After the NSW Government‘s announcement of new live music licensing to be introduced in NSW in March, the cancellation of multiple festivals, Bluesfest threatening to move out of its long-standing Byron Bay home, and musicians and festival figures slamming Premier Gladys Berejiklian for the “rushed” announcement of new health and safety measures, the Australian music industry has penned an open letter to music lovers, and announced a snap Sydney rally to publicly defend live music in NSW.

The unified front, Don’t Kill Live Music, released an open letter to punters this morning, explaining exactly what the effect the new legislation is going to have on live gigs, and festivals, and how the NSW government is essentially using festivals “as a scapegoat for years of failed drug and alcohol policy.”

With the whole of the NSW live music industry under threat, Don’t Kill Live Music have organised a Sydney rally in Hyde Park, on ThursdayFebruary 21 from 6pm – 8pm, encouraging punters who love live music and want to have their voices heard to head along and show support for a vital part of the entertainment industry in the state.

The rally is happening mere days before the ninth anniversary of the famous SLAM rally in Melbourne back in 2010, where over 20,000 people protested liquor laws for live venues in Victoria. Don’t Kill Live Music are hoping for a similar, if not stronger, turnout in Sydney on the 21st.

Don’t Kill Live Music has also launched a petition to present to the Premier and the NSW Government before the state election on March 23, and at time of writing, it has over 11,000 signatures.

The petition has already gained support and signatures from Aussie artists like Amy SharkFlight FacilitiesCosmos MidnightBernard FanningHockey DadCourtney BarnettHayden James, Ocean Alley, Jack RiverPeking DukRuby FieldsVance Joy, Tash SultanaHenry RollinsRÜFÜS DU SOL, huge festivals like Splendour In The GrassLanewaySubsonic, Listen OutFalls FestivalField Day, and pretty much every major touring company in Australia.

Image: Getty Images / Cassandra Hannagan