'Wildly mad': Call to cut red tape and boost Sydney's cultural heart
Published in the Sydney Morning Herald 29th November 2018
Written by Linda Morris
“When the Sydney Fringe Festival last year applied to stage events in an industrial warehouse next to the WestConnex construction site in Alexandria, local police insisted the festival employ up to five security guards – the same security presence needed for a large commercial nightclub.
Even a morning yoga class would have required the presence of two guards. Police also recommended that DJs and dancing be barred.
Overzealous police enforcement and onerous red tape are strangling Sydney's creative life, according to a new report authored by Fringe Festival director and chief executive Kerri Glasscock, leading to farcical scenarios where planning officials debate what constitutes dancing.
To suggest the state's largest independent arts festival not program dance-based works at its festival hub was completely unacceptable, Glasscock said, and misunderstood the risk of artist-led performance events.