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Michael Coppel Calls Australia's 'War On Festivals' Inconsistent And Untenable

Michael Coppel Calls Australia’s ‘War On Festivals’ Inconsistent And Untenable

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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.”

“Some concerts will be defined as music festivals under this regulation,” he said. “You can now add music to the industries banned by this government without consultation.”
Live Performance Australia chief Evelyn Richardson said the new regulations were arbitrary.
“These new regulations imposed by government without any consultation reflect a government that has no strategy for supporting live music in NSW, sending a signal to every live music promoter and festival organizer that doing business in NSW is fraught with danger and subject to the whims of the Premier’s office,” Richardson said. “Clearly, this will be a major issue at the upcoming election.”



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