Just days before it was due to open this Friday, Perth Festival has had to postpone and reschedule its opening events due to a COVID-19 lockdown.

Tim Minchin’s sold out concerts with WASO  are among the Perth Festival events to be postponed. Photograph © Damian Bennett

Last year, Perth Festival was one of the last Australian arts events to go ahead unaffected by the pandemic, with its closing act – the Highway to Helltribute to Bon Scott – held the day after the country’s first coronavirus death.

But on Sunday, after nearly 10 months with no cases of community transmission in the state, Premier Mark McGowan introduced a five-day lockdown, after news that a security guard at one of the city’s quarantine hotels had contracted COVID-19.

The lockdown, which involves the shuttering of all theatres, galleries and museums, is scheduled to end at 6pm on Friday 5 February – the opening night of the Perth Festival. So far no new local cases have emerged. The festival will be hoping against hope that there is no further community transmission so that the program can...