Festivals in NSW are at risk of folding, and those able to weather the current legislative storm would look to take their business elsewhere if government doesn’t make meaningful commitments to consult with industry.

Those are the bleak warnings from the live music sector after a long-overdue meeting with Hon. Victor Dominello Minister for Customer Service failed to find a breakthrough the industry had hoped for.

Just last week, a roll-call of industry organisations issued a stern open letter to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, calling on her government to convene an immediate round of talks and for a rethink of the Music Festivals Bill 2019, a piece of legislation slammed as “unworkable” in its current form.

The softly-softly approach isn’t working. “Without serious consultation with our industry this proposed legislation will not work and we do not support it,” wrote the five peak bodies.

Their message was heard, with Minister Dominello meeting with reps for the live sector earlier this week.

However, government committed to further consultation only after passage of the contentious bill, with no industry input. And despite repeated calls for consultation with an industry roundtable since February of this year, government still won’t budge.

Live advocates are “stunned,” reads a message from Live Performance Australia published Tuesday (Oct. 22).