11 hopeful festival-goers will appear before the Geelong and Melbourne Magistrates court this month after being charged with trespass at either Meredith Music Festival 2013 or Golden Plains Festival 2014.
In a press release, Aunty Meredith has said that the ‘Zero Tolerance’ approach adopted at both festivals has reduced the number of trespassers trying to enter the events without valid tickets. The trespassers have been caught trying to enter venues by foot, in vehicles and by other means. 18 people were charged with similar offenses in 2013.
For the 11 individuals who will soon appear in court, the maximum penalty for trespassing is approximately $2750 or 6 months imprisonment. Festival organisers have said that the 11 caught trespassing unsuccessfully asked not to be charged, citing the fact that a criminal conviction can make it difficult to find employment.
Festival organisers have noted that a number of serious issues have arisen when people have tried to enter the festivals illegally. There is an obvious risk of personal injury, which organisers say occurs when people walk through work sites, farms and unknown terrain, often at night, just to try and get in.
Organiser’s have also highlighted a bushfire risk when punters are walking through bushland, which may also lead to their vehicles blocking vital access roads and gates.
Photos: Golden Plains 2014 – Supernatural Amphitheatre, Meredith
Photos by Nikki Williams