Peking Duk have become the latest Aussie musicians to hit out at the NSW Government following the weekend’s cancellation of Mountain Sounds.
On Saturday, the Aussie music scene was devastated to learn that Mountain Sounds had been officially cancelled.
In a statement, organisers revealed that while their preparation had been consistent with the previous year’s operation, they noted that the “authorities seemed adamant to penalise us on technicalities and clerical errors.”
This of course doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, with the NSW Government appearing to mount some sort of “war on festivals” in their state.
While the first instalment of Good Things Festival Sydney in late 2018 was forced to suspend the attendance of underage punters due to exorbitant costs for police presence, boutique festival Bohemian Beatfreaks was hit with a $200,000 fee to have up to 70 officers on-site over three days – a $184,000 increase on previous years.
As noted over the weekend, NSW’s live music scene is essentially under siege by Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s local government following a string of festival fatalities. The new licensing laws for festivals were announced on January 20th to introduce a checklist that festivals will have to abide by in order for their event to be approved.
“It was strongly indicated to us that we were not going to be granted the necessary approvals required for the 2019 event to proceed next weekend,” explained Mountain Sounds organisers. “The combination of excessive costs, additional licensing conditions and the enforcement of a stricter timeline left us no option but to cancel the event.”
It’s time to vote @GladysB out. NSW’s music, creativity, culture, economy and enjoyment of life itself is at extreme risk. Full post on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/lIxb2rYyfI
— peking duk (@pekingduk) February 11, 2019
Now, Canberra musos Peking Duk have hit back at the powers that be for causing the cancellation of Mountain Sounds, stating that “it breaks our heart to say the NSW Government has well and truly crossed the line.”
“Now it’s truly personal, they’ve decided to bin something extremely special to us,” Peking Duk wrote on Facebook. “Something loved dearly by almost every person on the entire Central Coast of NSW and abroad.”
“By introducing a $200,000 ‘police and safety’ fee, an extortionate 1250% increase in which last year was only $16,000 just ONE WEEK out from the festival doors open, NSW Gov. has decided to kill Mountain Sounds Festival.”
“Gladys Berejiklian says she wants festivals to continue and to grow, how exactly do they grow with a $184,000 increase in police costs? Forcing festivals to pay these costs even though out of 15,000 attendees last year there were only 49 drug detections. 49. There were no drug deaths, no drug violcence [sic], nothing to justify an increase in police costs.”
Check out Peking Duk’s Facebook post:
“If you don’t care for enjoyment of people at least appreciate the economic impact of this,” they continued. “Hundreds of festivals workers livelihoods are gone now, from the people behind the scenes setting it up, artists and punters who had booked flights, accommodation etc all the way to the faces you see at Nan’s taco shack and dad’s hat stall.”
“Gladys get your head out of the sand, your policies and viewpoints need a reality check. We don’t force roads to close because of road fatalities, we don’t ban alcohol due to (much higher) deaths from alcohol, we don’t shut down casino’s because of the trauma and grief they cause to the addicted.”
“So why are you targeting music festivals like this? Why are you targeting the events that give so much back to the community?”
“If music, creativity, culture, economy and enjoyment of life itself is important to you, then please on March 23rd from now DO NOT vote Liberal. They started with killing our venues and now they are setting fire to our festivals.”
“When there’s no music left it’ll be too late to say something,” they concluded. “Vote. Gladys & Liberal. Out.”
As Peking Duk indicate, we will have a bit more insight into the future of the NSW live scene when the state goes to the polls on March 23rd. However, if you’re registered to vote and want to see festivals and live music begin to thrive once again, the choice of who to vote for should be obvious.