‘High risk’ festival list released by NSW Government

The NSW government has released its list of 14 high risk festivals which will have to abide by a controversial new licensing scheme from March 1.

The government said high risk festivals had serious drug related illness or death occur in the past three years or the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority determined there may be a significant risk of such illness or death at those festivals.

“I want to see our live music industry flourish, I want to see more festivals in the future,” said Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

“But I also want to make sure that when people attend these festivals the risk of brain injury, lifelong injury, or death is low.”

The Australian Festival Association said “high risk” festival organisers received a late night text on Friday advising them of their status, without consultation.

“Our offer to sit down and work through sensible steps to improve safety has fallen on deaf ears,” the association said in a statement.

“These festivals haven’t seen the guidelines under which they have been assessed, nor given a right of reply.”

Describing it as “a chaotic policy-on-the-run” the peak festival body said the consultation process had been “a farce”.

“There remains confusion that these festivals shouldn’t even be in the high-risk category,” the association said.

“A stand-out example is Laneway Festival which does not meet the government’s high-risk criteria.

“It’s also not clear how new festivals will be assessed, what discretionary powers will be available and what risk assessment criteria will be applied.

“We urge the Government to come to the table with a commitment to genuine and extensive consultation that includes a commitment to defer the 1 March start date for the new licensing requirements so we can understand the economic, cultural and operational impacts of the new regulations.”

The NSW Police’s list include:

– Days Like This – Victoria Park, Camperdown -March 2019

– Transmission – Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park – March 2019

– Up Down – Newcastle Foreshore, Newcastle – March 2019

– Defqon.1 – Sydney International Regatta Centre, Castlereagh – September 2019

– Subsonic – Riverwood Downs, Monkerai – November 2019

– This That – Wickham Park, Newcastle – November 2019

– Knockout Games of Destiny – Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park – December 2019

– Lost Paradise – Glenworth Valley – December 2019

– FOMO – Parramatta Park, Parramatta – January 2020

– Electric Gardens – Centennial Park – January 2020

– HTID – Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park – January 2020

– Rolling Loud – Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park – January 2020

– Laneway – Callan Park, Rozelle – February 2020

– Ultra – Parramatta Park, Parramatta – February 2020