Iconic Aussie rock band Cold Chisel have been forced to cancel a large outdoor concert scheduled to take place this afternoon due to "unsafe environmental conditions and hazardous air quality".
The Jimmy Barnes-led band, who are coming to New Zealand to play one show in Tauranga on February 5, were set to headline today's A Day On The Green concert in Rutherglen, west of Albury-Wodonga, near the New South Wales-Victoria state border.
Birds of Tokyo and Magic Dirt were also on the bill for the gig, which was cancelled this morning just hours before it was due to start.
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A press release announcing the last-minute cancellation blamed the "devastating bushfires and extreme weather conditions currently being experienced in Albury, Wodonga and surrounding areas", noting that EPA Victoria has rated the air quality in the area as "hazardous" with wind conditions throughout the day expected to further worsen air quality.
"Therefore, the decision has been made to cancel the show to protect the health of patrons attending the event as well as staff and artists working on site," the release
Roundhouse Entertainment promoter Michael Newton said: "We have been on-site for the past week preparing for the show, and sadly we have seen the air quality deteriorate to a level where we have been advised that it would not be safe to proceed. We are also concerned about traffic, given the fires in the area. This is a really unfortunate situation. We do not cancel shows lightly, and we are devastated that we have had to cancel what would have been our first show for 2020."
Pictures from on-site show just how poor the air quality is today:
At this stage, Cold Chisel's upcoming sold-out shows at Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley on Saturday and Mt Duneed Estate in Geelong the following day will both go ahead.