In absolutely gut-wrenching news for the wider music and festival community, one of NSW’s (and tbh Australia’s) most loved festivals has called it quits. Just seven days from getting underway, Mountain Sounds Festival has pulled the plug, citing exuberant and non-disclosed, last minute, police fees as the main reason.
The festival had a stacked lineup of both local and international faves, featuring Angus & Julia Stone, What So Not, Courtney Barnett, Nothing But Thieves, Skeggs, Yungblud and Ruby Fields – to name just a few.
In an statement released via the official Facebook Page for the event, the organisers tragically announced that cancelling on such short notice was a decision almost completely out of their hands.
“..we were told we would have to pay an additional upfront amount of approximately $200,000 for 45 user pay police on a 24 hour cycle. This came one week out from the festival and blindsided us as we were quoted for 11 user pay police on the 18th of January.”
This is despite Mountain Sounds actually having one of the better records for drug use, with only 49 people detected during 2018’s 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.
They also called out the massive licensing costs compared to last year’s event, and firmly took a shot at the current government for taking the soul out of a lot of current music festivals.
“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.
When will our government learn that fear-mongering, bullying and oppressing the youth has never and will never work. It is truly shocking to see time and time again how out of touch they are with the arts community.”
You can read the full, and straight up devastating, statement below.
Image Source: Zennieshia Photography