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HomeNewsSplit Milk Gold Coast: Chaos over crowd control, sound, disease

Split Milk Gold Coast: Chaos over crowd control, sound, disease

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Fans at one of Australia’s most popular music festivals have slammed the event as an “absolute sh** show” and a “disaster”.

They complained about “dangerous” crowd control, shaky sound quality and a deadly disease outbreak plaguing the massive gigs in the Gold Coast and Canberra.

Self-titled festival heads at Spilt Milk on the Gold Coast took to social media to air their complaints, claiming the $150 one-day event was brought down by chaos.

‘Logistic disaster’ hits festival

More than 35,000 people packed into event on Sunday, and things were quickly off to a rocky start. Organisers refused to open the festival gates, leaving hundreds of attendees waiting for more than an hour.

“(Opening act) Peach Fur played to no one,” attendees vented to Tiktok. “There better be a good reason for that.”

Organisers blamed safety concerns for the delay.

“If you’ve been on the Gold Coast this last week, you’ve probably experienced the hectic wind,” they said in a post to Spilt Milk’s official Facebook page, saying the festival would open “no later than 12pm” – a full hour later than the advertised start time.

Another 45 minutes later they issued an update: “The gates are now open.”

With only one road into the festival, cars were seen backed up for more than a kilometre into the Gold Coast main street, causing traffic chaos. Tiktok user @billierosewhite said she was forced to pay $180 for an Uber just to get to the gate.

Ms White, a self-described “festival girly”, accused the organisers of overselling tickets and claimed she was forced to choose between a 45-minute wait for a bathroom.

“I felt like cattle getting herded,” she said. “The moshers were moshing. It was so squished that people were fainting, I could barely breathe.”

Festival-goer and Gold Coast local Brandon Cunningham said the whole experience was “pain staking” and that he was crushed to miss his friends’ band Peach Fur.

“With Australian music month just passing and the industry finally on the road to recovery from Covid, it was quite upsetting to see patrons come to support the music scene and the livelihoods of bands all to be thrown around at the mercy of a logistic disaster,” he told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Sound quality at festival blasted

Other fans said they couldn’t even hear the music amid the chaos.

The event’s two headline acts, Australian DJs Fisher and Flume, were scheduled to play at the same time, forcing fans to choose between the stars.

Tiktokker @keirashley1 claimed Flume’s speakers “weren’t on”.

“It was just the most poor planning ever, EVER,” she said.

Another video showed attendees packing into shuttle buses as they fled the gig.

“Half of the crowd leaving before 10 because even right in front of the Flume stage all you could hear was Fisher,” a text overlay on the video read.

Fans cop $800 fines

Attendees slammed the $800 fines they claimed to be handed for bringing booze into the event – while Spilt Milk’s internal venues charged $25 for a vodka Redbull.

“There were no (drug detection) dogs, but if you were caught with alcohol on you, you weren’t only getting it confiscated, you were also getting an $800 fine and getting kicked out of the festival,” Ms White said. “Again, there were no dogs. Where are your priorities Spilt Milk?”

Authorities warn over disease outbreak

Meanwhile attendees of Spilt Milk sister event in Canberra – held the week prior – were warned of both a fire and a deadly disease break out at the gig.

Health authorities urged attendees to keep an eye out for symptoms of meningococcal disease, with one positive case in hospital.

ACT chief health officer Kerryn Coleman said meningococcal, although uncommon, can be severe and lead to lifelong complications or death.

“People can carry meningococcal bacteria in their throats and not have symptoms, but pass it on to close contacts,” Dr Coleman said. “If you suspect symptoms of meningococcal disease, please seek medical review immediately.”

Authorities were also called to the Canberra event over a grass fire that broke out in the festival carpark. One person was injured and several cars damaged, Fire and Rescue said.

“I’m just over the organisations at festivals being so money hungry,” White slammed, calling for better organisation before the event goes ahead next year.

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