19 January, 2017

Psyfari Festival Council and essential service debriefing notes

This debrief information can be used to assist in assessment of future development applications and organisation of any future events.

Council Meeting October 2016
31 October 2016 AGENDA – ORDINARY MEETING OF COUNCIL Page 29 ITEM-9 ENVIRO - 31/10/16 - DA154/16 PSYFARI 5 DAY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2016 DEBREIF OF EVENT REPORT BY: J NICHOLS – ACTING GROUP MANAGER ENVIRONMENT & DEVELOPMENT REFERENCE Min No 16-199: Ordinary Meeting of Council held on 8 August 2016 SUMMARY To update Council on matters raised through the debrief meeting for the 2016, 5 day Psyfari Music Festival at Eurella, Upper Nile Road, Glen Alice.
  COMMENTARY On the 8 August 2016, Council considered DA154/16 a 5 day music festival at Lots 11, 12 & 3 DP755796, 602 Upper Nile Road, Glen Alice and resolved to approve the development proposal subject to conditions of consent.
 Summary of Event: The event was held from 25 August to 29 August 2016 for a maximum of 5000 patrons and 1000 crew, volunteers and artists. The event achieved a patron number of 3700 and staff number of 900. The festival was open to all ages and includes: cooking facilities, restaurants, food and merchandise stalls, workshops, kids’ zone, cinema, art gallery/exhibition spaces and games areas.
 There were a number of structures onsite including scaffolding, marquees, caravans and similar temporary structures and three main stage structures. The gates were open from 9am on the Thursday and performances starting at 12pm (with only two stages) and the event was in full operation from Friday night until 6pm Sunday. Attendees and performers were permitted to stay onsite until 12:00pm on Monday to allow a rest period.
 The event was BYO alcohol, as no licenced premises were onsite and no glass was permitted on the site. Toilets, water, food, and camp fires were provided for patrons’ onsite. The festival was powered by the use of generators, with lights, sound systems and food vendors using generators for the five days of the festival.
The following condition of consent was imposed on DA154/16:
 76. Within two months after each music festival, the applicant is to arrange a meeting with government organisations including Lithgow City Council, NSW Police and Roads and Maritime Services. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the previous music festival, measures employed to address traffic and safety impacts and future Psyfari music festivals.

Therefore, the event coordinators arranged for a meeting with the landowners, Lithgow City Council, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, Rural Fire Service and Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to be held on 13 October 2016. The Mayor, Councillor Stephen Lesslie attended the debrief. With the exception of the RMS being an apology, all invited attendees were at the debrief and discussed the event in detail. Although it was apparent that the Police still held some concerns, the overall assessment was that of a positive event with some important comments/ improvements are summarised below:
Roads and Maritime Services (RMS)
 Although an RMS representative was not present at the meeting the following comments were provided:
 ·  The organisers of the Festival made genuine efforts to ensure the safety of attendees, travelling to and from the festival. This included: o Requesting use of the RMS permanent VMS sites through the Blue Mountains and on the major highways through to Capertee. The VMS displayed road safety messages relating to Police RBT and mobile drug testing (MDT) operations, driver fatigue and wildlife on roads.
 o In accordance with RMS' recommendation, provided portable road safety VMS on the local roads leading to Capertee.
 o Posting road safety messages on the Psyfari website and links to the NSW Centre for Road Safety website.
o Providing alcohol and drug testing to test attendees. This was an innovative response to concerns about impaired road users leaving the Festival and is a first (as far as RMS is aware) at a festival in the western region.
 o Organised a one-off Driver Reviver facility at Capertee to service people travelling home from the festival.
 RMS appreciates the efforts made by the event organisers.

 Psyfari Emergency Management co-ordinator
The following improvements for next year’s potential Development Application and event were raised:
 ·  That signage at the intersecting roads should be arranged due to people not knowing the exact location of the proposal on certain roads and overshooting turnoffs forcing U-turns on local roads.
 ·  Although the security presence was adequate a better utilisation and organisation of security onsite would be beneficial.
 ·  To have paid dedicated fire response crews rather than volunteers for the entire event as this was a large strain on volunteers involved
. ·  Reduce medical onsite available from 5pm onwards due to less patrons needing medical assistance.
 · Increase lighting between areas, especially between Zooloo stage and family areas.
 ·  CCTV did not achieve any additional security onsite and did not prove necessary. It is suggested that it not be required for future events.
 ·  Colbrow Medical Centre had 193 patients and only one patient transfer from the site was needed due to a reoccurring asthma patient.
 ·  Communication between the festival and Police needs to be worked better for the future.

