A new report by The Guardian claims that Splendour In The Grass knew of impending changes regarding the attendance of under-18s as early as last month. This claim goes against what organisers told fans earlier this week when announcing the news to ticketholders, just days ahead of the festival’s commencement.
On Monday, 11th July, Splendour In The Grass alerted fans that on Friday night (8th July), all underage ticketholders had received a message from ticket outlet Moshtix “informing them of late developments regarding Splendour’s Liquor License”. According to the festival, this message outlined the fact that “all patrons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times whilst at the event and campgrounds”.
Splendour In The Grass told under-18s of the rule change earlier this week
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Clarifying that this was not their decision, the festival explained that the “new rules have been imposed on [them] by NSW Police.” Organisers also explained that as a result of this change, any underage attendees may be subjected to a fine if caught without a responsible adult.
As The Guardian reports, however, organisers were allegedly aware of the change as early as last month, but the news wasn’t made public until “the day the deadline for reselling tickets expired”. Organisers reportedly took part in a roundtable discussion with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority, NSW Liquor & Gaming, and Police NSW back on 16th June to discuss the festival’s compliance with 2019 legislation in NSW parliament, which saw music festivals deemed “high-risk” events.
“The condition to require minors to be accompanied by a responsible adult is not a last-minute change – it is an obligation under the law and was agreed to at a meeting with the festival organisers, NSW Police, Liquor & Gaming NSW and ILGA on 16 June,” a statement to The Guardian from the ILGA said.
“NSW Police and ILGA both fully support the need for this condition,” it continued. “Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
A Splendour spokesperson told The Guardian that they had not accepted Police NSW’s recommendation to the ILGA that all underage attendees should be under the guardianship of a responsible adult. However, the ILGA reportedly asserted to the festival during their June roundtable that the festival was required to conduct itself in the same way as any venue serving alcohol would.