News February 19, 2019

NSW festival promoters send another plea to premier after crisis meeting

NSW festival promoters send another plea to premier after crisis meeting

As the time bomb clicked louder, a crisis meeting was called at Sydney parliament yesterday of promoters and other live music reps.

The meeting was organised by NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann and independent member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich.

Among those represented were from the cancelled Psyfari and Mountain Sounds.

Ironically, during the meeting, news came through that Tropical Fruits, the LGBTIQ New Years Eve party in Lismore, looked a possibility of closing.

Yesterday TMN revealed that Berry’s Fairgrounds festival was looking at closing down or relocating out of the state.

Faehrmann said after the meeting, “What we heard from festival organisers today is that these changes have been rushed with no consultation and they will absolutely decimate their industry.

“This is about regulating industries until they collapse…

“Festival organisers are pleading with Gladys Berejiklian to have some heart and compassion and delay the licensing regime.”

Psyfari’s Steve Demian said the meeting was “a chance for our voices to be heard and added to the many voices calling for the licensing scheme to be scrapped, and a more thoughtful approach be taken in creating event rules and guidelines.”

The following statement was agreed to by consensus by those who attended the meeting:

“As a direct result of the NSW Government’s rushed new music festival licensing regime, scheduled to come into effect on 1 March 2019, numerous music festivals in NSW are being forced to close or look at options outside NSW.

“There has been no public consultation and no genuine engagement with industry on the proposed changes.

“There is widespread confusion about the details and impact of the new regime.

“We, the undersigned festival organisers, music industry leaders and members of parliament, call on the NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian to halt plans to bring in a new festival licensing regime on 1 March 2019.

“Further, we request the government to ‘go back to the drawing board’ and undertake thorough consultation with the music industry before developing any new regulation.

“This should also be informed by the findings of the coronial inquest into deaths associated with festivals which is scheduled for June 2019.

“We also affirm our support for the Don’t Kill Live Music Petition, which has been signed by over 100,000 people, which calls on the NSW Government to:

1. Stop killing live music in NSW

2. Form a music regulation roundtable to review all regulation impacting live music

3. Immediately undertake a Regulatory Impact Statement for any regulation impacting music festivals

4. Develop an industry standard with full transparency for user-pays policing and medical services

5. Work with the music industry to develop robust, effective and achievable safety protocols for festivals


Cate Faehrmann – Greens MP and spokesperson on Arts and Creative Industries

Alex Greenwich – Independent MP for Sydney

Brett O’Meara – Dance Beats International

Caitlin Stafford – Dragon Dreaming Festival

Sarah Thomson – Dragon Dreaming Festival

Damien Gelle – Electric Gardens Festival

Stevo Damien – Psyfari

David Wrobel – Colbrow Medics

Simon Beckingham – Lost Paradise/Finely Tuned

Greg Jakes – Tropical Fruits

Nathaniel Holmes – FOMO

Margi Boman – Electric Gardens Festival

Adelle Robinson – Australian Festivals Association

Emily Collins – Music NSW

Paul Stickings – Output Festival

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