Ducrou appeared at the hearing in Sydney urging for the regulations to be repealed. Also at the hearing was Live Performance Australia’s Evelyn Richardson, Fuzzy Managing Director Adelle Robinson, Australian Festival Association’s Julia Robinson and Live Music Office’s John Wardle. Alongside the discussion regarding festival regulation changed, Ducrou and Robinson also agreed that the liquor act “attaching itself with health guidelines is incorrect”.
“Prior to the proposed legislation, we engaged in an independent liquor consultant to operate our bars. The bars are one part of probably 20 to 30 different areas that we need to manage for the festival,” Ducrou said.
“Under the new legislation, they’ve shifted that responsibility onto the promoter. The way I interpret it is a crude tool to control the future of a festival because you cannot operate a festival without a liquor licence.”
Robinson also revealed to the committee that industry members had been given only five days notice about the changes before they were introduced on March 1.
“We believe through some of our members that they were notified by email but we do understand that one person did get notified via text message and one festival didn’t receive a notification in the way that they potentially should have and they found out via media,” Robinson said. “This did feel very cloak and dagger.”
The committee is expected to respond to the hearing in five days. Meanwhile, we’ll be praying that the Regulation Committee doesn’t put live music to bed for good in NSW.
Revisit our Musicology column on the Keep Sydney Open movement here.