and outdoor venues including nightclubs, bars, clubs and outdoor music festivals, subject to the one person per 2 square metre rule. This includes standing eating and drinking. Dancers asked to socially distance as best as possible.
  • Indoor events: 500 people permitted at indoor events with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. Larger events require a COVID Safe Plan.
  • Ticketed venues: 100% capacity at seated, ticketed venues with patrons encouraged to wear masks on entry and exit (e.g. theatre, live music, cinemas and indoor sports). Performers can distance from audience at 2m, except choirs which remain at 4m from the audience.
  • Open air stadiums: 100% seated capacity (with a COVID Safe Plan). All patrons encouraged to wear masks on entry and exit.
  • While not mandatory, people are encouraged to wear a mask in any indoor or outdoor space when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Outdoor events: 1,500 permitted at outdoor events with a COVID Safe Event Checklist. Larger events require a COVID Safe Plan.
  • Contact tracing information: All hospitality industry businesses (i.e. pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafés) in Queensland must comply with electronic contact information collection requirements.

Queensland Safe Future: COVID roadmap to recovery plan.

All businesses can open, in line with the COVID Safe Framework.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Subject to compliance with the COVID Safe Event Checklist, events may proceed in Queensland if they have fewer than 500 people per day (indoors) and 1,500 people per day (outdoors).

For all other larger scale events, an approved COVID Safe Event Plan must be prepared by the event organiser and submitted via the COVID Safe Event Plan Submission Portal.

Note events:

  • Indoor events with 500 to 10,000 people per day and outdoor events with 1,500 to 10,000 people per day require approval by the local Public Health Unit.
  • Indoor and outdoor events with more than 10,000 people per day require approval by the Chief Health Officer.
  • Multi-day events which involve onsite accommodation with shared facilities, also require Queensland health department approval, regardless of the number of people attending per day.

COVID Safe Event Plans should be submitted well in advance of your event. COVID Safe Event Plans for events with over 10,000 people per day must be submitted a minimum of 20 business days before the event.

QLD Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

Rehearsal spaces and recording studios may have one person per 2 square metres on their premises.

If you are rehearsing at a private home, the number of musicians is limited to the household cap of 50 visitors per day.

Physical distancing rules still apply. So wherever possible, people should remain 1.5 metres away from others.

For full details, read the official public health direction.

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.

Additional Information from Queensland State Government Website:

South Australia

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Nightclubs and licensed premises do not require an approved COVID Management Plan if they can meet the following criteria:

  • For venues with under 200 patrons and the ability to comply with the 2 square metre rule, dancing is permitted.
  • For venues with 200 to 999 patrons, dancing can only occur on one single dedicated dancefloor or designated area, up to 50 patrons at any one time (whether or not all those patrons are dancing), and must also comply with the 2 square metre rule.
  • Rules for dancing are the same, irrespective of whether the venue is indoors or outside.
  • Reasonable steps must also be taken to maintain 1.5m physical distancing.
  • Contact tracing required along with COVID marshal if food/beverages are served.

Note: If a venue has multiple dancefloors and they wish to use more than one dancefloor or designated area for dancing, an approved COVID Management Plan will be required even if the number of patrons present is between 200 and 999.

Licensed venues that can host over 1,000 patrons must have an approved COVID Management Plan before being allowed to operate. The density rule of 1 person per 2 square metres also applies.

For live performance venues where patrons are in fixed seating, capacities can increase to 75% if patrons wear masks, and 50% if masks are not worn.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

All major music events and festivals of more than 1,000 people are considered ‘high risk’ and require a pre-approved COVID Management Plan, before any event of can take place as well as a COVID-Safe Plan.

Concerts and live performances under 1,000 people can only have a single dedicated dancefloor or designated area, with up to 50 patrons dancing at any one time (whether or not all those patrons are dancing) and must also comply with the 2 square metre rule. Otherwise they too are required to have an approved COVID Management Plan.

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 2 square metres, with the maximum number of attendees at a place of business determined by its size. However, if you are rehearsing at a private home, the number of musicians is limited to the household cap of 50 visitors 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

More people will be permitted into WA venues from 12.01am on Monday, March 15, pending the latest public health advice.

COVID Nightclub & Live Music Restrictions

Increased capacity of up to 75% will be allowed at seated venues (indoors and outdoors) including bars, concerts halls, auditoriums and amphitheatres; theatres; and WA’s major stadiums (Optus Stadium, HBF Park, RAC Arena, HBF Stadium - Main Arena).

If the 2 square metre rule is greater than 75% capacity, the greater option will be permitted for these particular venues and events.

