Music

Mountain Sounds Cancelled One Week Out As Organisers Slam NSW Government’s “War On Festivals”

"The Liberal party’s war on festivals in NSW is real and it’s robbing you of your freedom and culture."

Mountain Sounds Festival cancelled

Mountain Sounds Festival has been cancelled just one week out, with organisers citing last minute conditions imposed on them by the NSW government, who they accused of “fear-mongering, bullying and oppressing the youth”.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page this morning, organisers said they had already downsized the festival on the Central Coast “to ensure we met newly imposed safety, licensing and security costs”, but that additional conditions imposed just seven days out “were impossible to meet”.

“In 2018, Mountain Sounds ran smoothly, with an attendance of 16,000 people over two days, 11 user pay police and no major drug-related incidents,” the statement reads. “In 2019, despite our continued proactive harm minimisation measures (and having less attendees than the year before), we were told we would have to pay an additional upfront amount of approximately $200,000 for 45 user pay police on a 24 hour cycle. This came one week out from the festival and blindsided us as we were quoted for 11 user pay police on the 18th of January.”

“Our friends in the music industry will understand on a personal level how soul-destroying this is,” the statement continues. “For music lovers around the country, we know this will deeply resonate with you too. This impacts each and every one of you. NSW residents, please keep this at the forefront of your mind as the next election nears in 6 weeks’ time.”

“The Liberal party’s war on festivals in NSW is real and it’s robbing you of your freedom and culture. Who would’ve known that lock-out laws were just the beginning of the death of live entertainment in NSW. This has now spread to larger-scale and multi-day regional events and it’s only getting worse.”

“When will our government learn that fear-mongering, bullying and oppressing the youth has never and will never work. It is truly shocking to see time and time again how out of touch they are with the arts community.”

The news of Mountain Sounds’ demise comes just days after the organisers of Psyfari confirmed they too had been forced to cancel their 2019 event due to exorbitant costs and conditions foisted upon them by the NSW government.

“We are unfortunate to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when festivals are the new scapegoat of a failed government and their failed war on drugs,” said the Psyfari team in a statement on Thursday.

The future of Mountain Sounds Festival beyond 2019 is currently unclear, although organisers have pledged to “find a way to continue our passion and commitment in bringing music and arts to the coast”. Ticketholders will be contacted in the coming days.

The NSW government continues to oppose pill-testing at music festivals, despite it having the backing of festival organisers, medical professionals and a majority of voters.

Read the full statement from the Mountain Sounds team, below.