Splendour In The Grass promoter Jessica Ducrou has told a Regulation Committee hearing, looking nto NSW’s controversial festival license changes, that the current climate would prevent her from hosting another event in the state.
Ducrou, as well as Live Performance Australia's Evelyn Richardson, Fuzzy Managing Director Adelle Robinson, Australian Festival Association's Julia Robinson and Live Music Office's John Wardle appeared at the hearing in Sydney today urging for the regulations to be repealed.
"At this point, New South Wales would be the last place that I would want to start a festival based on the current climate," Ducrou said.
As well as calling for consultation in the form of a round table with the government regarding festival regulation changes, Ducrou and Robinson agreed the liquor act "attaching itself with health guidelines is incorrect".
"Prior to the proposed legislation, we engaged in an independent liquor consultant to operate our bars. The bars are one part of probably 20 to 30 different areas that we need to manage for the festival," Ducrou said.
"Under the new legislation, they've shifted that responsibility onto the promoter. The way I interpret it is a crude tool to control the future of a festival because you cannot operate a festival without a liquor licence."
Meanwhile, Robinson told the committee that industry members were only given five days notice about the changes before they were introduced on 1 March without any consultation.
"We believe through some of our members that they were notified by email but we do understand that one person did get notified via text message and one festival didn't receive a notification in the way that they potentially should have and they found out via media," Robinson said.
"This did feel very cloak and dagger."
Richardson added, "We tried very hard to engage with government... we suggested a round table.
"We met with a group of cross government representatives probably three days out [from the regulation changes] and it was made very clear that this process was going ahead..."
The committee is expected to respond to the hearing in five days.