We very recently published an editorial criticizing the security at HARD Summer this year. Of course, if you ever learned anything growing up, it’s that someone else always has it worse.
Case in point, Snowtunes festival in Jindabyne, Australia. This was the festival’s inaugural year, and will likely also be its last. Fraught with infractions from the Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing (OLGR), the all-ages festival featured a large dose of debauchery and inappropriate conduct, including “unaccompanied, intoxicated 13-year-olds”. In a press release sent today by the OLGR, the list of infractions and observations is appalling:
– An 18-year-old intoxicated woman was observed drinking from a hip flask and subsequently vomited in front of inspectors. A male friend was also intoxicated and vomited.
– A 23-year-old intoxicated man with a broken wrist was observed having difficulty standing, continuously dropped his mobile phone, tripped over his feet and lost a shoe and needed help from friends to put it back on. When asked by inspectors if he was on medication he replied, “No. I drunk my way through the pain.”
– An intoxicated man was observed urinating in full view of hundreds of people next to the mosh pit. Event staff who observed the conduct took no action. Police subsequently intervened and arrested the male.
– A DJ was observed inappropriately yelling “XXXX the police sniffer dogs. People just want to get high and have fun” at the all age event that included minors.
An OLGR representative said the festival created a potentially unsafe environment for minors by failing to have proper planning and security for its 3600 attendees. “They dropped the ball on what was going on in the general crowd and mosh pit areas,” the OLGR said, “and serious intoxication issues arose as a result.”
Snowtunes organisers have hit back at the OLGR accusations, stating that “responsible service of alcohol is always our highest priority.” Though, actions speak louder than words.
Snowtunes organisers are shocked that without consultation post event that OLGR have released a statement which contains inaccuracies. Representatives from St Johns, Red Cross Save a Mate, local Police, and Security who were present on the night all provided positive feedback at the cessation of the event.
Organisers of Snowtunes reiterate that safety and responsible service of alcohol are always our highest priority during any event. The Snowtunes event met all security requirements with a high concentration of qualified personnel.
Interaction with on-site policing was extremely positive and resulted in the police complimenting the organisers at the conclusion of the event. The Snowtunes organisers are seeking active engagement with OLGR regarding the content of their media release, and will be engaging with the Ombudsman to evaluate the decision taken by OLGR to release this statement without appropriate consultation.
These issues were not raised with Snowtunes organisers post the event, and the organisers are taking steps to resolve the situation with OLGR by providing all evidence and supporting statements from qualified personnel that stand by Snowtunes in refuting the claims made in this press release. The organisers require OLGR to provide clarity and evidence to support their claims.