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(Update) Rainbow Serpent Festival in doubt as safety permit denied

By Docta, Jan 18, 2013 | Updated: Jan 21, 2013 | | |
  1. Docta
    THOUSANDS of partygoers with tickets to the Rainbow Serpent Festival are crushed as a permit bungle threatens to cancel the event just eight days before it is start.

    Fire and ambulance agencies in the Pyrenees Shire refused to support the event after finding the festival lacked an emergency plan in the case of a disaster such as a bushfire.

    Up to 15,000 people are expected to attend the event, to be held on January 25-28, which has been running for 15 years.

    Devastated festival organisers have called on everyone to sign the 'Save the Rainbow Serpent Festival' online petition in an attempt to sway authorities to allow the festival to go ahead.

    "We understand the decision of not granting the POPE permit was due solely for the safety of all who gather for the festival,'' the petition said.

    "It will be a complete travesty that an amicable resolution could not be reached. Most likely signifying the end of an important economic and cultural event."

    Organisers met the local council at 4.30pm to appeal against the decision.

    Fans waited in anticipation for news on the Rainbow Serpent Festival Facebook page, with good news coming just before 7pm: "The meeting went very well."

    "We are submitting a new application tomorrow which council have told us will be fast-tracked. We still need the support of CFA, Police and Ambulance Victoria but we are working furiously on that as we speak and we are hopeful," the post said.

    "We definitely want to take this opportunity to thank Pyrenees Council for meeting with us today and Cr (Michael) O'Connor for his support."

    Pyrenees Shire Council Mayor Michael O'Connor earlier denied the death of 34-year-old Epping man Daniel Buccianti, who died of drug-related causes at last year's event, was an issue in the councils decision.

    Instead he pointed to last week's Chepstowe fire which burned eight houses to the ground and said organisers were not prepared for a similar emergency.

    "It is extremely sad, this festival has grown from 3000 visitors 10 years ago to what it is today,'' Mr O'Connor said.

    "It is a popular gathering and unfortunately the organisers put on a fantastic production but their administration is hopeless."



  1. Docta
    Re: Rainbow Serpent Festival in doubt as safety permit denied

    It is with great sadness the I lament the possible demise of Australia's premier celebration of psycadelic subculture. Rainbow Serpent Festival has been a coming together of like minded individuals shearing insights into the nature of alternative understanding of art, music, medicine and a vision for the future that may not go on if canceled this year.

    It is a shame that a the very popularity of the festival has highlighted a lack of ability on the part of organisers. An understanding of the desires of psycadelic subculture does not necessarily, even with the experience of previous outings give people an understanding of major event planning.

    I’m personally dumbfounded why the event organisers have left such important aspects to the eleventh hour. In a country such as Australia I would think that most people in the world would agree, a bush fire / disaster plan should have been the first order of business. Instead DJ’s and light shows seem to have priority on the agenda.

    I would think that local mining or forestry in the area would be able to help with the kind of skills necessary to draw up an emergency protocol that would be expectable to local government. This festival has an incredible level of support from the local rural community and I’m very disappointed that they will not see the flow on revenue.

    The organisers response to local governments requirement for a disaster plan and first responders event package has been to start an online petition. No fucking seriously! (SAVE RAINBOW SERPENT PETITION) I just scratch my head sometime when I try to workout what goes on in the mind of a hippie activist. A normal person would be on the phone to every university and college in the land requesting help and guidance but no there answer is a petition.

    I can only hope that the voice’s of reason on there team will prevail.
  2. GavinSpineFace
    Re: Rainbow Serpent Festival in doubt as safety permit denied

    The Rainbow Serpent promoters are very experienced. They've been doing the festival for 16 years (I've been to 11) and they are currently taking all the official steps and following correct procedures to resolve the situation. I'm sure it will involve a lot of red tape, bureaucracy, politics and legalities. It's a big production, so if anyone can resolve it they will. Apparently the promoters actually tried to INCREASE/improve the emergency services etc, but due to technicalities the authorities didn't like the change. It almost seems as though the council might be trying to give them a bit of a scare and warn them that they really need to be on the ball. (Which is understandable given the harsh environment and current bushfire threat). But I have a feeling they will resolve it. Last news heard is that they're resubmitting an updated application for the required permit.

    The petition as far as I know was started by a fan (but encouraged by the promoters). Over 7000 signatures within 24-48 hours last time I looked. Can't hurt.

    Yeah the festival brings over a million dollars of revenue to a very small community every year and it would be a real shame for the township if that were lost. Not to mention so much money & plans will already have been committed to, so the impact would be pretty large if it is cancelled.

    To me the Festival is a landmark yearly beacon of Australian underground electronic music. It's the #1 festival of the sort in Australia that has a big reputation on the international stage. So yeah, I really hope they can resolve it.
  3. Docta
    Rainbow Serpent Festival permit granted

    Rejoice: organisers say this weekend’s Rainbow Serpent Festival will go ahead after the Pyrenees Shire Council today granted all necessary permits to operate the 16th annual Australia Day weekend event near Beaufort, Victoria.

    Festival organisers conveyed relief and a promise to give its legion of fans their best celebration yet after council originally denied the required Places of Public Entertainment permit late last week. “We are very thankful to council and emergency services and thoroughly appreciate the extra time required of them to reconsider our permit application,” a statement reads. “It’s been a tough week and our entire team are now working harder than ever to produce the most spectacular Rainbow Serpent in 16 years as thank you to our army of fans who gave nothing but support and encouragement when we needed it most.”

    As a show of appreciation for the support from Rainbow Serpent fans, the festival is adding to the line-up “one of the world’s most eminent DJ’s who has been pivotal in the worldwide electronic music industry for over 25 years.” The surprise guest will be announced tomorrow.

    From a small gathering in the Victorian bush, Rainbow Serpent Festival has grown into a weekender that people travel from far and wide to experience. Our reviewer at Rainbow Serpent 2011 had much to rave about. “Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the better part of the last decade, this annual event provokes a mass exodus from Melbourne, Sydney, Australia and even lands beyond the sea, as thrill-seekers and city-dwellers alike travel in search of an extraordinary experience in sound and sight,” tben wrote. “Camping over a lush hillside just outside of Beaufort, the festival encompasses four days, three nights, dozens of international and local acts, 10,000 plus attendees, and about half a million doses of the unexpected. Do yourself a favour and jump on this rainbow-coloured bandwagon – you’ll spend the next 350 odd days waiting for a carnival you need to see to believe.”

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