Gladys Berejiklian Has Given An Incredibly Shitty Response To Mountain Sounds’ Cancellation
"I don't think it's fair for organisers to blame anybody but themselves."
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has responded to the last minute cancellation of Mountain Sounds Festival in her typical sympathetic manner: by accusing organisers of neglecting the safety of patrons in their quest to make a “quick dollar”.
The team behind the festival on the Central Coast hit out at Berejiklian and the NSW Liberal party over the weekend, accusing them of imposing exorbitant new costs and conditions, including “$200,000 for 45 user pay police”, just one week before the festival was scheduled to take place.
“The Liberal party’s war on festivals in NSW is real and it’s robbing you of your freedom and culture,” the organisers wrote on Facebook. “Who would’ve known that lock-out laws were just the beginning of the death of live entertainment in NSW.”
But Berejiklian told reporters on Monday that the blame lay with the organisers.
“I don’t think it’s fair for organisers to blame anybody but themselves,” she said. “There are rules in place. We want young people to have fun, we want more tourism to the Central Coast and other places. 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 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,” she added.
Berejiklian’s comments come after NSW Police claimed the information initially provided to them by Mountain Sounds “did not accurately reflect the number of expected attendees and revealed numerous breaches”, and that “event organisers decided to cancel the festival based on financial reasons associated with the event”.
In response to these claims, the Mountain Sounds team told Junkee that the event was never in doubt until they were told on February 7 that they would need to foot the bill for extra security, adding that they felt “blindsided” by the sudden additional costs.
“Our event was never in doubt to go ahead due to financial issues,” they wrote. “On the January 31 stakeholders meeting, it was discussed that the event budget was still yet to be signed off on and yes, that IF we could not meet financial obligations, that it would not proceed — which is both true and responsible business practice.
“Since that meeting ticket sales increased as expected. It wasn’t until the morning of our final stakeholders meeting seven days out when the police first imposed a $200,000 police bill. MS site crew were physically on the festival site building and bumping in equipment to set up the event — which further debunks this idea that the festival might not go ahead due to financial reasons.”
“It was the police’s imposition of a new $200,000 police bill seven days out from the event [that forced the cancellation],” the statement continued. “Plus the Police had eluded that they would not grant us permission to hold the event until the day before, which would have been too big of a risk for MS and the patrons if they were to say no.”