A message for music festival operators
Like you – and the entire community – the government also wants to ensure they are safe for everyone to enjoy.
That is why, in the context of the recent deaths of five young people at music festivals in NSW, the government appointed an expert panel to provide recommendations on how to improve safety, and then acted quickly to address the issues associated with high-risk festivals.
The new scheme is designed to ensure that events with a poor track record and/or heightened risk will face greater oversight. It will require ill-equipped operators to lift their standard to make all musical festivals safer.
However, if you have previously held a safe, low risk festival (unless you are planning significant changes to its usual format) we are highly likely to determine your festival to be low-risk. This will mean your licence conditions – including police and health requirements – will not be materially different to previous years.
To be clear, if you are a good operator with a good track record, the new licensing scheme will not unduly impact you.
We appreciate there has been some confusion and misunderstanding about the way the new scheme will operate, particularly in relation to the initial self-assessment matrix that was circulated to some festival organisers.
We have sought to clarify how that matrix should be used, and are currently reviewing this tool.
With the new regime commencing on 1 March 2019, we will continue to consult with industry and are available to meet one-on-one with music festival organisers for detailed discussions, to ensure we get the balance right between great entertainment and festival safety.
You can get in contact with our team at [email protected]. We commit that when you want to talk about music festivals, you will deal with our team through one central point of contact.
The earlier you engage with us, the sooner we can provide you with clear advice about whether, and how, the new licensing scheme will affect you.
The NSW Government music festival team