Tropical Fruits party, Lismore Showground.Photo Javier Encalada  / The Northern Star
Tropical Fruits party, Lismore Showground.Photo Javier Encalada / The Northern Star Javier Encalada

Tropical Fruits involved in music festivals crisis

Update 4pm: "STOP killing the music in NSW" is the main message by music event organisers in the State after a meeting held this morning in the NSW Parliament.

A statement released by Greens candidate Sue Higginson, explained the industry is hoping new changes wont affect local community-based events.

"We are trying to save our festivals and regional economies from the Coalition Government's attack on Arts Culture and Regional Jobs - Including our Tropical Fruits Festival, which brings $5M to Lismore each year," it reads.

Representatives from eleven NSW music events, plus Music NSW and The Greens met today with Greens MP and spokesperson on Arts and Creative Industries Cate Faehrmann and Independent MP for Sydney Alex Greenwich.

The statement explains that as a direct result of the NSW Government's new music festival licensing regime, scheduled to come into effect on 1 March 2019, numerous music festivals in NSW are being forced to close or look at options outside NSW.

"There has been no public consultation and no genuine engagement with industry on the proposed changes. There is widespread confusion about the details and impact of the new regime," it reads.

"We, the undersigned festival organisers, music industry leaders and Members of Parliament, call on the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to halt plans to bring in a new festival licensing regime on 1 March 2019.

"Further, we request the government to 'go back to the drawing board' and undertake thorough consultation with the music industry before developing any new regulation. This should also be informed by the findings of the coronial inquest into deaths associated with festivals which is scheduled for June 2019.

"We also affirm our support for the Don't Kill Live Music Petition, which has been signed by over 100,000 people, which calls on the NSW Government to 

1. Stop killing live music in NSW
2. Form a music regulation roundtable to review all regulation impacting live music
3. Immediately undertake a Regulatory Impact Statement for any regulation impacting music festivals
4. Develop an industry standard with full transparency for user-pays policing and medical services
5. Work with the music industry to develop robust, effective and achievable safety protocols for festivals

The statement is signed by Greg Jakes on behalf of Tropical Fruits, plus by Green MP Cate Faehrmann, MP Alex Greenwich , representatives from Dance Beats International, Dragon Dreaming Festival, Electric Gardens Festival, Psyfari, Colbrow Medics,  Lost Paradise/Finely Tuned, FOMO, Electric Gardens Festival, Australian Festivals Association, Music NSW, Output Festival.

Original story: TROPICAL Fruits is the latest music event involved in the music festival crisis in NSW.

Festival industry organisers and leaders from around NSW, including representatives from PsyFari and Mountain Sounds Festivals, both of which have recently had to close their doors, held a crisis meeting today to discuss the impact of the Premier's proposed new music licensing regime.

Besides representatives from music festivals located in the Byron Shire, such as Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival, representatives of smaller and regional festivals such as Tropical Fruits in Lismore are also attending.

The Northern Star has confirmed at least one person from Lismore social group The Tropical Fruits Inc attended the meeting.

Tropical Fruits is organised by volunteers and members of the social group every December 29 to January 2 in Lismore as an LGTBIQ New Years event including music shows and dance parties.

Event organisers have said it brings millions of dollars into the Lismore economy within a two-week period every year.

Other smaller regional festivals represented were the Illawarra Folk Festival in Bulli and Majors Creek Festival in majors Creek.

The meeting was held at NSW Parliament House and hosted by Greens NSW MP Cate Faehrmann and Independent member for Sydney Alex Greenwich.

The meeting was organised due to the fact that new guidelines are meant to be on effect from March 1 but there is no official information about them, as they are still being finalised.

Music NSW told a meeting on February 12 that they believe the new regulations will be 'limited' to festivals and not concerts, yet the Guidelines as currently published apply to anything containing music performed in front of 2,000 patrons, anywhere in NSW.

A ticket charge between .60c and $2 to be paid to the Department of Liquor and Gaming NSW to reimburse them for the license is also part of the new regulations.