Five of the fourteen events and festivals deemed ‘high risk’ last week by the NSW Government have publicly stated they will be taking legal action as the state’s new festival policy comes into effect today.
In a joint statement by promoters of Days Like This Festival and Lost Paradise as well as event operators Finely Tuned, Novel and Division Agency, they shared:
“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”.
Five of the NSW events deemed ‘high risk’ are taking legal action against the Berijiklian government, stating the label was ‘unwarranted’ and ‘misguided’.
The renewed festival laws will mean ‘high risk’ festivals will have to pay a licensing fee as opposed to no cost for festivals deemed ‘low risk’. This comes in response to the deaths of five festival goers over the summer festival season. A spokesperson for the NSW government said:
“Festivals required to operate under the new licensing regime will be festivals where a serious drug-related illness or death has occurred in the past three years or where the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has determined, having regard to expert advice from NSW Health and NSW Police, that there may be a significant risk of serious drug-related illness or death.”
Festivals and event organisers were alerted of their risk status via a late night text last Friday, and included other festivals such as Laneway, This That and FOMO.