An already under-pressure live events sector is grappling with the shift to the red light system – and a festival has already announced it will not go ahead.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at 11am this morning the country would move to the red light setting at 11.59pm tonight due to confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in the community.
The Others Way festival was set to take over Karangahape Rd next weekend, with over 50 acts including Don McGlashan, Troy Kingi, Lawrence Arabia and Julia Deans of Fur Patrol.
It is another blow for the organisers who had to cancel the festival in 2020 as well.
A spokesperson confirmed to the Herald the event is cancelled in the wake of today's announcement, and ticketholders will be contacted with details about refunds.
"Kia ora – it is with deep disappointment that The Other's Way won't be able to go ahead as planned next Saturday, January 29, under the red light setting.
"We will be in touch with more info in the next 48 hours, thank you for all your support," a post from Flying Out on Facebook read.
Under the red light setting, events are restricted to limits of 100 people for vaccine pass holders, including hospitality, gyms, weddings and tangihanga. Without passes, hospitality services must remain contactless and the aforementioned gatherings are limited to 25 people.
New Zealand musicians took to Twitter to express their frustrations about the further uncertainty for the arts' sector.
Hollie Smith summed up the mood with "what's the collective noun of depression?"
"I did my first gig band back yesterday since March. Good while it lasted," she wrote.
"4th scheduled release tour now again postponed. I'm f***** done."
The artist Paige echoed Smith's feelings, writing "Picked the worst time to be an artist.
"Feeling so heartbroken for all the artists in NZ right now. Having all this back and [forth] feeling like we can't play and then getting false hope for a bit then having stuff cancelled again.
"It's a complete mind f***."
Some artists were lucky enough to play major shows this summer.
L.A.B. played a show at Western Springs' The Outer Fields this weekend, and The Beths played their five-night residency at Whammy Bar.
Popular New Years' Festivals Rhythm and Vines and Northern Bass were unable to go ahead as planned.