MILDURA Base Public Hospital’s (MBPH) planned Back to Base festival has been postponed until December 3, 2022 because of the current COVID-19 situation.

MBPH CEO Terry Welch said after much consultation with key stakeholders, the decision was made to move the festival to later in the year to protect the community against any major outbreaks of COVID-19.

“In everything we do, we always consider the impact it will have on our staff, their families and the broader Northern Mallee community,” Mr Welch said.

Back to Base was scheduled to take place on March 11 and 12 over the long weekend, but with the hospital currently operating under a Code Brown, it was considered to be in the best interest of the community to move the date.

Mr Welch said people who had already purchased tickets would be offered a full refund or have the opportunity to carry the ticket over to the new date of December 3, which he hoped people would take up.

He said while it was disappointing to have to change the date, he hoped people would understand the reasoning behind it.

“We need to understand we are still in the midst of a pandemic and we have to react as the situation changes,” Mr Welch.

“The hospital is currently in Code Brown and that will stay in place until at least the end of the month.

“We just thought it was the responsible thing to do to postpone the event until later in the year given we are still operating as a hospital under very strict guidelines.”

Mr Welch said he would like to thank the management of Jessica Mauboy, PICTURED, and Busy Marou for their support and understanding of the decision to postpone the event.

“We have been working very closely with the promoter of Back to Base and the management of the two acts and they have been wonderful in their response,” said Mr Welch.

“Both Jessica Mauboy and Busby Marou have expressed their excitement at playing in December and we can’t wait to put on what will be a fantastic event leading into Christmas for the whole community.”