Groovin the Moo cancelled: calls for reform

Groovin the Moo cancelled: calls for reform
Image: Groovin the Moo, Instagram



Since the regional touring festival Groovin the Moo cancelled its 2024 events, citing insufficient ticket sales as the reason, calls have increased for more festival support.

Organisers announced on Wednesday that the festival, set to visit six venues in regional areas between April 25 and May 11, would not be able to go ahead.

“We are extremely disappointed to announce that the Groovin the Moo 2024 tour has been forced to cancel,” they said in a statement.

 Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and spokesperson for Music and Night-time economy, said that the cancellation was “incredibly disappointing”, but unsurprising. 

“Music festival organisers in NSW have had to endure onerous and over-the-top regulatory oversight, particularly from NSW Police, for years and it’s clearly taking its toll,” said Ms Faehrmann.

“The organisers of Groovin’ the Moo aren’t the only ones who are finding it just not economically feasible to continue.”



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NSW Police have been accused of killing music festivals and “price gouging”, charging tens of thousands of dollars more than their counterparts in other states.

In November last year, Ms Faehrmann told NSW Parliament that a music festival paid a $62,000 difference in policing fees in order to hold the event in NSW.

The festival in question reportedly paid $107,852 for NSW policing fees for 16,000 attendees. However, Victoria and Queensland only paid $45,000 for policing fees for 14,000 people.

Now, Ms Faehrmann is calling on the state government to step in and support the industry, with the rising cost-of-living impacting young people the most.

“No other jurisdiction imposes such an oppressive and costly regulatory burden on music festivals,” she said. 

“It can immediately make it simpler and cheaper for music festivals organisers in this state by scrapping the exorbitant fees, often upwards of $120,000, that NSW Police charge for the privilege of harassing patrons with sniffer dogs and strip searching them.” 

The Greens have echoed this call, writing to Albanese Government seeking a festivals support package. 

Greens spokesperson for the arts Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said, “Over the past 2 years a number of Australian festivals have collapsed or been cancelled due to skyrocketing inflation and difficulties with ticket sales in an uncertain economic environment.” 

“It’s clear that there is an urgent need for government support to keep the industry going through these uncertain economic times,” she continued. 

Following the Groovin the Moo cancellation, the senator has now written to Arts Minister Tony Burke, asking him to fund another round of live music grants through the May Budget as well as work with the festivals industry to provide the support they need to remain viable. 

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