Covid-19 continues to take its toll on events with two long-running Northland music festivals cancelled due to concerns overseas performers wouldn't be able to get into the country.

With the Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival and the Bay of Islands Jazz and Blues Festival both held in winter, when viral illnesses are more prevalent, chief organiser Shirley May said going ahead was also too risky for patrons' health.

The country rock festival was due to be held in May while the jazz and blues festival was scheduled for August.

The Bay of Islands Music Festivals Trust, which organises the events, made the decision after meeting venue owners and managers on Tuesday.


May said all tickets would be refunded and she hoped the festivals would go ahead in 2021 with the same musicians and venues.

''It's very disappointing, these festivals have been my life for more than 30 years — but you just can't take the risk,'' she said.

The country rock festival would have clocked up its 31st year and the jazz and blues its 35th.

In all those years May said there had never been a hiccup, though the 2000 Jazz and Blues Festival was canned due to a clash with the Sydney Olympics.

Several Australian acts had been due to play at the country rock event and five US bands had been booked in for the jazz and blues festival.

The events provide a welcome boost for Paihia and Russell motels in the normally quiet winter months with about 1600 people — many from out of town — attending each festival.

A 2010 Far North District Council economic development report found the festivals pumped $1 million into the district each year.