Gladys Berejiklian has responded to the spate of music deaths with an announcement that… um, there’ll be more red tape for festival organisers as of March 1.
Hoping to hold a festival? OK: on top of the existing regulations now there will be new obligations including chill out zones and water stations – things which most festivals already do – and the need to get sign off from medical authorities, the police, paramedics and the government. Which, again, already happens as a matter of course under the existing consitions.
What is new, however, is the penalties.
Under the new laws those applying for a permit would need to show adequate “chill out zones” and supply of water – things which festivals currently do, in our experience. On top of this promoters will face fines of up to $110,000 or potentially serve jail time in the event of drug-related injuries or fatalities.
And if you’re thinking “OK, can we not incorporate pill testing into this suite of policies?” then be advised that NOVA’s men of the people Fitzy and Wippa are way ahead of you:
Things got a bit heated in the studio when Gladys Berejiklian and Fitzy discussed the pill-testing debate.
Posted by Fitzy & Wippa on Sunday, 20 January 2019
But will the new laws work? The general consensus appears to be “not without a lot more detail.”
GOAT spoke to several current and former festival promoters who had mixed opinions on the efficacy of pill testing but all agreed that the sudden implementation of vague new laws with no industry consultation was not the way to go.
One echoed a recent interview by Stereosonic promoter Richie McNeill who insisted “It needs real lengthy robust discussion, not quick-fix policy,” adding that it would make it far more difficult to hold events in NSW.
Still, if we get rid of all public events that might attract young people, then young people won’t take drugs at them! It’s win-win, right?