On 23 February 2019 the NSW Minister for Racing, namely Paul Toole MP, announced changes to the licensing scheme for music festivals to be introduced on 1 March 2019. These changes respond to recent criticisms and discourse surrounding the tendency for casualties to occur at music festivals across the state.
These changes to the scope of the scheme followed consultation with music festival operators and other stakeholders. Known music festivals were subsequently categorised as being of “low risk” or “high risk”. Interestingly, 14 festivals were announced as being of “high risk” to public welfare. For festivals listed as “high risk”, Applications are now required to be lodged with the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority 90 days in advance of the event (as opposed to 60 days for low risk Applications), and will be assessed by NSW Health, NSW Police and L&GNSW concurrently.
A list of festivals categorised as “high risk” can be found at the following link https://www.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/ministerial-media-release-nsw-government-releases-list-of-higher-risk-music-festivals. The NSW State Government is “committed to continuing to work with music festival operators and other industry stakeholders to ensure the right balance is struck between great entertainment and festival safety” and is consequently allocating considerable resources to legislation surrounding the music festival industry as they move to the next state election.
For festival organisers, early engagement with L&GNSW, NSW Police, NSW Health and the allocation of their resources is key to a successful Application. The team at Back Schwartz Vaughan have experience in this area and can assist you with a successful outcome to your Music Festival Licence Application before the Authority.