NSW Police have issued a statement, sort-of-but-not-really addressing accusations they “made it impossible” for Australia’s new all-ages punk, rock & metal festival Good Things to operate as all-ages in Sydney by imposing “multiple impediments” and charging “exorbitant” policing fees.
Good Things organisers this morning announced the not-very-good news that the Sydney bash will no longer be able to allow under-18’s to attend, after facing “unprecedented opposition to the event from the police and the government”.
“The experience for all customers was going to be impacted,” festival boss Chris O’Brien revealed. “We have had to make the very difficult decision to turn the event to over 18s only to avoid under 18s [being] forced to watch bands behind a 1.8 metre high chain wire fence.”
When quizzed about the accusations by Music Feeds, Parramatta Police Area Commander, Superintendent Julie Boon, responded with the following statement:
“Good Things festival organisers expressed a willingness to alter the format of the festival to an ‘over-18’s’ event following a series of discussions with the Parramatta Police Area Command over recent weeks.
Police had expressed their concern about an original proposal to feature two separate stage areas at the venue, requiring double the usual police presence and potentially exposing under-18’s to the nearby supply of alcohol.
Organisers moved to reduce risks and lower the related police costs by limiting the venue to one stage and restricting access to the event to adults only.
The festival’s modifications have met police requirements concerning safety and licensing issues.”
Meanwhile, anti-lockouts advocacy group-turned-political party Keep Sydney Open have just issued a fiery statement on Facebook, writing: “there are no doubts about it – this government has launched a war upon festival and dance culture in Sydney”.
Their statement was actually posted last night before the Good Things news broke, but points to other festivals and events that have been threatened or cancelled by the long arm of the nanny state law, including Sydney club event Neo Tokyo, which was forced to axe one of its major events yesterday due to what organisers called “severely over the top policing”.
KSO also slammed “the bully-boy $200K policing fee that is aiming to sink the Bohemian Breakfreaks festival into oblivion”, following news on Saturday that the historically trouble-free rural NSW bush doof may go bankrupt after the force “over-charged” organisers almost $200,000 for its services at this year’s event — around 20 times the amount the fest was charged last year.
“This new thuggish approach reeks of desperation and also reveals an underlying fear,” KSO’s statement continues. “A fear of a local music culture that this government is so out of touch of with because they have never even bothered to invest a cent or a single moment to engage with it, listen to it or talk with it.”
The NSW Government has also re-ignited their threat to shut down music festivals in recent months, following the deaths of two people at Sydney’s Defqon.1 festival in September.
In their statement this morning, Good Things organisers acknowledged that: “Sadly, we’re not the only festival to be hit with this as representatives of the NSW State Government have threatened to shut down music festivals they believe don’t meet their standards.
“Good Things Festival believes that live music and festivals are for everyone but unfortunately the NSW State Government does not share the same view.”
All Good Things Sydney ticket-holders under the age of 18 will be contacted and given refunds.
The Melbourne and Brisbane dates of the festival, thankfully, aren’t affected by the new 18+ measures.
Check out the full Good Things Festival lineup, below, or for more stories that make you think “FFS Sydney!”, check out our dedicated FFS Sydney Feed.
Good Things Festival 2018 Lineup
Stuck Out (Melbourne only)
Redhook (Sydney only)
Stateside (Brisbane only)
The Offspring (Performing Smash In Full)
All Time Low
Bullet For My Valentine
The Smith Street Band
Dashboard Confessional (Performing songs from The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most + Fan Favourites)
The Wonder Years
Make Them Suffer
Void Of Vision
Good Things Festival 2018
Friday, 7th December — NEW VENUE
Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne (Previously Melbourne Showgrounds)
Saturday, 8th December
Parramatta Park, Sydney
Sunday, 9th December
Brisbane Showgrounds, Brisbane