News February 13, 2019

Don’t Kill Live Music rally to protest NSW’s new festival rules

Don’t Kill Live Music rally to protest NSW’s new festival rules

The Australian music industry is holding a mass protest in Sydney next Thursday over the introduction of restrictive new festival rules.

The Don’t Kill Live Music rally is at Hyde Park on Thursday, February 21 from 6pm to 8pm.

In an ironic twist, it marks the 9th anniversary of the February 23 game-changing SLAM rally in Melbourne when 22,000 marched down the city’s streets protesting the tough rules that were closing music venues.

Close to an initial 500 artists and organisations signed an open letter to “music and culture lovers of Australia”.

Artists included Birds of Tokyo, Courtney Barnett, Amy Shark, Bernard Fanning. The Cat Empire, Dan Sultan, Peking Duk, REMI, Illy, Hermitude, Henry Rollins, Dune Rats, RUFUS DU SOUL and DZ Deathrays.

Among the huge list of organisations and music businesses also signatories to the letter are every major festival, Live Nation, Frontier Touring, Chugg Entertainment Association of Artist Managers, BIGSOUND, Fair Go 4 Live Music, moshtix, Harbour Agency, Select Music, Eventbrite Australia, Dew Process, Electronic Music Conference, Secret Sounds, Oxford Art Factory and Future Classic.

The letter stated: “Dear music lovers, your music is under attack.

“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 state government (has) declared a war on music and culture in NSW, proclaiming that music, and music festivals are high-risk activities.

“Music is being killed off by premier Berejiklian and the LNP.

“Festivals are being forced to cancel or move interstate.

“The NSW state government is vilifying live music with knee-jerk regulation.

“Instead of consulting with festival experts, the NSW government imposed punitive regulation that specifically targets music festivals, and music fans.

“Festivals are being used as a scapegoat for years of failed drug and alcohol policy.

“We want our music culture to be safe and inclusive.

“Onerous and ill-considered regulation will not save lives.

“And the state government is decimating our music culture in the process.”

Don’t Kill Live Music has a list of demands for the state government including a regulation roundtable, the development of an industry standard with full transparency for user-pays policing and to undertake a Regulatory Impact Statement for any regulation impacting music festivals.

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