Safety first at festival time like no other

Insights from producers at Sydney Festival and Mona Foma reflect the fortitude required to stage works during Omicron.
a live theatre show on stage with four performers inside a boxed set.

The past two years have been the toughest the performing arts sector has faced. The pandemic has closed countless shows and left many without work for months at a time.

Now, as artists and companies get back on the job, Omicron’s spread is putting extra layers of responsibility on all involved.

Fenn Gordon is Executive Producer for independent producing company Tandem, and is currently producing two shows at Carriageworks for Sydney Festival. After enduring multiple COVID cancellations of one of those works – Set Piece by Anna Breckon and Nat Randall was cancelled twice in 2021 – Gordon says she feels very lucky to have delivered it at Sydney Festival, albeit in extreme conditions.

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ArtsHub's Arts Feature Writer Jo Pickup is based in Perth. An arts writer and manager, she has worked as a journalist and broadcaster for media such as the ABC, RTRFM and The West Australian newspaper, contributing media content and commentary on art, culture and design. She has also worked for arts organisations such as Fremantle Arts Centre, STRUT dance, and the Aboriginal Arts Centre Hub of WA, as well as being a sessional arts lecturer at The Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).