AUSTRALIAN FESTIVAL FORGES AHEAD DESPITE EXTREME WEATHER, FLOODING
After a last-minute cancellation on day one, Australia's largest music festival, Splendor in the Grass, has decided to reopen over the weekend despite concerns over extreme weather, flooding and poor conditions on the grounds.
After being met with a barrage of criticism over the cancellation of day one, the event organizers cautiously announced on Saturday that the final two days of the three-day festival would go ahead.
"Expect delays, please work with us when entering the festival ... You're going to have to allow for extra travel time," said a spokesperson for Splendor in the Grass on Saturday.
They added that most programming is expected to go ahead with partial refunds being issued due to the disruption - organizers had been conducting repairs overnight including pumping out water from flooded campsites and repairing stages and walkways.
Organizers have advised patrons to wear gumboots and warm clothing over the weekend.
The three-day event, held in Byron Bay, a town along the coast of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), was due to begin on Friday. However, festival-goers were met with an 8-hour-long car queue and flooded campgrounds.
Festival organisers made the decision to cancel the main acts early on Friday afternoon, citing warnings from the state's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).
Responding to the disruptions, ticket holders have complained that the site festival is flood-prone and unsuitable for such an event and that there was a lack of communication ahead of the last-minute cancellation.
Many took to social media to vent their frustrations and call for greater financial reimbursement.
The sudden weather has led to an anticlimactic end to a three-year wait for the annual festival which normally attracts between 40,000 and 50,000 people, and was canceled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.