Download Festival Hailed A Success Despite 'Excessive Police Presence'
Event organisers praised attendees of Melbourne and Sydney's Download Festival for their "respectful behaviour".
Walking into the gates of Download Festival at Parramatta Park, it was hard not to notice the over-saturated police presence across the entrance.
As thousands of black-clad heavy metal fans spilled in to watch rock heavyweights like Slayer, Judas Priest, The Amity Affliction and Alice In Chains, the day went off without a hitch -- with one security guard posted in the VIP section telling 10 daily that "no one [has] caused any trouble at all today".
The overkill on police presence didn't go unnoticed by attendees, who commented on social media that police officers "looked bored" with so little to do. Others reported that cops resorted to simply enjoying the bands along with the rest of festivalgoers due to lack of incidents during the event.
It paints a vastly different picture than the drug-addled, combative punter narrative that Premier Gladys Berejiklian would have you believe.
As she's continued to wage her war on festivals across NSW, we've seen Mountain Sounds, Psyfari, Bohemian Beatfreaks and Good Things festivals either be shut down or forced to downsize due to the government’s excessive policing fees and strict new licensing measures.
Following the Sydney and Melbourne legs of Download Festival's tour, organisers went so far as to praise the 20,000-strong crowd for their "respectful" behaviour at both events, saying:
"Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s excessive police presence could not dampen the spirits of heavy music lovers in Sydney yesterday," the statement began.
"Organisers were thrilled with respectful crowd behaviour, working with emergency services to complete a safe and incident-free event with four medical transfers, three for pre-existing medical conditions, one for a fence jump gone wrong," they continued. "Download patrons proved once again they can have a drama free good time."
Meanwhile, Melbourne's Download Festival event went without one single medical incident.
Whether or not various factors influence the 'danger' of a festival remains to be proven, but one thing is for certain -- to paint all music festivals with the same brush is grossly illogical. It's imperative to recognise that not all events and organisers are alike when considering the enforcement of Draconian laws that will not only affect music, but also affect thousands of jobs as well as our state's vibrancy and culture.