Organisers of beloved NSW event Mountain Sounds have been forced to cancel next week’s festival after allegedly being “blindsided” by “further conditions and financial obligations” by the NSW Government they deemed impossible to meet.
Last week, the Mount Penang Parklands festival – which was set to feature the likes of Courtney Barnett, Angus & Julia Stone and more – was forced to downsize, removing 21 artists from the bill due to “safety, licensing and security” issues.
“We, like many of you, have seen the festival climate continue to diminish in Australia. NSW in particular is in dire straits,” a lengthy statement reads.
“This is yet another example of the government’s war on festivals.
“The Liberal party’s war on festivals in NSW is real and it’s robbing you of your freedom and culture. Who would’ve known that lock-out laws were just the beginning of the death of live entertainment in NSW. This has now spread to larger-scale and multi-day regional events and it’s only getting worse.
“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.”
The festival was reportedly required to pay an additional $200,000 for an increased police presence.
“We have always considered our relationship with the local police a positive one,” Mountain Sounds said.
“We’ve always valued their input and cooperated wherever we were required.
“Thanks to our comprehensive planning, Mountain Sounds has never had any serious drug-related incidents…This is another reason we are left shell-shocked that this could happen.”
The festival will be reaching out to those who purchased tickets to organise refunds.
The news follows on from NSW music festival PSYFARI also cancelling this week, blaming “a failed government”.
You can read Mountain Sounds’ full statement below.