FUN EVENT: Music lovers at Falls Festival Byron Bay 2018/19.
FUN EVENT: Music lovers at Falls Festival Byron Bay 2018/19. Marc Stapelberg

Australian music festivals unite their voices

MUSIC industry figures Jessica Ducrou (Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, Download) Matthew Lazarus-Hall (CMC Rocks Qld), Rod Little (Groovin The Moo, The Plot), Adelle Robinson (Listen Out, Listen In, Field Day, Harbourlife, Curve Ball) and Danny Rogers (St Jerome's Laneway Festival) have united to form the Australian Festival Association (AFA).

The five founding board members made a statement explaining the move.

"The AFA was formed to represent the common interests and aspirations of the Australian festival industry," it read.

"The AFA is committed to helping members deliver safe and well-run festivals around Australia, and establishing world leading operating standards for our industry.

"We are establishing this industry group so that our members can develop informed and unified strategies in response to a range of issues, including event liquor licensing, drug policy, harm minimisation practice, building code compliance, green initiatives, user pays policing, event medical guidelines, and third party ticket sites."

The organisation's aims is to make festivals safer for patrons, and reduce friction between festival promoters and regulatory bodies, by aligning evidence-based practices and decades of combined industry experience with the requirements of government policy.

"We are also committed to ensuring the ongoing viability of festivals as thriving businesses, significant municipal events and sites of global cultural exchange in the interest of all Australian citizens."

"Where our interests conflict with those of regulatory bodies, we strive to find rational, evidence based solutions, by learning from the concerns of those parties, and sharing our views and experiences with all stakeholders."

AFA membership will include legal advice and media strategy as well as giving members a cohesive and consistent voice.

Membership is open to festivals that have been operating for three years or more, are ticketed and licensed to sell alcohol, have a capacity of 2000 patrons or more, and are prepared to operate their events within best practice guidelines.

For details visit the Australian Festival Association's website.