The inaugural Snowtunes Festival has received a frosty reception from the Office Of Liquor, Gaming & Racing following its debut over the weekend, with the authority vowing to take regulatory action after it detected “multiple serious breaches”.
According to a press release from OLGR, the Jindabyne festival, which featured performances by local favourites Hermitude, Tkay Miadza, Allday and more, had billed itself as a seven-hour all ages and family-friendly event, but the reality apparently proved to be otherwise.
“OLGR inspectors and Police at the festival found controls and security supervision to be seriously lacking and insufficient for the 3,600 patrons in attendance,” said Director of Compliance & Enforcement, Anthony Keon. “This, coupled with the risky nature of the event, created a potentially unsafe environment particularly for minors.”
Among the breaches, OLGR reps discovered an intoxicated 13-year-old girl “dazed and unaware” in the women’s toilets, and allegedly caught a 21-year-old man supplying alcohol to two 16-year-old boys.
“Six minors aged 13-15 were also found unaccompanied and without appropriate adult supervision, contrary to licence conditions for the event,” Keon continued. “An unaccompanied 14-year-old girl was unable to be located by her adult minder for one-and-a-half hours. The juvenile was only reunited after all patrons had left the event after 12.30am.”
All-up, OLGR flagged 13 total issues at the festival, including a DJ “inappropriately yelling ‘[Fuck] the police sniffer dogs! People just want to get high and have fun'” at the all-age event, an 18-year-old intoxicated woman who was “observed drinking from a hip flask and subsequently vomited in front of inspectors”, and an intoxicated man, who was observed “urinating in full view of hundreds of people next to the mosh pit” while “event staff who observed… took no action”.
OLGR was quick to point out that they weren’t trying to be the fun police, arguing that the idea of a festival in the Snowies that promotes skiing and snowboarding during the day followed by a full evening of entertainment “could be a good thing if planned for and conducted properly”.
“However, the operators of Snowtunes failed to adequately assess the risks of conducting such a large event and failed to ensure adequate planning and deployment of resources to maintain proper oversight of patrons,” Keon declared.
“Instead of properly monitoring the crowd for intoxication and safety issues security staff were deployed to the event perimeter to stop people jumping the fence without paying for tickets,” he continued.
“By doing this they dropped the ball on what was going on in the general crowd and mosh pit areas and serious intoxication issues arose as a result.”
OLGR has vowed to pursue “regulatory action” against the Sydney-based company that put on the event, Snowtunes Pty Ltd, while also pursuing criminal charges against the man caught supplying booze to minors.
Music Feeds has reached out to Snowtunes for comment, but as of the time of writing, we have yet to receive a reply.
UPDATE: 20/08/15 5pm – Snowtunes organisers have released an official statement, expressing shock, confusion and concern that OLGR not only published the above information without consulting them, but also claiming that their report contains “inaccuracies”. The promoters also claim that they received post-event praise from multiple organisations including ambos, local police and security.
Their full statement reads:
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.
Watch: Snowtunes 2015 Wrap
A BIG THANK YOU to everyone for your support in helping make SNOWTUNES 2015 a massive success!! We hope everyone had an amazing experience and look forward to seeing you all again next year! :)PS – a full wrap up video and heaps of photos are on their way soon 😉
Posted by Snowtunes on Sunday, August 16, 2015