NSW Health officials are worried a hugely popular Bluesfest featuring Jimmy Barnes and Pete Murray could be a COVID-19 powder keg, with host region Byron Bay in the midst of an outbreak.

The picturesque coastal town in northern NSW is on high alert with a new set of venues visited by a man infected with COVID-19.

The infected man, aged in his 20s, attended the Byron Beach Hotel where positive cases from Queensland were recorded.

He sat close to the Queensland travellers who were infectious at the time, but his three friends have returned negative results.

The Byron Bay outbreak has Health Minister Brad Hazzard hot under the collar, with Bluesfest set to begin at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm on Thursday.

Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes is set to perform at Bluesfest. Picture: News Corp
Australian rock legend Jimmy Barnes is set to perform at Bluesfest. Picture: News Corp

The internationally acclaimed blues and roots music festival typically hosts between 6000 and 15,000 people a day, and Mr Hazzard is worried it could become a COVID-19 superspreader event.

The festival was cancelled last year due to COVID-19.

"There is one major festival that if it was to occur, the Blues Jazz Festival commencing tomorrow," Mr Hazzard said on Wednesday.

"There is a high level of concern from our public health officials that, with these new cases that have come from Queensland and then the newest case that we have heard about just overnight, that we all need to be on high alert."

Mr Hazzard said he had been in contact with the organiser of Bluesfest, which was aiming to stage the 32nd edition of the festival from Thursday to Monday.

"What I would say is that if it were absolutely safe, then we wouldn't be making this comment," Mr Hazzard said.

"At this stage the government has concerns, I have concerns as Health Minister that having … up to 15,000 on any one day could be a challenge if some of these people may have got the virus from this infectious group that came from Queensland."

People from the Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan, and Redlands areas are banned from attending Thursday's first day given they are subject to Brisbane's three-day lockdown.

The line-up for this year's edition includes rocker Barnes, acoustic artist Murray as well as Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley and the Teskey Brothers.

Originally published as 'High-level concern' for Byron festival

Kate Ceberano and Pete Murray are also on the bill. Picture: News Corp
Kate Ceberano and Pete Murray are also on the bill. Picture: News Corp

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