South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas has reclassified the Harvest Rock music festival a major event after the Adelaide City Council refused to close a road necessary for it to go ahead.
The City Council voted 8 to 2 to refuse a request by festival organisers Secret Sounds to close Bartels Road for three days in November to allow the festival to go ahead.
But Malinauskas has kept his word and stepped in to ensure the festival would proceed, saying he would do everything he could to “generate more economic activity in the city”.
“I’m not going to turn my back on small businesses in the CBD, particularly in hospitality who made massive sacrifices during the pandemic,” he said.
“This decision is not taken lightly, but it is necessary to ensure we are doing everything we can to support our city’s recovery as we emerge from the pandemic.”
South Australian Treasurer Stephen Mullighan told ABC Radio Adelaide the government was “trying to get businesses back on their feet”.
“It just beggars belief that they [city council] would see a state government supported event like Illuminate and give them a 12-week road closure for Rundle Rd and the next state government supported events like Harvest Rock Festival seeking a two day business day or four day total road closure and they say no to that,” he said.
“I mean what sort of message does it send the major event organisers from around the country or around the world that want to bring events activities to Adelaide when there’s absolutely no consistency?”
Secret Sounds chief executive Jessica Ducrou said they had already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in organising the festival and were on the hook for $5 million if the festival could not go ahead.
“We are so grateful that the Premier has stepped in and common sense has prevailed,” she told The Advertiser.