Use space to open navigation items

Music festival safety management plans

Under the Music Festivals Act 2019, organisers of high-risk music festivals may be required to prepare a safety management plan that must be approved by the Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) before the event can take place.

High-risk music festivals include:

  • those events that ILGA directed to apply for a music festival licence under the former Liquor Regulation 2018 music festival licensing scheme; and
  • any other music festival ILGA decides is high risk.

Safety management plans are only required to be submitted to ILGA for music festivals that ILGA has found to be high risk. If a festival organiser manages multiple events, they will only need to submit their safety management plan/s to ILGA for their event/s that have been identified as high risk.

However, all music festival organisers are still encouraged to have in place event management plans which are consistent with NSW Health’s Guidelines for Music Festival Event Organisers: Music Festival Harm Reduction.

How does ILGA decide which festivals are high risk?

In determining whether to direct a festival organiser to prepare a safety management plan, section 5 of the Music Festivals Act 2019 provides that ILGA may consider:

a) any advice from the Health Secretary or the Commissioner of Police,
b) whether a death has occurred in the State on a previous occasion at the music festival or in connection with the music festival in the last 3 years,
c) whether a death or prescribed event^ occurred at a music festival, or an event related to a music festival, for which the music festival organiser was the organiser, in the 3 years immediately preceding the date on which the proposed music festival is to start,
d) any submission made to ILGA by the music festival organiser about the reasons the proposed music festival is not a high-risk festival.

^A prescribed event is the death of a person, or admission to an intensive care unit, that is reasonably suspected to be because of alcohol or drug use, or caused by crowd behaviour or improper safety management.

Music festival safety management plan approval process

If ILGA has directed you to have your safety management plan approved, we recommend you follow the below steps:

1. Read the Music festival guidelines (PDF 156.5 KB) for more information about who needs to submit a safety management plan to ILGA and the assessment process.
2. Develop your safety management plan in line with NSW Health Guidelines.
3. Make sure you consult with your Local Police Area Command, Local Health District and NSW Ambulance before finalising your plan.
4. In your plan, clearly detail what mitigation strategies you are proposing to put in place to deal with the risks associated with your event.
5. Submit a FM2029 Request for approval of music festival safety management plan (PDF 717.5 KB), along with your safety management plan and any accompanying documentation to music.festivals@liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au

The information below will help you to prepare and gather all the necessary materials for your safety management plan.

A music festival is an event, other than a concert, that:

a) is music-focused or dance-focused
b) has performances by a series of persons or groups that are engaged to play or perform to live or pre-recorded music, or to provide another form of musical or live entertainment
c) is held within a defined area
d) is attended by 2,000 or more people (on any day)
f) is a ticketed event.

    Safety management plans are only required to be submitted to ILGA for music festivals that ILGA has found to be high risk. You do not need to submit your safety management plans to ILGA for other festivals you organise if you have not been directed to do so by ILGA.

    • your safety management plan*
    • your development consent or landholder approval
    • your insurance certificate of currency
    • a detailed site plan

    *We encourage you to reach out to your Local Police Area Command, Local Health District and NSW Ambulance before you lodge your safety management plan with ILGA. This will allow you to incorporate their feedback into your plan.

    NSW Health

    NSW Health’s Guidelines for Music Festival Event Organisers: Music Festival Harm Reduction describes harm reduction strategies to support event organisers to deliver safer music festivals in NSW. You are encouraged to use these Guidelines to ensure you have appropriate medical services in place to effectively respond to any incidents that may occur during the festival.

    If ILGA has found your event to be a high-risk music festival and you have been directed to have your event’s safety management plan approved by ILGA you should contact the NSW Health music festivals team at:

    E: moh-musicfestivals@health.nsw.gov.au

    This team can provide you with specific information on how you can make your festival safer, in consultation with the Local Health District and NSW Ambulance.

    All other festivals should continue to work with their Local Health District and NSW Ambulance . These agencies can assist you in developing your event safety management plans.

    NSW Police

    You are encouraged to engage with NSW Police before you finalise your safety management plan to determine whether NSW Police can assist you in ensuring the safety and security of your event. This may include police asking you to enter into an agreement with NSW Police for user pays police. If you enter into an agreement with NSW Police for user pays police, you will not be required to pay for drug detection dog activities unless you have expressly requested this service from NSW Police.

    When you submit your safety management plan, you must also complete and send back a FM2029 Request for approval of music festival safety management plan (PDF 717.5 KB).

    Please lodge the request (PDF 717.5 KB) and safety management plan at least 90 days before the music festival start date (unless ILGA has advised that you can apply within a shorter period).

    When you lodge your request and safety management plan, please make sure you attach a:

    • Detailed site plan
    • Development consent/landholder approval
    • Insurance certificate of currency.

    The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority will endeavour to make a decision regarding your safety management plan no less than 14 days before your music festival is due to be held.

    We're here to help.

    Send us your questions, suggestions or feedback.

    Email: music.festivals@liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au

    Call: 1300 024 720