The fallout from the sudden cancellation of the Mountain Sounds festival has put yet another dent in the ever-weakening armour of embattled NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, as she attempts to avoid returning a minority government, or even losing power altogether which would be the first time in 8 years the NSW Liberal Party has not held office. The latest from the arts and music scene to weigh in? Peking Duk.
The duo of Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles has gone in hard on Berejiklian and the NSW Government over their apparent war on music festivals; one being waged in the name of public safety that, functionally, targets performers and promoters by making festivals too prohibitively expensive to operate in the state.
With just seven days to go until the event, Mountain Sounds organisers were forced to pull the pin on the Central Coast festival entirely after being handed an unexpected $200,000 quote for user-pay police presence at the event; a quote that suddenly increased the required amount of police at the festival by more than 400% from a previous assessment in January.
In a searing missive posted on social media this afternoon, Peking Duk asserted the NSW Government has “well and truly crossed the line,” and told Gladys Berejiklian to “get your head out of the sand,” before urging punters to vote out the Liberal Party at the upcoming March 23rd state election.
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. 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
[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 violence, nothing to justify an increase in police costs.
If you don’t care for enjoyment of people at least appreciate the economic impact of this. 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 casinos 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 in [6 weeks] 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.
Vote. Gladys & Liberal. Out.
Woof. That’s a hot tamale if ever there was one.
NSW Police have asserted Mountain Sounds organisers mismanaged vital information in the lead-up to the cancellation which resulted in the severe police bill, however festival officials have rubbished those claims as complete nonsense and asserted they’ve complied with police at every step of the way.