Bands, labels and festivals have backed a near-silent ad campaign that warns the NSW government's safety-focused licensing regime could crush the music industry.
The Australian Festivals Association on Tuesday urged voters across NSW to ask their local candidates "whether they support live music when deciding who to vote for" in the March 23 state election.
Right now, live music in NSW is under threat.— Australian Festival Association (@AustFestAssn) March 11, 2019
YOUR festivals, YOUR concerts, YOUR music are being taken away.
If you care about live music in NSW, #VOTEMUSIC on 23 March (and make sure you preference every box). #NSWVotes2019 pic.twitter.com/YseMA3MP8A
NSW this year began forcing some major festivals to meet stringent health and safety regulations after five drug-related deaths in as many months.
"The current government has made it clear through new unnecessary regulations for music festivals they are not willing to work with the music industry," Falls Festival said in a Facebook post highlighting the advertisement.
"Turn up live music. Turn down the current NSW government."
The video ad shows performers and attendees at music festivals depicted as TV static silhouettes. White noise plays in the background.
Industry group ARIA backed the campaign while bands The Rubens, Sheppard and country musician Casey Barnes changed their social media profile pictures to ones of TV static.
The regulations force 14 "high-risk" festivals - including Laneway and Defqon.1 - to prove to the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority they've met stringent health and safety measures.
The new measures predominantly target festivals involving young people, crowds of more than 8000, electronic dance music and events where a recent serious drug-related illness or death has occurred.
Five people died at NSW music festivals in the five months to mid-January 2019.
Paul Toole, the minister responsible for the ILGA, has been contacted for comment.
He said in February that the NSW government "wants music festivals to thrive - but serious drug-related illnesses and deaths have demonstrated that we need to help make a small number of them safer".
During a trial of the measures over summer the organisers of Psyfari and Mountain Sounds festivals cancelled their events citing "excessive" costs and rules.
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea condemned the new regulations as "the stupidest f**ing thing" he'd ever heard during a show in Victoria on March 2.
© AAP 2019