Bluesfest director Peter Noble has slammed the NSW Government’s new music festival policy, stating the event may be forced to relocate in future years as a result.
In an open letter, Noble said the NSW festival industry is in “peril” due to the “poorly thought through new policy” which he claims has labelled Bluesfest as a 'high risk event’ and will cost them “hundreds of thousands of dollars”.
Noble’s comments come days after NSW event Mountain Sounds Festival was forced to cancel, alleging they had been “blindsided” by the NSW Government with conditions they deemed impossible to meet, while PSYFARI was called off last week.
The new policy is in response to two deaths at Defqon.1 in Sydney in September of last year.
“I charge the government with a systemic failure in fairness here, and implore all politicians from all parties to quickly become involved with what is a serious injustice,” Noble said.
“We, like most events in this state, supply a significant level of culture. We don't receive a cent from government, even though we cause thousands of people to be employed and bring tens of millions of dollars into NSW through tourism.
“I ask the Premier, Minister for Tourism and Major Events and EVERY sitting politician, why do you seem to be hell bent on destroying our industry?
“We provide culture to the people of this state and Australia through our good works.
“Most festivals haven't had drug deaths and contribute greatly to our society through presenting well run, professional, world class events. Why have we been given zero recognition in this governments actions?
“It seems the new policies are poorly thought out and through their implementation will decimate our industry.
“Should our government not see good sense, then I am saying now Bluesfest will leave NSW… we have no choice... it's a matter of survival.”
Peking Duk have also spoken out against the new policy, stating “the NSW Government has well and truly crossed the line”.
In response to the cancellation of Mountain Sounds Festival, the Aussie dance duo issued a statement via Instagram.
“Gladys get your head out of the sand, your policies and viewpoints need a reality check,” they said.
“We don’t force roads to close because of road fatalities, we don’t ban alcohol due to (much higher) deaths from alcohol, we don’t shut down casino’s because of the trauma and grief they cause to the addicted.
“So why are you targeting music festivals like this? Why are you targeting the events that give so much back to the community?
“If music, creativity, culture, economy and enjoyment of life itself is important to you, then please in 2 weeks from now DO NOT vote Liberal. They started with killing our venues and now they are setting fire to our festivals.”
Bluesfest is scheduled to return to Byron Bay from April 18 – 22.