Caloundra Music Festival puts safety first
  • Monday 11 October 2010

Gale force winds, reaching up to 90km/h at times, forced Caloundra Music Festival organisers to put the safety of both audiences and performers first yesterday with a decision to move the remaining program indoors.

The Kings Beach Tavern provided the two stages to allow as much of the program as possible to go ahead from about 3 pm yesterday.

With the Tavern at capacity, and some fans turning up in the late afternoon to catch some of the high profile acts including Katie Noonan and Paul Kelly, the organisers decided to offer a refund for the Sunday portion of Caloundra Music Festival ticket holders both inside the venue and those waiting in the queue to get in to help move the crowds.

Caloundra Music Festival Director, Richie Eyles, said the festival is and has always been promoted as an all weather event however, the unpredictable wild weather defeated them yesterday.

"We can control everything but the weather unfortunately. And while the Caloundra Music Festival is promoted as an all weather event, yesterday’s gale force winds forced us to consider the safety of the people who make this event so successful each year - the audiences, the performers and of course our volunteers," Richie said,

"So we made a good decision – and moved whatever acts we could into the Tavern – other acts were cancelled.

"But the Tavern is a much smaller venue so to make sure that as many people as possible still got to see their favourite acts we decided to offer the audiences inside the Tavern the opportunity to get a refund on the Sunday portion of their tickets. The same offer was made to those latecomers standing outside in the wind and the rain.

"The end result was a turnover of audiences - we were able to move people from inside the Tavern out and allow those waiting outside, and who didn’t want a refund, entry into the Tavern.

"To save queuing up outside in the wind and rain at the ticket box for those people wanting to register for a refund – we advised them to go home and give us a call by a certain time this week.

"I think the majority of people understand the weather is out of our control. This event has always been promoted as an all weather event with our website and regular newsletter updates continually confirming that.

"It was an incredible feat for the festival to continue over the three days when others were being cancelled all over the South East. It ended up being three unbelievable days in terms of both weather conditions and the entertainment - Powder Finger on Friday night, Jimmy Barnes on Saturday – the show just went on!

"And for those who braved the elements last night had a fantastic time – and the opportunity to see some international performers in a more intimate environment."

The Tavern is a licensed venue. Under 18s were not allowed inside the venue after 8.30 pm as per the license conditions.