'High Risk' Festivals To Take Legal Action Against NSW Government

1 March 2019 | 7:54 am | Staff Writer

'They have chosen to vilify 14 individual festivals without any discussion.'

Operators of some of the festivals deemed "high risk" last week have confirmed they will be taking legal action against the NSW Government as its festival policy comes into effect today.

In a joint statement issued this morning, operators of Days Like This Festival, Division Agency, Novel, Lost Paradise and Finely Tuned slammed the Government's policy as "misguided and unwarranted".

"We are disappointed that we were not properly consulted by the State prior to them making this damaging announcement," the statement reads.

"It is also disappointing to see that the State has failed to apply the classification of ‘high risk’ consistently; unfairly prejudicing our festivals when compared to others. This only heightens our concerns regarding the State’s opaque method for the classification process."

Jason Ayoubi of Days Like This and spokesman for the group said he was "perplexed and astounded" to see his festival named on the Government's list when it was released last Saturday.

"There was a real opportunity here for the NSW Government to consult with an industry that generates over $1.8b a year in revenue to come up with ways we could potentially improve safety at festivals and instead they have chosen to vilify 14 individual festivals without any discussion," Ayoubi said.

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"Any imposed risk matrix should be applied equally and fairly across the entire industry."

The operators are currently in discussions with solicitors and a challenge against the Government's policy is expected soon.

It comes after Laneway Festival organiser Danny Rogers blasted the inclusion of his festival on the list as "preposterous", while Up Down organisers have actually invited NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to attend their event this month.