Police Deny Pressuring Organisers To Cancel — Mountain Sounds Festival

UPDATE: Mountain Sounds 2019 Is Cancelled

"This is yet another example of the government's war on festivals".

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 global artists. They say this is four times the number they were quoted just weeks ago.

"The future for Mountain Sounds is unclear at this point in time but we will find a way to continue our passion and commitment in bringing music and arts to the coast. The event will not be going ahead at Mount Penang Parklands next week", organisers said in a statement.

Some bad news if you were heading to the Central Coast festival next weekend.

A day after the Mountain Sounds Festival was cancelled, the NSW Police have refuted the allegation that unreasonable surprise policing requirements were the cause. There were 49 drug detections previous year, "that's 0.30%".

At last years event, just 49 of the more than 16,000 attendees were caught with illegal substances.

Despite a "positive relationship with Police", the organisers feel they were never going to receive the go-ahead for this year's festival.

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

"The excessive costs, additional licensing conditions and the enforcement of a stricter timeline left us no option but to cancel the event".

The festival had already agreed to reduce its size in 2019.

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On 20 January, new NSW festival licensing laws were announced declaring that from March, organisers have to apply for a specific liquor license (similar to those in pubs and clubs) for each music festival they host.

"Festival organisers will need to ensure their events meet high safety standards", Minister for Racing Paul Toole said in a statement. Both departments have been contacted for comment.

The spate of fatalities has prompted the country's largest music festival to write an open letter calling on state and territory governments to allow pill testing trials at events in a bid to prevent more deaths.

Mountain Sounds festival has been cancelled with organisers claiming the government's "war on festivals" is to blame.

The government rejects that it is "anti-festivals", with a spokesperson telling the Sydney Morning Herald this week that new regulations were there to "give families peace of mind".

It is the second NSW music festival to be cancelled this week - the Psyfari music festival cancelled its 2019 event scheduled for September - amid the publicity surrounding festival drug use and deaths.

"That's why we have acted to improve safety at music festivals by implementing the recommendations of an expert panel which provided a balanced set of measures to help keep people safe at music festivals", he said.

Rabbits Eat Lettuce has moved to Queensland due to ongoing costs with the NSW government.

On Wednesday evening, Psyfari announced they were forced to pull out on their tenth year.

"The event organisers made a decision to cancel the festival based on financial reasons associated with the event".

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