Just days after the beloved Mountain Sounds festival was cancelled as part of New South Wales’ “war on festivals”, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has offered her first public response.
On Saturday, the Aussie music scene was devastated to learn that Mountain Sounds had been officially cancelled.
In a statement, organisers revealed that while their preparation had been consistent with the previous year’s operation, they noted that the “authorities seemed adamant to penalise us on technicalities and clerical errors.”
This of course doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, with the NSW Government seeming to take on the role of Festival Fun Police at every turn.
While underage patrons were not allowed at the inaugural Sydney leg of Good Things Festival, boutique festival Bohemian Beatfreaks was hit with a $200,000 fee to have up to 70 officers on-site over three days – a $184,000 increase on previous years.
This of course doesn’t even begin to touch on the ongoing controversy that the topic of pill-testing has brought with itself in recent months.
Despite some artists hitting out at the NSW Government (such as Peking Duk who said that the state government have “well and truly crossed the line”), Premier Gladys Berejiklian had remained silent on the matter. Now, she has offered her first thoughts while speaking to reporters yesterday.
“I don’t think it’s fair for organisers to blame anybody but themselves,” Berejiklian said. “There are rules in place.”
“We want young people to have fun, we want more tourism to the Central Coast and other places. We want to encourage people to have fun at these festivals, but the festival organisers just have to obey the law. It’s not just about making a quick dollar, it’s also about keeping the people who turn up to be safe.”
Check out Gladys Berejiklian’s comments on Mountain Sounds’ cancellation:
“That’s a responsibility we have,” Berejiklian continued. “We want these festivals to grow in number, I want people to enjoy them, but to enjoy them safely.”
“That’s why we’ve said to the organisers as other states do, there are rules in place now for you to obey to make sure everybody who turns up is safe.”
“If you can’t spend money making your event safer, well that’s a decision for you, but it’s not fair to blame the government.”
Gladys Berejiklian’s comments also come as the Australian Festivals Association have weighed in on the NSW festivals licensing regime, which they concede was “too rushed and done without enough consultation.”
As Peking Duk stated in the recent Facebook post, New South Wales is set to go to the polls on March 23rd, with many music-lovers hoping that there might be more of a positive change to the festival scene on the way.