The blame game has started over the cancellation of the Mountain Sounds festival, with NSW Police claiming that organisers provided them with inaccurate information in the lead-up to the event, and failed to inform them about the expected number of attendees.
In a Facebook post yesterday morning, Mountain Sounds said that they were “blindsided” by a last-minute demand for $200,000 for 45 on-site police officers, and that they were left with no choice but to cancel the event, blaming the NSW government’s “war on festivals.”
NSW Police, however, have told Fairfax that they tried unsuccessfully to meet with Mountain Sounds organisers in the months leading up to the event, and that information provided to them “did not accurately reflect the number of expected attendees and revealed numerous breaches.”
These alleged “breaches” included “inadequate medical supplies and sub-standard planning and preparation.”
The AAP reports that, at a meeting in January, organisers flagged the possibility that they may have to cancel the event if it was not financially viable. They also claim that organisers told authorities that the event would go ahead with 8000 patrons, which was apparently more than the “few thousand” people they had previously advised.
In their own statement on the cancellation of the festival, Mountain Sounds claimed that authorities were overly harsh on them in the planning stages, saying:
“Our submissions were consistent with last year’s operation, yet this year authorities seemed adamant to penalise us on technicalities and clerical errors. 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. The combination of excessive costs, additional licensing conditions and the enforcement of a stricter timeline left us no option but to cancel the event.”
As for punters who have been left in the lurch with the cancellation, Mountain Sounds said that they will be “reaching out to everyone who purchased tickets to this event through our official ticketing partners next week to offer further information and advise next steps.”