Over the weekend, electronic music festival Days Like This was held in Sydney.
It went off without a hitch: no major safety incidents, and also no reports of any significant negative interactions between the police and festivalgoers. (There was an estimated ratio of one cop per 60 punters.)
But now the festival has joined with Lost Paradise festival, promoter Finely Tuned, and agencies Novel and Division Agency to crowdfund for legal action against the NSW government for the damage done to their business by the draconian new licensing laws.
“Being categorised as a ‘High Risk’ festival despite having much better safety, experience and event planning record than many other high-profile festivals which were not listed has had a catastrophic effect on both our reputation and ticket sales for this year’s event,” said Days Like This’ Jason Ayoubi.
“Not only were ticket sales down by almost 50%, the resources that needed to be implemented were excessive for an event that has never experienced a major incident during its three years of operation.”
Festivals deemed High Risk have been required to increase the number of police at their festivals, and thus the amount they pay to the NSW government for the “user pays” police presence. In Victoria and Queensland, the number of cops per festival attendee is usually closer to 1 per 1000.
“As a direct result of these factors, the future of the festival is now in jeopardy. The number of patrons in attendance did not warrant the heavy police presence, which our patrons found intimidating.”
The new rules were brought in hastily, with festival representatives who met with the government being told they would have just 24 hours to read over the regulations before they came into effect at the beginning of March.
The campaign has raised over $13,000 of its $40,000 goal in less than a day.