As NSW goes to the polls this Saturday, it’s clear that music industry policy is a key concern for voters across metropolitan and regional NSW. This weekend’s election campaign has provided a clear choice when it comes to the future of live music and festivals and an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the state.

A music industry coalition formed by the Australian Festival Association, Live Performance Australia, Music NSW, APRA AMCOS and the Live Music Office has campaigned to help inform voters of heavy-handed, rushed and poorly designed new regulations for music festivals, following years of live music venue closures. 

Regardless of the election outcome, the music industry will work with whoever wins the election to ensure that this sector which supports jobs as well as economic and cultural activity across the state isn’t subject to such clumsy and rushed policy development again. 

“The music industry deserves better. For a sector that touches the lives and enjoyment of millions across the state, generating millions in economic and tourism revenue, we have been appalled at the NSW Government’s lack of consultation. 

“Voters across Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle, up and down the coast and west of the ranges are deeply worried about the impact badly designed policies have on such a critical and important industry. This is why we had to launch the #VoteMusic campaign.

As of Thursday the campaign reached 465,000 people across targeted city and regional electorates, and the campaign video was shared widely and viewed more than 218,000 times. 

“We also went directly to a number of candidates, including those in some of the most marginal seats and asked them:What are you doing to support live festivals? Have you or members of your family been to a music festival lately? (If so, what genre and event)What is your view of the new music festival regulations recently introduced by the government? (The Liquor amendment (Music Festivals) Regulation 2019)Would you support a disallowance of these regulations in the new parliament and ensure any future regulatory changes involve a properly structured industry consultation process be undertaken, which includes representatives of festival organisers and bodies?We received positive responses from Labor, the Greens and Keep Sydney Open candidates who all stated their strong support for live music and music festivals, support for overturning the NSW Government’s regulations, and a commitment to working collaboratively with the festival industry in future.

Most Liberal or National party candidates did not respond, or restated the Government’s current position, with no commitment to engage with industry on our concerns.

“Music lovers and festival fans have a clear choice at this election, and we’re urging them to “vote music” when casting their ballot.
Statement issued by:
Australian Festival Association
Live Performance Australia
Music NSW
Live Music Office
Association of Artist Managers

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