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Live Performance Australia advises that collaboration is key to safer music festivals

Live Performance Australia advises that collaboration is key to safer music festivals
September 25, 2019

Better safety outcomes at music festivals will be achieved through collaboration with festival organisers and patrons rather than imposing onerous and costly new regulation according to Live Performance Australia.

As the NSW Parliament prepares to consider a disallowance motion to reject the music festival regulations rushed in by the NSW Government before the last state election, Australia’s peak bodies for the music industry have urged a more collaborative approach to festival safety between government and industry.

Live Performance Australia Chief Executive, Evelyn Richardson stated “from the outset, we have consistently stated our willingness to work with government to address community concerns about festival safety.

“Before the last election, the Coalition rushed through its new music festival regulations without any consultation with the industry, and with little regard to their impact on the future viability of music festivals and their contribution to NSW’s economic and cultural vibrancy.

“Last month the industry welcomed the recommendations handed down by the NSW Legislative Council Regulation Committee following its inquiry into NSW music festival regulations. The recommendations included support for the disallowance motion.

“The disallowance motion before the Upper House is an opportunity for the Government to start again and work constructively with the festival industry on better safety outcomes which is something for which we have a genuine and shared commitment.

“We urge MPs to support the disallowance motion in the interests of a better approach that delivers sustainable improvements in festival safety, developed through better consultation with festival organisers.”

Richardson highlighted the productive collaboration between festival organisers and the NSW Ministry of Health on new guidelines to reduce drug-related harm at festivals as an example of how to work towards real improvements in festival safety instead of through poorly-designed and heavy handed regulation.

The NSW Guidelines for Music Festival Event Organisers provide guidance to reduce drug-related harm at music festivals. The Guidelines have recently been updated following feedback from a range of stakeholders involved in delivering safer festivals, including festival organisers, private onsite medical providers, peer-based harm reduction organisations and NSW Ambulance.

The Guidelines have been embraced by festival organisers, some of which have exceeded the requirements in their commitment to running safer and more enjoyable events. These include providing adequate drinking water, shade and sanitation facilities; chill out spaces and a range of other cooling strategies; along with appropriate onsite peer-based drug and alcohol harm reduction services and medical services.

The Australian Festival Association considers the guidelines as best practice and requires all members to use the guidelines when planning a music festival.

Image: The former Defqon music festival.

Related Articles

28th August 2019 - Inquiry calls for scrapping of NSW festival licencing scheme

20th August 2019 - Australian Festival Industry Conference expands to two days

25th July 2019 - Planning Commission approval will enable expanded festivals at North Byron Parklands

17th July 2019 - Splendour in the Grass festivalgoers urged to stay safe

16th July 2019 - Music festival deaths inquest hears presence of Police dogs led to panicked drug-taking

13th July 2019 - Inquest hears of multiple failings by organisers and Police over festival drug deaths

16th June 2019 - Five charged for supplying drugs at music festival at Sydney Olympic Park

30th May 2019 - Following 2018 drug deaths Defqon.1 festival now ‘postponed indefinitely’

30th April 2019 - Pill testing saves lives at ACT’s Groovin the Moo festival

13th May 2019 - Action on festival regulations welcomed by Live music industry coalition

21st February 2019 - Industry and music bodies slam NSW Premier for creating ‘confusion and uncertainty’ for festival organisers

14th February 2019 - LPA calls on NSW Premier to halt new regulations until proper industry consultation undertaken

13th February 2019 - Live Performance Australia fears NSW Government is risking the demise of world’s best festivals

7th February 2019 - Psyfari organisers end event citing NSW Government’s ‘war on festivals’

16th November 2017 - Live Performance Australia passes 100 year operational landmark


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