I have firmly said this for years and will continue to say it loud and proud, The Australian Government are out of touch, fear mongerers and hell-bent on destroying Australia’s Live Music Scene and today, a massive nail in the coffin for Sydney has been revealed.
Good Things Festival has been forced to deny entry to their Under 18 Patrons due to restrictions and ridiculous costs involved with running the event with an All Ages (or 15+) crowd. This is a huge blow for the youth of today, in NSW, who are already struggling with a lack of live music venues across the state and nothing is being done to accommodate their requests.
In a statement, Good Things Festival General Manager and Promoter Chris O’Brien revealed:
“We have been working around the clock for months to try and ensure the event goes ahead as planned, but we have seen unprecedented opposition to the event from the police and the government. The experience for all customers was going to be impacted. We have had to make the very difficult decision to turn the event to over 18’s only to avoid Under 18’s been forced to watch bands behind a 1.8m high chain wire fence.”
The Good Things Festival team believes live music and festivals are for everyone but unfortunately the NSW State Government doesn’t agree. Despite it now being against the law, NSW police have imposed multiple impediments, including excessive police presence and exorbitant fees, making it impossible for the festival to allow anyone under 18 to attend the event. Festival Directors and site managers have a combined wealth of over 100 years’ experience running major events and the biggest festivals across the country and have never experienced such resistance for under 18’s to attend an event, let alone allowing an event to be staged at all.
Sadly, we’re not the only festival to be hit with this as representatives of the NSW state government have threatened to shut down music festivals they believe don’t meet their standards. – Good Things Festival
NSW Police quoted Good Things organisers an estimated $71,112.37 including GST (reduced from an original quote of $107,792.49 including GST), while Victoria Police quoted just $13,004.90.
The Sydney quote is staggering given that 15,000 people are expected to attend the festival, while the now-defunct Soundwave Festival received a lesser bill in 2013 ($104,060) which drew a capacity of 80,000 festivalgoers.
So you can see, just how many hoops the NSW State Government/Police are making organisers/promoters jump through in order to put on a show nowadays, but it’s not just them, the Keep Sydney Open organisers team have been fighting for years in order to end the absurd Lock Out Laws which have destroyed the city’s nightlife and economy since being introduced back in 2014. They’ve even gone as far as creating a new political party since their calls were falling on deaf ears.
So what can we do? Do we just accept that this is how things will be moving forward? Should we give up the fight for what’s right in the Australian Music Scene and walk away from the issue? Absolutely NOT! We need to take a stand, we need to have our voices heard, make some noise and reach out to those who work for us, with our tax paying money and have them listen to what we’re saying.
In this circumstance, I would like to call upon members of the Australian Heavy Music Scene including promoters, musicians, media, venue owners, and you, the music fans to reach out to your local members of government (especially those in Sydney/NSW) and RESPECTFULLY ask them to reconsider these event destroying laws, rules and regulations. We’ve gathered a list of names below who we think should be able to help with our inquiries. As mentioned, please do so respectfully. Voice your concerns, opinions and thoughts on the current situation and how it affects you. Over time, we hope the NSW State Government and Police will, in turn, cooperatively work with Music Festival Organisers and Live Music Promoters to put an end to the struggling scene in Sydney and beyond so that everyone, of all ages, may enjoy live music moving forward.
On top of this, we have started a Petition for the NSW State Government/Police to allow Under 18-Year-Old Patrons to attend Good Things Festival in Sydney. Please sign and spread the petition around, more details are provided here.
Written by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul
*NOTE: Wall of Sound and Paul Brown have no affiliation with Good Things Festival and the Festival (and staff) is not involved in this petition or movement. We are a collective group of music-loving individuals, passionate about preserving Australia’s Live Music Scene for All Ages.
NSW Local Members
Gladys Berejiklian – NSW Premier – Contact Here
Hon. Troy Grant MP – Minister for Police – Contact Here and Email Here
Adam Marshall – Minister for Tourism and Major Events – Contact Here
John Barilaro – Deputy NSW Premiere – Contact Here
(Forwarded us to Tony Grant. We have requested a comment from the NSW Deputy Premier on the subject)
Penny Sharp – Shadow Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events – Email Here
Don Harwin – Minister of Arts – Contact Here
(Forwarded us to Tony Grant. We have requested a comment from the Arts Minister on subject)
Geoff Lee – Member for Parramatta – Email Here
NSW Police – Customer Assistance Unit (Complaints and Compliments) – Contact Here