The organisers of Mountain Sounds Festival are devasted to confirm the festival will not proceed this year.
With just one week prior to what was to be the event's sixth incarnation, the festival has issued a lengthy statement decrying the NSW state government's policies towards festivals and drugs. Mountain Sounds said 2018's event attracted 16,000 people from which 49 drug detections were made, representing 0.3% of attendees.
Just a week prior to the event, organisers say they were hit with an ultimatum to pay $200,000 in advance to pay for 45 user-pay police on a 24-hour cycle which they said "blindsided" them as they had been quoted for only 11 user-pay police only three weeks ago.
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. It was strongly indicated to us that we were not going to be granted the necessary approvals required for the 2019 event to proceed next weekend. The combination of excessive costs, additional licensing conditions and the enforcement of a stricter timeline left us no option but to cancel the event."
The Central Coast event was to have witnessed peformances from Angus & Julia Stone, Courtney Barnett, What So Not, Thundamentals and Nothing But Thieves over 2 days on 15th and 16th February.
The statement in full reads: