HUNDREDS of musicians, festival promoters and entertainment industry figures have banded together to take on the NSW Government over what it calls its “war on music”.
They’ve launched a petition calling on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to re-think her position after recently coming down heavily on festivals in the state, following a spate of drug related deaths.
Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday festivals which have had deaths or serious injuries in the past will be deemed ‘high risk’ and will have to improve safety standards which will see them subject to a strict new licensing system.
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NSW Police, NSW Health and Liquor & Gaming NSW will now work together to oversee festival preparations.
The new laws appear to have claimed their first victim last week with Mountain Sounds Festival cancelling the event at the last minute.
They say they were left with no choice because they were slapped with a $200,000 policing bill just days out from the event.
However, the Premier claims it was because the festival didn’t sell as many tickets as they had hoped to.
It sparked an overwhelming response from the NSW music industry and its connections, who claim the Premier is waging a war against music and culture.
“Overbearing regulation, exorbitant police bills, a lack of respect for NSW businesses, and very little recognition of the significant positive impacts of music on our communities is forcing music out of NSW,” the open letter reads on the change.org petition.
“The state government has declared a war on music and culture in NSW, proclaiming that music and music festivals are high-risk activities.”
Organisers are planning a rally in Sydney’s Hyde Park on February 21.
More than 11,000 people had already signed the petition at the time of writing, including dozens of festivals like Download, Defqon.1, Psyfari, Groovin The Moo, Yours and Owls, Days Like This, Falls, Lost Paradise and Splendour in the Grass as well as a number of well known artists.