Tuesday, 20 August 2019

WHITIANGA WEATHER

TCDC to prosecute organisers (and landowner) of music festival

TCDC to prosecute organisers (and landowner) of music festival

Thames Coromandel District Council says a 48-hour music festival expecting 1,500 people plans to go ahead this weekend despite Council serving an abatement notice on organisers and the landowner because of concerns about public safety and noise.

The event - Chronophonium Festival - promotes itself as not-for-profit and its Facebook page reported a sold out event at $60 per ticket. According to the page, 1,500 people are expected to arrive at the Tapu Coroglen Road location today for the 48-hour music festival.

Event organisers told TCDC officers yesterday that they only had one nurse and two security guards to take care of the 1,500 people plus bands and support teams over the 48 hours from tonight. Police advised organisers that they needed one crowd control certified security guard per 75 people.

Council says last year's event caused a series of complaints from neighbours who had not been notified of the event.

Organisers said the event was sold out and for TCDC to just to fine them for not following the requirements under the Resource Management Act. TCDC says when they told the owner of the land at 371 Tapu Coroglen Road that he would also be prosecuted, the organisers said they'd just pay his fine too.

Council says they worked with the organisers last year to guide them through the consenting process, even offering an alternative venue (Thames Racecourse) that would make it possible for them to meet the standards.

Council's Acting Chief Executive Ben Day says, “We don't want attendees' safety to be put in danger and have problems like that experienced at Gisborne recently, when organisers of an event such as Chronophonium refuse to comply with standards put in place to take care of people.

"We want people's memories of Coromandel summers to be happy, not devastating," he says, "And we will prosecute."

A successful resource consent would have cost the organisers of the event about $1,500 and certified the site for all future repeat festivals. On conviction after a prosecution, an individual who has failed to comply with the abatement notice is liable to a fine of $10,000 per person (including the land owner).

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