Aussie Music Stars Rally To Tell Government 'Don't Kill Live Music'
If it were a festival lineup, it'd sell out quick.
A star-studded list of speakers and guest appearances has been announced for the Don't Kill Live Music rally in Sydney, as a campaign to battle the state government's new rules on music festivals kicks up a notch.
Music royalty will grace the stage in Hyde Park on Thursday. Two Triple J Hottest 100 winners headline the event, with 2018's number one band Ocean Alley and the 2015 champions The Rubens leading a list that also includes Cloud Control, Dan Sultan, Polish Club, Urthboy, Bertie Blackman and Olympia.
Guest speakers will include Julien Hamilton of The Presets, leading promoter Michael Chugg, Dave Faulkner of the Hoodoo Gurus, and even Murray Cook -- the original red Wiggle -- alongside politicians and other music industry identities.
"In one week, you have made it very clear that you refuse to stand by and let the Berejiklian Government take away your access to music and culture in NSW," rally organisers told supporters in an email.
"We want our music culture to be safe and inclusive. Onerous and ill-considered regulation will not save lives. And the State Government is decimating our music culture in the process."
The music industry has united in recent weeks in opposition to "knee-jerk" government reaction to increase police and health requirements on festivals. The enhanced regulations, a response to a number of deaths at festivals, put more onerous responsibilities on events around liquor licenses, health and police presence, and resources such as water and 'chill out spaces'.
It comes after several NSW music festivals cancelled their 2019 events, blaming insurmountable regulation hurdles and "impossible" financial demands.
The rally organisers and supporters -- which include some of Australia's biggest artists and events such as Amy Shark, Bernard Fanning, Violent Soho, Vance Joy, Falls Festival, Splendour In The Grass and Laneway Festival -- have accused the government of a lack of consultation.
"The NSW State Government is vilifying live music with knee-jerk regulation. Instead of consulting with festival experts, the NSW Government imposed punitive regulation that specifically targets music festivals, and music fans," organisers said.
Supporters have called on the government to delay the new laws, and undertake a more cooperative consultation process, with several festivals such as Bluesfest and Fairgrounds fearing the new rules may force them to a new location outside NSW.
"As they stand, the new regulations will put festivals, events and live music in our cities, regional and remote communities under real threat," said the newly-formed Australian Festival Association.
"We are deeply concerned the NSW Government is rushing ahead with a new license regime without proper industry consultation and careful consideration of the operational and economic impact of these changes."