Enforcing the ‘No Dickheads’ policy at both the Meredith Music Festival and Golden Plains Festival, eleven offenders are to appear before the Geelong & Melbourne Magistrates court via summons. Meredith Music Festival and Golden Plains Festival have succeeded in reducing trespassers by adopting a ‘Zero Tolerance’ approach to people trying to gain entry to the festival without a valid ticket, by foot, vehicle or other means. The Policy can be found here
This was in response to a number of serious issues arising from people attempting to gain entry without a valid ticket, including;
– Personal injury risk walking through worksites, farms, dangerous and unknown terrain, sometimes at night
– Bushfire risk walking through adjoining properties and bushland, including the risk of vehicles blocking important local access roads and gates
A process to support the Zero Tolerance Policy was designed with locals, neighbours, Victoria Police and security. In November 2014, 11 people are due to appear in court charged with trespass (following on from 18 people charged in 2013). The maximum penalty is approximately $2750 or 6 months imprisonment. Those caught trespassing have unsuccessfully pleaded not to be charged on discovering that a criminal conviction wipes out employment prospects and in many cases can have them removed from current employment.
Festival Organisers will continue to enforce the Zero Tolerance approach with the support of the local community, Victoria Police, and the legit festival-goers. Attempting to get into the festival without a valid ticket is not a harmless bit of fun – it has serious consequences. Festival-goers and those who missed out on tickets have expressed their disappointment at people who tried to scam or cheat their way in. Trespassing also breaches the festival’s ‘No Dickhead Policy’.