After almost 10 years, Psyfari the popular alternative music festival has pulled the pin and been cancelled for 2019.
The event has been held all over rural NSW particularly in the Capertee Valley but due to the NSW Government regulations of festivals it’s “bound to be a recipe for disaster” according to a Psyfari spokesperson.
“The current political climate surrounding festivals in NSW has made this something harder than ever before, the war on festivals especially in remote areas has reached an all time high,” he said.
The spokesperson also said the government had been quick to point out a great number of measures to improve patron safety with the cost to fall onto festival organisers.
“We are in total support of safer events and we’ve been doing it for ages but these government costs fall onto festival organisers regardless of their event format or size, and it will hit smaller scale festivals the hardest,” he said.
“When designing these changes, the NSW Government has provided zero support or consideration for these events.”
While event organisers support safe events there has been talk among the public eye of the impact of drugs at festivals.
In 2015 Jordan Brown was travelling home to the Northern Beaches from the Psyfari festival with three of his friends when he lost control of his mother’s four-wheel-drive at Bilpin.
He had taken ecstasy early hours that morning before getting behind the wheel and spinning into oncoming traffic killing three of his best friends sitting in the back seat, Ben Sawyer, 19, Luke Shanahan, 21, and Lachlan Burleigh, 17.
Despite the drug-related deaths being a serious matter the Psyfari spokesperon said drug-related deaths at festivals on average make up less than 0.5% of all drug-related deaths in Australia.
“Unfortunately festivals are an easy target, and an insignificant sacrifice to a blind government with its head in the sand.”
The spokesperson also said the cancellation of Psyfari was a sad day for everyone including the organisers and the wider community.
“Psyfari truly was and is a space where people can feel free from societal and professional pressures, a place to connect with nature and each other.”
“While we would love to the festival to make a return one day, we feel it will take years for the state to recover from the damage this government has done to festivals, arts, and music.
“So we'll have to wait and see how viable it is to run a community-focused event without it having to be funded by alcohol sales or corporate sponsors.”
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