AUSTRALIA (CelebrityAccess) Michael Coppel, head of Live Nation for Australia, is warning that festivals and even concerts at wineries could abandon New South Wales because of the recent impositions put upon them by the government.
Coppel, who runs festivals like Splendour In The Grass” called the state government’s new “hit list” on festivals “inconsistent and completely untenable” and said the government’s regulations are a “knee-jerk reaction to the state election.”
The government recently released a list of 14 festivals that it considers high risk based on drug deaths and illnesses. The music industry learned of the new regulations put upon festivals like Laneway and Lost Paradise via a text message late last Friday night, according to the Canberra Times.
The new regulations could classify concerts at wineries as festivals, according to Coppel.
“Some will ask ‘why should we bother’ and there is no doubt there is a potential for a decline and some events will just move elsewhere,” he said, according to the Times, adding that the government was making festivals a “scapegoat for societal problems.”
“I resent the implications the government is making by suggesting that festivals operate to sell drugs,” Coppel said. “These regulations have been completely shambolic and in the absence of any detail, appear to be a knee-jerk reaction to the NSW election.”
The regulations start March 1.
“In the past 14 years in Sydney we’ve only had two transports from the festival with over 300,000 people attending the event [in that time],” Laneway festival organizer Danny Rogers told the ABC this week. “When you put it into context it seems kind of strange and baffling.”
NSW Labor spokesman for music John Graham said the state government had opened a “second front in its war on music.”