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Australia's Psyfari Festival Closes Citing Government Interference

Australia’s Psyfari Festival Closes Citing Government Interference

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AUSTRALIA (CelebrityAccess) Organizers of Psyfari, considered one of Australia’s largest rural and arts festivals, have decided to not move forward with the 10th event, citing a change in the political climate and increased regulations.

In a lengthy Facebook post, organizers decided to cancel the 5,000-capacity event because of the political climate surrounding festivals.

“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,” organizers said. “The fight is usually with those who have never attended such an event and truly don’t understand what it’s all about, yet they’ve shown no mercy in wiping these events in order to make a political point.”

They blamed excessive rules, bans on Bring Your Own alcohol, a heavy police presences and general lack of freedom.

“While drug-related deaths at festivals are a very serious matter, they really do make up the tip of the iceberg,’ they wrote to their followers. To put blame onto festival organisers is an extreme measure.”

Six people have died in just four months at festivals because of suspected drug overdoses, according to the Daily Mail, the most recent death occurring at the FOMO music festival Jan. 12. Premier Gladys Berejiklian has not been a proponent of pill testing but recently said she would consider it if evidence shows it could save lives.

Psyfari organizers blamed the state government for its shutdown and said there will be more closures on the way.

“When a state government’s hobbies include shutting down entertainment districts and enthusiastically enforcing noise complaints, events can’t be held too close to cities or built-up areas, meanwhile the same authorities complain that events in rural settings are too remote.

“While the attack on music festivals is more public than ever before, this has been a battle we’ve been fighting for years, at times behind closed doors.”

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