Psyfari Organisers
·  Thanked all involved with the Development Application and for attendance to the debrief meeting.
 ·  When comparing to other festivals (i.e. Defcon) the atmosphere of this event is completely different as it is a relaxed, family friendly, calmer type festival.
·  Lateness of the DA and submission from Police was an issue that did not allow for appropriate timing and organisation to deal with issues raised.
 ·  Media about potential cancellation of event may have attributed to the lower than expected attendance.

 ·  Need signage at the front of property for people locating event.
 ·  Lodging the DA earlier may have lessened the difficulties found for the event this year.
 ·  Don’t want drugs coming to the site at all and thanked Police for their involvement.
·  Wanted police onsite for the festival and agreed to allow access, but the offer was not taken up. Support police operations.
 ·  Police setup was in front of RFS shed, and should be located in a better position next year. Also to include allowances for locals using the roads so they are not always pulled over for testing etc.
·  The festival is a benefit to the area and brings more people and is good for the economy.
·  The event needs to be supported as a controlled festival, otherwise the area may see more illegal uncontrolled events within the local area which is not of a benefit to anyone.

 NSW Ambulance
 ·  Colbrow Medical Centre was complimented by the NSW Ambulance Service as they worked together onsite.
 ·  Ambulance was onsite for the entire event, but need to review the following in the future:
 o Adequate staff coverage with staff travel distances
 o Timing of DA to allow for arrangement of staff onsite
 o GRN coverage for the radio system of Ambulance. Telstra should be approached to organise for future events.
 ·  Wet weather issues with vehicle access should be dealt with and alternatives be arranged
·  Security onsite was complimented.
 ·  Needs to be discussions internally with the user pay outcomes and meeting halfway with this process.
 ·  The event needs a police presence such as supplied to ensure safety and perception of safety.

 Rural Fire Service (RFS)
 ·  Need to ensure that enough staff area available to be rostered on when the event is being held. Having more time after approval to arrange this would be required.
·  Approximately 10 unauthorised camp fires were reported and attended to by NSW RFS and each fire extinguished safely, with no other issues onsite.
·  The event dealt with fire risks well this year in comparison to previous years and would like to see this maintained with more resources into the future.

 NSW Police
 ·  Pleased with outcome that happened due to the original objection of Police which increased the onsite emergency management procedures of the event for a safer outcome.
 ·  Overwhelmed with the amount of illegal drugs seized as a result of the police procedures off site from the event at Glen Alice from 3700 patrons.
 o 81 drug detections
o 31 with people with charged with possession
 o 5 people charged with potential drug supply
 ·  It seemed that the drugs attempted to be brought to the festival were from outside the area (people that were charged or detected), meaning these drugs were not normally available to the area and seeing new drugs to the area as well
. ·  Issues with illegal drugs being thrown into the school adjoining the Police setup area
·  Large amount of police resources went into the event setup and could not commit to this into the future.
 ·  Need to address the state of the roads to the event as these are being travelled by people that do not normally travel country roads.
 ·  Need to address timing of the Development Application being submitted for future events to allow Police to organise staffing for the event.
·  Happy with the work of NSW Police and the improvements made by the event.

 Council Officers
 ·  Operation and setup of the medical team onsite was very impressive and no doubt considered to be best practice
 ·  DA needs to come in earlier, at least 3 months minimum.
 ·  Road works will need to be assessed for future events in relation to possible pre & post event grading and/or contributions towards these works.
 ·  Driver Reviver initiative was good. Perhaps it could be extended to additional locations.
 ·  More shower facilities will be needed for future events.
 ·  The festival may need to implement more hand washing facilities.
 ·  The user pay system for policing will be something for the organisers and the Police to consider in future events that Council is unlikely to become involved in.
 ·  Is there any recognised number of security personnel for such an event?
 ·  Council would welcome a more collaborative approach to the development application process with the NSW Police for future events.
 ·  The applicant/organisers need to be more proactive on meeting conditions of consent.
 ·  Although there were differences between Council and the Police on the application, Council appreciated the effort of the Police operation

 ·  The only ‘complaint’ received by Council was in relation to the location of the Police operation at Capertee.
 This debrief information can be used to assist in assessment of future development applications and organisation of any future events.
 THAT the information from the debrief meeting of 13 October 2016 for DA154/16 Psyfari Music Festival be noted.
Minutes outcome
-9 ENVIRO - 31/10/16 - DA154/16 PSYFARI 5 DAY MUSIC FESTIVAL 2016 DEBREIF OF EVENT 16 – 294
 RESOLVED THAT: 1. The information from the debrief meeting of 13 October 2016 for DA154/16 Psyfari Music Festival be noted. 2. Council encourage the applicants to submit their application six months prior to the event. MOVED: Councillor R Thompson

 SECONDED: Councillor W McAndrew. CARRIED

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