Psyfari Has Slammed The NSW Government’s “War On Festivals” After It Was Forced Out Of Business

The NSW government won't stop killing festivals.

festival cancellation gladys berejiklian

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This morning, a sad but oddly unsurprising announcement was posted to the Facebook page for Psyfari, a beloved and long-running music festival: Psyfari 2019 is no longer going ahead.

The cancellation of Psyfari is one of a long string of blows to NSW’s festival culture over the last few months, from the scaling back of Mountain Sounds festival due to low ticket sales and government interference, to the cancellation of the much-hyped FestivalX a mere two months before it was due to go ahead.

But, in a rare move, the organisers of Psyfari refused to be coy about the reason for their cancellation. The announcement posted to their Facebook page is a long, sad account of the latest volley in what the organisers are calling “the war on festivals” in NSW.

The organisers claim that the 2019 iteration of the festival should have been a massive success.

“Our biggest line up ever was in the works, we had a venue with incredibly supporting owners on board, and also a backup site,” the announcement reads.

“But these sites are in NSW, where the war on festivals has reached an all time high.”

It's with great sadness we announce the cancellation of Psyfari 2019.While we had full intention of going ahead with…

Posted by PSYFARI on Wednesday, 6 February 2019

According to the announcement, the state government is obsessed with “shutting down entertainment districts and enthusiastically enforcing noise complaints.” As a result, festivals have to be held in remote locations, lest they enrage homeowners and face frequent police visits.

But that’s not really a solution either, with “the same authorities” complaining that rural settings are “too remote.”

This attack on festival culture in NSW is not new — the Psyfari organisers claim that this is a fight that they’ve been engaged in for many years, mostly behind closed doors. But it’s been ramped up over the last few months by politicians who, despite having “never attended such an event” are still determined to wipe “these events out in order to make a political point.”

According to the people behind Psyfari, the state government are foisting unnecessary and excessive costs onto festivals, making events organisers “the new scapegoat of a failed government and their failed war on drugs.” The choice for festival organisers is either to raise ticket prices, or to fold. The folks at Psyfari have gone with the latter.