Gladys Berejiklian and the NSW Government have finally revealed their list of what festivals they deem as ‘high risk’, and will thereby be under the most scrutiny under the harsh new licensing regulations that are set to take place next month.
The festivals placed in this category are Laneway, FOMO, This That, Lost Paradise, Days Like This, Subsonic, Transmission, Defqon.1, Knockout Games Of Destiny, Electric Gardens, HTID, Rolling Loud, Ultra and Up Down.
Every music festival where a death occurred over summer has been placed on the list, like FOMO and Lost Paradise. However, there are certainly some surprises. For reasons unbeknownst to us, Laneway Festival has been deemed high risk despite having no deaths. Another surprise is Newcastle festival Up Down, which is set to have its first instalment next month.
In a statement released by the Australian Festival Association, it was revealed that organisers of these festivals were made aware of their categorisation after 10pm Friday night by phone calls and text messages just before the information was made public.
“Industry bodies received a copy of the Minister’s embargoed media release and the still incomplete regulations proposal after 10pm,” the statement reads. “Risk assessment guidelines and reference documents have still not been made available.”
The NSW government has previously said that the new regulations are confusing.
The new regulations, which are in effect from Friday, 1st March, require high risk festivals to pay $650 for a licence, while low risk festivals obtain one for free.
This announcement follows the Don’t Kill Live Music rally that was held in Sydney this past week, with around 20,000 people turning out to protest these new regulations in response to the cancelation of festivals like Mountain Sounds and Psyfari.