Following the NSW Government’s release of the list of festivals they deem to be ‘high risk’, five music festival operators have announced they will be taking legal action.
The festivals – which include Days Like This Festival, Lost Paradise and Finely Tuned, amongst others – say they are responding to the NSW Government’s list of higher risk music festival’ in conjunction with ‘Expert Panel Report – Keeping People Safe at Music Festivals’ – a panel which included no representatives from the actual music industry.
The festivals have issued a media release saying they acknowledge the tragedies that have occurred and do not wish to detract from their severity, saying the families impacted are in their thoughts.
They go on to say they consider the release that classifies their festivals as “higher risk” to be misguided and unwarranted.
“There has been zero transparency or justification as to why what started off as a proposed industry wide legislation has now been reduced to a list of 14 festivals who have now publicly been labelled as ‘High Risk’ by the government,” reads a statement from the collective.
The statement also says the criteria, outlined in the report, to form the government’s decision is, in their view. “flawed.”
“It is a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction from the State that has caused severe damage to the festivals, our hard-working staff, and the hundreds of thousands of responsible attendees.
“We are disappointed that we were not properly consulted by the State prior to them making this damaging announcement.”
Jason Ayoubi from Days Like This Festival and the spokesman for the festivals says, “I also played an integral part in producing the ‘Code of Practice for running safer music festival and events’ published by the Victorian Government Department of Health.
“I am completely perplexed and astounded to see Days Like This Festival published on a list of ‘High Risk’ festivals with no tangible justification.”
Ayoubi said there was a real opportunity for the NSW Government to work with the industry “that generates over $1.8 billion a year in revenue” to come up with ways to improve safety at festivals.
“Instead they have chosen to vilify 14 individual festivals without any discussion. Any imposed risk matrix should be applied equally and fairly across the entire industry,” said Ayoubi.
The group says, “We are presently in discussions with our solicitors, and will be mounting a challenge to the Decision imminently.”
This comes after fellow “high risk” listed festival UP DOWN fest announced yesterday that they have sent a formal invite to the office of Premier Gladys Berejiklian to attend this year’s festivities, alongside renaming their hugely popular “buy four get one free” ticket offer to the “Gladys’ Party Pack”.
Companies taking legal action
Days like this Festival
+ “more to follow”
The group are being represented by Enyo Lawyers.
Gallery: Don’t Kill Live Music Rally – Sydney, 21/02/19 / Photos: Maria Boyadgis (Four Minutes To Midnight)