The two square metre rule remains for all other unfixed seating venues such as:

  • Nightclubs;
  • Unseated events/festivals (music, beer, wine, cultural etc.);
  • outdoor venues, including pop-up bars;
  • events with a COVID Event Plan;
  • pop-up events (i.e. Fringe festival - tents with auditorium seating for performances).

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

Events with over 500 people are still subject to a COVID Event Plan.

There may be increased capacity if an event is held at a venue where the new 75% capacity rule applies, such as some outdoor seated events (e.g. events at Optus Stadium; outdoor auditoriums). This depends on the nature of the event and is subject to an approved COVID Event Plan.

The 2 square metre rule remains for pop up bars and outdoor concerts where there is no fixed seating.

For more information visit COVID-19 coronavirus: Events.

WA Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

The number of people a rehearsal space or recording studio can accommodate will be determined by the 2 square metres per person rule.

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.

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 re-open and dancing is permitted with physical distancing. Groups who do not know each other should abide by a 1.5m rule.

Gatherings of over 500 people must complete a COVID-19 safety checklist.

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.

Major events and public gatherings of over 500 people must submit a COVID-19 Event Safety Plan and receive formal approval from the Chief Health Officer prior to the event proceeding. If the Chief Health Officer does not approve the plan, the event cannot proceed.

Event organisers must stay informed about the Directions of the Chief Health Officer and any restrictions that relate to activities they may want to undertake.

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

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.

The maximum number of people permitted includes staff.

Where practicable, business operators, staff, volunteers and attendees should maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people.

Dancing is permitted along with standing and drinking alcohol in premises with a liquor licence and/or liquor permit.

The management of risk associated with these activities must also be covered in a venue’s COVID-19 Safety Plan.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

The Tasmanian Government has launched A Framework for COVID Safe Events and Activities in Tasmania to support event organisers to plan and hold large-scale COVID-safe events from 1 December 2020.Depending on the risk profile of the event, it will be classed as Level 1, 2 or 3, and different controls will apply depending on the level. All levels are subject to density limits of 2 square metres of space per person. See below for further details.

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.

The Mass Gatherings Direction provides a legal basis for the Framework.

The Framework will be reviewed over time as the rules for mass gatherings and events are updated to reflect the changing COVID-19 situation in Tasmania. The Framework will enable organisers to apply to hold an event under one of three levels.

More information on the COVID-19 Safe Events and Activities Events Framework.

Tasmanian Rehearsal Spaces/Recording Studios

All Tasmanian businesses including rehearsal spaces and recording studios are now permitted to 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

  • Check In CBR is mandatory for all restricted business activities and customers must use it to check in to venues (from 6 March 2021).
  • Businesses, including Nightclubs, Bars and Pubs can have up to 25 people across the venue.
  • If businesses want to have more than 25 people they can use the one person per two square metres of usable space rule for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Unless otherwise provided for in the Public Health Directions, gatherings and events over 1,000 people need an exemption from ACT Health.
  • Patrons can stand to eat and drink in indoor and outdoor spaces.

Live music can be performed; however performers should try to maintain physical distancing requirements wherever possible. Singers should try to stand at least 2 metres away from other band members as well as audience members.

COVID Music Event/Festival Restrictions

  • Events between 501 and 1,000 people must notify ACT Health of their event and submit a COVID Safety Plan for review.
  • Unless otherwise provided for in the public health direction, events and gatherings over 1,000 people will require an exemption. Exemptions may be granted for events and gatherings for up to 10,000 people on application, in accordance with the COVID Safe Event Protocol.
  • Large indoor performance venues (with forward-facing and tiered seating, such as theatres and arenas) can have events up to 75% capacity, provided the events are ticketed and seated, and a COVID Safety Plan is in place for each event. The one person per two square metre rule must be applied to any other useable space within the venue that does not form a part of the individual theatre.
  • The National Convention Centre will be permitted to have 75% capacity within each indoor and outdoor space, provided they have a COVID Safety Plan endorsed by ACT Health. Multi-day events are permitted.
  • Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) will be permitted to have 75% capacity within each indoor and outdoor space up to 2,000 people, provided they have a COVID Safety Plan endorsed by ACT Health. Events greater than 2,000 people will be required to adhere to requirements within the COVID Safe Event Protocol.
  • GIO Stadium and Manuka Oval can have 100% capacity for fixed seating, provided events are ticketed and seated and a COVID Safety Plan is in place for each event. Density for any unfixed seating areas should be calculated using the one person per two square metre rule.
  • Enclosed outdoor venues with permanent tiered seating and grandstands can have 100% capacity for fixed seating, provided events are ticketed and seated and a COVID Safety Plan is in place for each event. Density for any unfixed seating areas should be calculated using the one person per two square metre rule, up to 1,000 people.
  • Patrons can now stand while eating and drinking in indoor and outdoor areas.

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: