fbpx
x

The latest industry news to your inbox.

    

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities

    

I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

news

Australian music festivals face strict licensing laws

NSW music festivals to apply for licensing in bid to make events safer and prevent drug-related deaths

By Anna Grace on 21 Jan 2019

Australian music festivals face strict licensing laws

Defqon.1 festival


image © Dushan and Miae

The government in New South Wales has introduced new licensing regulations for music festivals following a string of suspected drug-related deaths at festivals in the southeastern Australian state.

Since September, five young festivalgoers have died after attending music festivals in NSW. The most recent fatality occurred earlier this month, when 19-year-old Alex Ross-King collapsed and died at the Sydney edition of FOMO festival.

From March, festival organisers will have to apply for specific liquor licences, similar to those required for pubs and clubs. A panel of experts will decide whether to approve each application before a license can be issued.

It is thought that representatives from NSW Health, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, and Liquor and Gaming NSW will comprise the panel. The licences will be targeted to the risks that each event entails.

“Events with a poor track record and heightened risk will face greater oversight from authorities”

The new regulations come following recommendations of an expert panel which was formed to advise the government on how to keep festivalgoers safe, following two deaths at Defqon.1 festival in September.

The licensing laws place heightened responsibility on festival organisers to ensure the safety of patrons, placing the onus on them to assess and proactively manage safety risks.

“Festival organisers will need to ensure their events meet high safety standards,” says minister for liquor, gaming and racing Paul Toole. “Events with a poor track record and heightened risk will face greater oversight from authorities.”

Until the new scheme comes into effect in March, interim measures at festivals will include “chill-out zones” staffed by medical professionals to help those who feel unwell. Obligatory free water stations will also be introduced.

However, the government has stated that it will not introduce pill testing, despite calls from the Australian Festival Association, and family and friends of the deceased.

 


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

More news

Bluesfest threatens to leave NSW in policy dispute The government's new licensing policy will “decimate our industry” says Bluesfest founder Peter Noble, following the cancellation of several NSW...festivals.
NSW government names “higher risk” music festivals... 14 festivals in NSW have received the highest risk rating under new licensing regulations, sparking fears for the future of the state’s live music...scene.
Australian Festival Association: Drug policy ̶... By focusing on drug prohibition instead of harm reduction, Australian politicians are needlessly putting young people at risk, says the newly formed...AFA
Fans criticise evacuation of NSW Wine Machine even... The organisers of music festival Wine Machine have responded to criticisms from festivalgoers after severe weather conditions led to the event's...evacuation
Music festivals hit back at NSW government Organisers of festivals including Days Like This and Lost Paradise are taking legal action against the NSW government in response to “higher risk”...rating.