Mountain Sounds occasion cancelled as organisers blame ‘struggle on festivals’

Mountain Sounds Festival cancelled

UPDATE: Mountain Sounds 2019 Is Cancelled

Mountain Sounds is the second NSW festival to be cancelled this week.

Organisers wrote they had agreed to downsize their site and cancel more than 20 acts to make sure they met newly-imposed safety, licensing and security costs.

"At no time did police or government direct the organisers to cancel the event", she said.

Mountain Sounds Festival has been running since 2014, and this year was due to host Angus and Julia Stone, What So Not and Courtney Barnett, along with a number of other Australian and worldwide artists. "The combination of excessive costs, additional licensing conditions and the enforcement of a stricter timeline left us no option but to cancel the event".

But organisers changed their view subsequently and said the festival would go ahead with 8000 attendees, which was significantly more than the "few thousand" people previously advised to police.

This year's event would've had less attendees than the 2018 Mountain Sounds, which required just 11 user pay police for 16,000 attendees.

"Our submissions were consistent with last year's operation, yet this year authorities seemed adamant to penalise us on technicalities and clerical errors".

Read the full statement below.

However, they were "blindsided" when a week before, they were told to pay upfront approx.

In a lengthy statement posted to Facebook, the event organisers write how devastated they are about having to cancel the event. That's 0.30% of the entire festival, with no deaths or serious drug-related incidents ever recorded during the event's entire running time.

"REL is in a fragile financial position after forking out $100,000 to fight last year's action by NSW Police and we don't now have the time or finances for another court battle", it said in a statement. "When will our government learn that fear-mongering, bullying and oppressing the youth has never and will never work", they wrote in yesterday's statement.

NSW Police had also been accused of attempting to shut down Boehmian Beatfreaks, after the three-day festival was slapped with a $200,000 quote for police attendance - almost 12 times the cost of policing last year's 3000-capacity event. In previous years, the festival had been charged only $16, 000 for police presence.

Festival organisers said Mountain Sounds' cancellation was yet another casualty in "the Liberal party's war on festivals", and urged music fans to remember it in the upcoming state election.

The Rabbits Eat Lettuce festival announced also this week that it'll be moving to Queensland, citing rising costs over two legal battles brought on by the state government.

A spokesman for the NSW government said music festivals are "a significant part of NSW's entertainment scene, and an important part of NSW's economy", but that the government owes it to people attending to ensure they are safe.

Each application will need to be approved by a panel comprised of NSW Health, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance and Liquor and Gaming NSW before a licence can be issued.

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