Organisers of Maitland's biggest music festival have taken a thinly veiled swipe at the NSW Government over its hardline crackdown on music festivals.
Cattleyard Promotions, which runs Groovin the Moo, has urged music lovers to make "informed decisions and careful consideration" when voting in the upcoming state election as the government prepares to introduce regulations on music events after five suspected drug related deaths at festivals in recent months.
Some organisers have also cancelled upcoming festivals due to what they dub the government's "war on festivals". Central Coast's Mountain Sounds claimed it was "blindsided" by a $200,000 bill for 45 user pay police just weeks out from the event.
Cattleyard Promotions said in a statement that Groovin wouldn't exist if the current festival climate was in place when the event began.
Cattleyard said the Maitland event had welcomed more than 275,000 patrons since its inception in 2006, and had "a longstanding, dedicated and passionate team who ensures that everyone has a great and safe day".
"We are incredibly grateful and thankful to everyone who has supported the festival," the statement said. "Festivals, of all shapes and sizes, are an incredibly important part of the rich tapestry of our local regions, community and culture.
"There are also flow-on economic benefits for the local regions that host festivals, across accommodation, services, retail and hospitality."
Hunter Parliamentary Secretary Scot Macdonald said the new licence scheme was designed to ensure festivals were managed safely.
He said the government wanted to see festivals thrive and that it was consulting the industry to get "the balance right between great entertainment and patron safety".