Mountain Sounds music festival goes into liquidation owing $1.5m

A NSW Central Coast music festival has gone into liquidation soon after cancelling this year’s event following hasty new festival licensing regulations by the NSW Government.

Mountain Sounds, which has operated for the last five years, blamed the tough new regulations for its sudden collapse.

The event is in the red to the tune of $1,578,419.69 according to documents, including $893,000 owed to ticketing company Eventbrite, $89,000 to the Australian Tax Office and a number of artists such as Courtney Barnett, who is said to be owed $100,000. Shaw Gidley Newcastle has been appointed as liquidator.

Mountain Sounds has complained that the new regulations had increased costs by as much as $200,000 for 45 police officers on a 24-hour cycle throughout the event.

“In 2018, Mountain Sounds ran smoothly, with an attendance of 16,000 people over two days, 11 user pay police and no major drug-related incidents,” the organisers said.

“Unfortunately, we … have been put in an impossible situation as it was unrealistic for us to pull this money together, particularly given the time frame.”