Iconic Australian band Human Nature has postponed their Warrnambool concerts for the second time this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic but the Lighthouse Theatre says the future of the facility is looking rosy.
It is the second big name act to have to postpone Warrnambool concerts over the past week but Lighthouse Theatre service manager Xavier Dannock said a strong line-up of acts was headed for the city during the second half of the year.
The Sydney-based band has been touring Australia since returning from Las Vegas but the merry-go-round of lockdowns throughout the country has hampered efforts to bring the Human Nature show across state borders.
The new shows have been rescheduled for Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7.
The shows were originally scheduled for June 15 and 16, but they had to be rescheduled to August 10 and 11 when Victoria was last plunged into a lockdown due to an outbreak of coronavirus.
But with those shows only two weeks away and the Lighthouse Theatre unlikely to be back to full capacity by then, the shows have been postponed until next year.
"To all our fans in Warrnambool - it is with heavy hearts that the upcoming shows at Lighthouse Theatre cannot occur right now due to the rapidly changing COVID situation," the band said.
Mr Dannock said rebooking major acts was the challenge of COVID.
"They're obviously based in Sydney at the moment, so coming on tour would be a bit challenging for them," he said.
"But also, their tour was also set to cross state borders and with so many closed to each other with the need for quarantining they just couldn't make the schedule work very well."
Mr Dannock said that when they were allowed to reopen after this current lockdown, it would probably be with slowly increasing capacity.
"We would need to be at 100 per cent capacity to do their shows per what was sold," he said.
He said the shows were pretty close to being sold out.
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"They originally went on sale at 75 per cent but then we opened up more to 100 per cent because that was what the rules were at the time," he said.
With ticket sales now above 75 per cent, they now had to wait for the venue to be able to host crowds at 100 per cent capacity again, he said.
Last week, Paul Kelly's sellout concerts which were originally scheduled to go ahead this week had to be postponed to September 16 and 17. Tickets to his concerts had sold out in record time.
Mr Dannock said there were a lot more acts touring, partly because they couldn't tour internationally but also because they couldn't perform in big venues like they might have traditionally done.
"There's a lot of acts, having had a year off, are keen to get back on the road," he said.
Mr Dannock said the year ahead for the Lighthouse Theatre - which has been closed under the state's five lockdowns - was looking bright.
"We're still looking at a very strong second half of 2021 despite some of the postponements we've had or cancellations," Mr Dannock said.
"Certainly looking into 2022, that's going to be a busy and strong year for us as well with all the shows that are postponing but all the things that are in the calendar planned to happen.
"It's going to be a great year too."
The Lighthouse Theatre's income was slashed last year from $1.33 million to just $160,188 for the April to December period because of the pandemic.
Mr Dannock said he was just happy as venue manager of the facility to tick one major event off with the Bluey shows going ahead last month.
"That had been postponed at the end of last year. It was really good we could do nearly 2500 tickets to that during the three days they were here," he said.
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