Council, event management address concerns after event cancellation

Council and Vanfest organisers have moved to address the concerns around the cancellation of the second half of the weekend’s music festival due to storms.

Details of ticket and camping refunds had yet to be announced at time of going to press, but Council - as the leasee of the festival - says it has lodged a claim with its insurer.

There was a lot of water lying around the showground on Saturday afternoon as campers and others left the site.

There was a lot of water lying around the showground on Saturday afternoon as campers and others left the site.

Forbes Shire Council had event cancellation insurance, which specifically covered adverse weather, Council said in a statement yesterday.

“Council is currently working with its insurers to expedite the process,” the statement said.

Organisers have also moved to allay concerns about the safety of the campers at the showground, especially that young people may have been stranded in Forbes without accommodation.

Event manager Matt Clifton said once the decision was made to cancel the event, Vanfest and Forbes Shire Council services were deployed to help people safely exit the campground.

“We had tractors and SUVs to help people out of bogged areas and we supplied accommodation - all free - to those who needed it,” he said.

“We had a few people who were under 18 so we had a shuttle to take them to accommodation as well as overnight security services there.

“We were walking around asking if people needed accommodation or any other assistance.”

Mr Clifton said organisers, including site safety services, were monitoring the looming weather situation from Wednesday.

“We had plans in case of wet weather - to rehouse campers if we did continue with the festival or in case part of the event was cancelled, that was written into our plans,” he said.

“We had safety personnel on site, we also asked advice from police and SES.”

Mr Clifton said many people were involved in the decision to cancel the second day of the festival due to the wet weather and storm damage.

“It saddened us to have to make that decision, but we have a duty of care to these people we are inviting to come and enjoy the event,” he said. “We were all incredibly disappointed.”

Those who still had credit on their wristbands to be used at the bars on site at Vanfest have until 11am Monday to claim back their unused credit - there’s a link at vanfest.com.au 

Mr Clifton said everyone had been notified and the five to seven days given was standard.