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Music festival licence

The NSW Government is taking action to improve safety at music festivals by implementing the recommendations of an Expert Panel (PDF 493.2 KB) established following the tragic events at the Defqon.1 music festival in September 2018.

A new licence specific to music festivals is being developed and will be implemented in early 2019.

Under the new licence, there will be a power to suspend any pre-existing licence at any premises at which a music festival is to be held.

If you're organising a festival over the summer before the new licence is in place, you need to:

  • Engage relevant government agencies including NSW Police, the Local Health District and NSW Ambulance to gather the information you need before submitting your application.
  • Complete an Event Safety Management Plan Checklist (PDF 313.7 KB) to assess the different aspects of your event, and indicate any potential risk factors and the actions you will take to reduce these risks.
  • Prepare a comprehensive safety management plan and/or revise your existing plans to improve venue and patron safety. Your plans should include measures such as emergency and medical response, alcohol and drug management and public safety.
  • Submit your application early for assessment (a minimum of 30 days prior to your event) and include the completed checklist with your application. Liquor & Gaming NSW, NSW Health and the NSW Police will assess your plans as part of your application. You may be required to revise your plans based on feedback from these agencies.
  • Organise a site walk-through before the event with local Police and NSW Ambulance and implement any additional safety measures needed to further improve patron safety.
  • Evaluate your event against your safety management plan and use key learnings to identify improvements to your future planning and processes.

In preparation for the launch of the licence we recommend all future applicants to develop and implement a Safety Management Plan for all future events. Your plan should contain the following:

  • event information
  • risk management plan
  • medical plan outlining staff allocations and capacity of the event
  • drug management plan
  • emergency response guide including ambulance access to the venue
  • alcohol management plan, and
  • security plan

Your local NSW Police Area Command, Local Health District and local office of NSW Ambulance should be consulted as part of developing your plan.

To assist you in assessing your existing plans, a Event Safety Management Plan Checklist (PDF 313.7 KB) and guidance material have been prepared.

If you are organising a music festival on an existing licensed premises you should review your existing management plans to ensure potential risks are identified and will be appropriately managed. You should do this in consultation with relevant government agencies including NSW Police, the Local Health District and NSW Ambulance.

If we consider that your plans do not have sufficient detail or do not provide adequate safeguards for festival patrons, we may issue a direction to the licensee or impose additional conditions under the Liquor Act 2007. Where a direction is issued it may require the licensee to take specific actions or additional controls may be imposed to prevent and mitigate identified risks.

Where there are ongoing serious concerns about the adequacy of arrangements and risk to public health and safety, Liquor & Gaming NSW will take further regulatory action.

We're here to help. 

Use our online feedback form to send us your questions, suggestions or feedback. You can also:

Call: 1300 024 720 | Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm

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

Visit: Level 6, 323 Castlereagh Street, Haymarket

Access the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2018 at www.legislation.nsw.gov.au