Music lovers in NSW are being called upon to help save the state’s festival scene as the government’s “war on music and culture” intensifies.
A number of prominent festivals, artists and other music industry representatives - including Listen Out, Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass, Peking Duk, Flight Facilities, Live Nation Australia, Courtney Barnett, Download, The Presets and the recently-cancelled Mountain Sounds festival - have signed a petition against a new festival license from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her government that would have dire outcomes for live events around the state.
The petition from Don’t Kill Live Music describes the State Government’s new regulations, which have already seen the cancelation of Mountain Sounds and PSYFARI earlier this month, as “onerous and ill-considered”, with a supporting rally taking place at Hyde Park in Sydney on February 21 from 6pm – 8pm.
Don’t Kill Live Music is demanding the NSW State Government:
- Stops killing live music in NSW.
- Forms a music regulation roundtable to review all regulation impacting live music.
- Immediately undertakes a Regulatory Impact Statement for any regulation impacting music festivals.
- Develops an industry standard with full transparency for user-pays policing and medical services.
- Works with the music industry to develop robust, effective and achievable safety protocols for festivals.
It comes after Keep Sydney Open Party also launched their own festival policy against the state government, including plans to repeal the license regulations, initiate a music festival regulations roundtable, amend drug penalties, scrap the sniffer dog program and more.
“We completely reject Premier Berejiklian’s festivals policy and call on her to scrap it,” Keep Sydney Open Party’s Tyson Koh said.
“It was devised by an unqualified panel with little experience in organising large-scale events.
“This is the lockout laws all over again, but worse.
“Festivals are a $1.8b industry and this crackdown will affect the livelihoods of thousands of people, especially in regional areas of NSW.”
Meanwhile, a group of music fans have organised their own “picnic protest” on the Central Coast this Saturday afternoon.
“Join us for a peaceful picnic supporting the NSW music community during this scary time,” organisers said.
“Come hang out, bring signs and smiles, and let's send a positive message to the government that we won't sit by and lose our sounds.”
Yesterday, the recently-founded Australian Festival Association slammed the new license as “rushed” and “without consideration”, while Bluesfest director Peter Noble said the Byron Bay event may be forced to relocate as Peking Duk, Northlane and others speak out.