Another day another story (two actually) of tougher government regulations putting the lean on events in New South Wales and forcing them to make some pretty un-fun decisions.
Up north super fun festival Mountain Sounds released a dramatic statement that they have had to cut stages and artists from the overall programming to accomodate ‘increased pressure around safety, licensing and security’ which is a major bummer just two weeks out. Check out the full statement below provided to Triple J.
“We have recently had to look at measures across the board to continue moving forward with the event, whilst still maintaining the highest safety standards and ensuring the quality of the festival experience for patrons and artists aren’t compromised. However, due to current increased pressure around safety, licensing and security we have had to modify our site, staging and infrastructure so the event can go ahead.”
The result? A bunch of locals getting the boot including Triple J favourites Stella Donnelly and Moaning Lisa as well as electronic duo Kayex BUT heavy hitters such as What So Not, Slumberjack, Human Movement, Riton and more will still be doing their thing with organisers promising to return bigger and better for next years edition;
“We know that these changes, though unfortunate will help us to continue running Mountain Sounds in the future and, in turn, continue supporting live music in the region for many years to come.”
Bush doof Rabbits Eat Lettuce which has run successfully for 10+ years in and around New South Wales including their thought to be long-standing home inland from Byron Bay has taken a radical turn with organisers announcing they’ve jumped interstate to Queensland due to you guessed it…
REASON FOR THE MOVE: The NSW Police have recently lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court to argue the decision by Land & Environment Court to rule in our favour last year. REL is in a fragile financial position after forking out $100,000 to fight last year’s action by NSW Police and we don’t currently have the time or finances for another court battle. The outcome of this impending court case is unknown and if NSW Police succeeds it would be impossible to conduct our event at the Kippenduff venue. The current political state of play in NSW is not conducive to the festival industry and we feel that to ensure we can provide the best event and experience possible moving to QLD for at least the time being is the best decision for all involved.
For those not in the loop, NSW Police increased their policing fee of around $16,000 in 2017 to well over $200,000 for their sister event Bohemian Beatfreaks last year even after approval from local council and the Environmental Department. The organisers behind both the events went to court and actually won but the NSW Police have lodged an appeal and the process could be pretty tricky and more importantly costly for a relatively small event that has never had any major issues in it’s history.
All in all pretty sad state of affairs for events with even more regulations being slapped on them after the tragic deaths over the summer period as well as a hit on cruises in Sydney Harbour over noise complaints from residents in surrounding areas.
What can you do? Be aware of policies of your state government has in relation to live music, venues and nightlife this state election.