We have been having increasing questions about Blazing Swan 2022 and COVID-19 and Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT), mandates and all the other COVID-19 jazz that is taking over our lives so I just thought I would clarify some things.
Are we mandated to take RAT’s for Blazing Swan?
As it stands right now in Western Australia, RAT’s are not required by any law or Direction but this may change!! NSW festivals are requiring their staff and volunteers to test every few days – this may or may not be the case in WA by the time Blazing Swan comes around. We would assume if it is made mandatory, it would include anyone who is handling food, working behind the bar, on the door etc.
I’m a theme camp lead. Do I have to purchase RAT’s for my camp?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: It’d be nice if you had some spares in your camp for anyone caught short. In line with Civic Responsibility and Radical Self-Reliance we would love if all theme camps are able to manage their own little community to keep everyone safe. You can always crowd fund it or do some fund raising!
Will everyone be tested at the gate?
We will be asking everyone as a part of their civic responsibility to take a RAT at home prior to coming to site. This is not mandatory, it is a request for people to take ownership of their health and the safety of others.
Gate crew will be checking proof of vaccination, entry tickets and asking some basic COVID-19 symptom questions. If we can see that someone visibly has symptoms, or they report having symptoms, we will ask them to take a test at the gate. This can be done discreetly, quickly, and usually in the privacy of their own car. Businesses have the right to refuse service and must insist that anyone displaying COIVD-19 symptoms leaves the venue.
The only time anyone will be required to take a RAT whilst on the Playa is when they attend the medical tent. This is not to exclude anyone, it is for the safety of our medical team and volunteers and absolutely necessary should the participant need to be transported to a hospital. Hospitals are currently preparing to perform RAT’s on everyone who enters an Emergency Department.
What happens if I test positive?
If you test positive before coming to Blaze, according to current Directions, you need to isolate for a minimum of 7 days (if symptoms last longer, you must isolate until symptoms clear). Unfortunately, this means that if you test positive on the Playa, you will be asked to go home. If you test positive at Blaze and you are subsequently unable to attend, you will be eligible for a refund of your ticket – just send us through the result and we’ll make it happen.
Why do we have to pay for our own tests?
If Directions come into force for volunteers/staff to be tested, Blazing Swan Inc. (BSI) will provide those RAT’s for Blazing Swan volunteers. Unfortunately, it is not feasible for BSI to provide RAT’s for over 4000 people, so it falls on the responsibility of individuals and theme camps to manage their own RAT supply.
I just have a sniffle, I’ll be ok….
Imagine, you just have a sniffle- think it’s hay fever, you’ll be right!…., you go out on the Playa, hug your mates, dance up a storm, share drinking vessels, kiss some Randoms, then a few days later your mates get sick, some of them are really really sick and end up in hospital, they test positive… you finally test yourself.. you’re positive. Was it you who infected all your mates? Do you want to be that person?
You might be the opposite, be conscientious, stay in your camp because you have a sniffle, oh crap, forgot to buy a RAT. Now you’re sitting in your tent (probably with hay fever) whilst your mates rip up the Playa. Doesn’t sound like fun hey? A quick $10 RAT could see you back out there in 15 minutes!
All the other Western Australian festivals are getting cancelled, will Blazing Swan be cancelled too?
The most honest answer is:
Hopefully not but we don’t know.
Blazing Swan works a little bit differently to other events. Most of the festivals that are cancelled have a high number of external contractors, interstate artists, and vendors paying for their spaces. These festivals are cancelling their events due to the massive financial losses they would experience if they have to cancel last minute.
This scenario doesn’t apply to Blazing Swan, so the only reason we would cancel is if the Government Directions change and we are legally not allowed to continue. Blazing Swan is going above and beyond COVID event requirements so hopefully we are safe to continue. Unfortunately we don’t know if or when this would happen, but rest assured, as soon as we know, you will know!
Blazing Swan Incorporated