These Music Festivals Are Taking The Berejiklian Government To Court
A coalition of music festival operators and promoters will take the New South Wales government to court over its murky new licensing rules.
The organisers of Lost Paradise and Days Like This are among those who have engaged lawyers over the government’s recently released list of “higher risk” festivals. The 14 festival included on the list, which include both Lost Paradise and Days Like This, will be subject to the controversial licensing scheme, which is scheduled to come into effect today.
Other companies involved in the collective legal action include Division Agency, Novel and Finely Tuned, with more expected to follow.
In a statement, the group called the decision to classify their festivals as higher risk “misguided and unwarranted”, and said there had been “zero transparency or justification” around the designation process.
“It is a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction from the State that has caused severe damage to the festivals, our hard-working staff, and the hundreds of thousands of responsible attendees.”
Spokesperson Jason Ayoubi from Days Like This said he was “perplexed and astounded” to see his festival on the list of higher risk events.
“There was a real opportunity here for the NSW Government to consult with an industry that generates over $1.8b a year in revenue to come up with ways we could potentially improve safety at festivals,” he said. “Instead they have chosen to vilify 14 individual festivals without any discussion.”
The announcement comes after Laneway founder Danny Rogers said he too was considering taking legal action over his festival’s categorisation.
“It’s preposterous that Laneway is categorised as high risk,” Rogers said on Tuesday. “It has the potential to cause untold brand and reputational damage and the festival is considering its legal position in relation to this.”
A spokesperson for the government said it would be “inappropriate to comment on any impending legal proceedings” but defended the new licencing scheme.
“Most operators, including operators of higher risk festivals, are committed to safety and work hard to do the right thing,” the spokesperson said. “Now they will have access to more expert advice and support to help them run safer events.”