Alleged ‘High Risk’ Festivals Take Legal Action Against NSW Government

Music festival operators (listed below), have today collectively responded to the Government of New South Wales’ Ministerial media release entitled ‘NSW Government releases list of higher risk music festivals’, dated 23 February 2019 (the Release) and have confirmed they are taking legal action against them.

We have considered the Release, in conjunction with the ‘Expert Panel Report – Keeping People Safe at Music Festivals’ of October 2018 (the Report).

We acknowledge the tragedies that have occurred and do not wish to detract from their severity.  The families of those impacted are in our thoughts.

We consider the Release, which classified our festivals as ‘higher risk festivals’, to be misguided and unwarranted (the Decision).  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.

The criteria used to form the Decision, as outlined in the Report, is, in our view, flawed.  It is a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction from the State that has caused severe damage to the festivals our hard-working staff, and the hundreds of thousands of responsible attendees.  We are disappointed that we were not properly consulted by the State prior to them making this damaging announcement.

It is also disappointing to see that the State has failed to apply the classification of ‘high risk’ consistently; unfairly prejudicing our festivals when compared to others.  This only heightens our concerns regarding the State’s opaque method for the classification process.

Jason Ayoubi from Days Like This and spokesman for the group, says “I have over 25 years of experience in delivering well executed and safe events nationally including some of Australia’s leading festival brands; Future Music Festival and Summadayze.  

I also played an integral part in producing the ‘Code of Practice for running safer music festival and events’ published by the Victorian Government Department of Health. I am completely perplexed and astounded to see Days Like This Festival published on a list of ‘High Risk’ festivals with no tangible justification. 

There was a real opportunity here for the NSW Government to consult with an industry that generates over $1.8b a year in revenue to come up with ways we could potentially improve safety at festivals and instead they have chosen to vilify 14 individual festivals without any discussion.  Any imposed risk matrix should be applied equally and fairly across the entire industry” 

Our hundreds of thousands of responsible ticketholders are all well accommodated for and looked after, in the safest possible environment we are able to create for them.  We would not host an event that we did not believe was safe.

The choice by anybody to attempt to bring illicit substances to any of our festivals is strongly discouraged and has never been tolerated.

We are presently in discussions with our solicitors, and will be mounting a challenge to the Decision imminently.

Companies taking action at this time – more to follow

  • Days like this Festival
  • Division Agency
  • Novel
  • Lost Paradise
  • Finely tuned