13 Jul 2022

NSW Police throw last-minute spanner at Splendour

by Jason Allen

The kids, apparently, are not alright

Just two weeks out from the first Splendour in the Grass since 2019, a last-minute change in liquor licensing laws for the festival mean minors aged 16 and 17 will now need to be accompanied by a ‘responsible adult’. Until last Thursday, this rule only applied to minors under 16. With such short notice, and tickets $200 a day or north of $400 for three days, a lot of underage ticket holders have found themselves unable to find someone to accompany them.

According to NSW’s liquor licensing laws, a ‘responsible adult’ is defined as “a parent or guardian, the minor’s spouse or defacto partner, or someone standing in as the parent of the minor.” Breaches of these new regulations can result in fines of more than $2000 for minors, up to $3300 for adults, and fines for the event organisers of $5500 per individual fined by police.

Of course, this amounts to last-minute extra compliance costs for Splendour’s organisers, nervousness around security, and increased risk. This is the last thing Australia’s festival industry needs right now.

Ticketing company Moshtix emailed all ticket holders about the changes:

“We appreciate that this is not ideal, we are not happy about this late change however we must adhere to these new conditions imposed on us by the Police and Liquor and Gaming. Police will be present at the event, roaming throughout the crowd checking that underage minors are with a responsible adult.”

Moshtix have set up method to review the ticketing of anyone caught by the changes, with a post in the FAQ of the Splendour website stating “If you are unable to find a responsible adult to attend the event with you, please contact Moshtix Support using “SITG – U18” as the subject line, and they will review your request.”

Speaking to the ABC, Festival co-promoter Jessica Ducrou said “We’ve been all ages since we started and we’ve never had any issues with our underage audience, intoxication or any kind of breach. We have to follow the direction … but it’s really important the event is all ages. Our under-18 audience is very important to us, we cater for them.”


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