NEW SOUTH WALES – A number of festival organizers and industry stakeholders gathered at state parliament today (Feb. 18) to ask the New South Wales government to halt its plans for a new licensing regime, according to AAP.
The group, which includes representatives from canceled festivals Psyfari and Mountain Sounds, is reportedly requesting that the proposed licensing scheme for music festivals due to come into effect on March 1st, be delayed until after the completion of an inquest into the drug-related deaths of five individuals at NSW music festivals in the last six months.
According to AAP, the music festival licensing scheme was announced following recommendations in the Keeping Them Safe report, which was commissioned by the government following the suspected overdose deaths of Joseph Pham and Diana Nguyen at the Defqon.1 music festival back in September.
While the government reportedly has not confirmed details of the new legislation, festival organizers are claiming that there has been “no public consultation and no genuine engagement with industry on the proposed changes.” They are urging the NSW government to “go back to the drawing board” and properly consult festival organizers before developing any new regulations, reports AAP.
Organizers released the following consensus statement after the talks: