The Lunar Electric music festival scheduled in Newcastle this Saturday has been cancelled amid skyrocketing COVID cases in the Hunter.

NSW Health issued a public health order late on Thursday afternoon, instructing organisers not to proceed with the event.

The festival faced strong backlash from the community, although organisers stated on Wednesday, they intended to go forward irrespective of the health situation.

Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp requested the Health Minister conduct a full risk assessment of the event ahead of the Ministry’s decision on Thursday. 

He says it’s a sensible, if last minute move.

“The Government is moving very slowly, I think it’s a very Sydney-centric government and they just don’t quite realise how bad it is in Newcastle and the Hunter,” Mr Crakanthorp said.

“People are really hurting, and unfortunately the risk the festival posed, to be another superspreader, was just far too great.”

Ticket holders will be receiving a refund, despite organisers initially refusing requests from attendees who changed their minds before the event was cancelled. 

The event won’t be rescheduled. 

Mr Crakanthorp says it’s no time to play with fire, a week out from Christmas.

“In the current situation, I just don’t see how in good conscience the festival could have gone ahead,” Mr Crakanthorp said.

“This outbreak has had a devastating effect on households and local businesses, and we just can’t afford to have more people go into isolation or compromise others’ health and safety.”