Around 150 youths caused trouble at the Nightjar Festival, the event’s director said.
Around 150 youths caused trouble at the Nightjar Festival, the event’s director said.

Wild festival brawl sparks lockdown

A MUSIC festival director says the show will go on despite around 150 "loud and abusive" teenagers storming the event last week.

After being ejected, youths reportedly ran riot at a nearby pub and one of them attacked a police officer, leaving him with cuts to his face.

Nightjar Festival organiser Lyndelle Flintoft told news.com.au that the group caused chaos at the event in Torquay, Victoria, on Thursday night, but it was well-handled by security.

"They were being unpleasant basically, drinking heavily, a lot of them were intoxicated, they were kicking down signs, being abusive and abusing our security," she said.

"They were running amok, but about 99 per cent of our patrons were acting responsibly and had no idea what was going on."

About 14,000 people attended the event on Thursday.
About 14,000 people attended the event on Thursday.

Torquay Sergeant Tim Bennett also told The Age the group were running riot near the Torquay Hotel later that evening, where they hurled glass bottles at police cars.

Running each Thursday through January, the festival continues tomorrow night, and in response, Ms Flintoft said the number of security staff would be almost doubled to deal with any threats and increasing the height of the fence surrounding the licensed area.

"What happened was disappointing, but it doesn't affect the event and we are more than happy to take these steps to keep everybody safe," she said.

Inspector Peter Seel said the Torquay community can be assured that police will have increased patrols in the area to ensure the safety of local residents.

"It appears this is an isolated incident and we do not want families to be put off attending popular local events," he said.

"We want to reassure the community that we'll have extra police in the area targeting issues such as underage drinking and unruly behaviour.

"We have been working in consultation with local event organisers and extra precautions will be put in place where needed to ensure that everyone can enjoy themselves safely and continue visiting the Surf Coast as they do all year round."

In a Facebook statement, the festival organisers said: "Sadly, there was an element of not cool behaviour on Thursday night, not just at Nightjar but within the town, both prior and after the Nightjar Festival had finished.

 

 

"This Thursday night you'll notice extra fencing around the licensed area and further ID checks at licensed points and wristbands for ALL patrons over 18 - NO wristband NO service!

"All patrons under the age of 18 entering the licensed areas MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult - this means a parent, guardian or grandparent. We'll also be enforcing that there is no entry into the event if you've already been indulging a little too much!"

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said a 21-year-old from Melbourne, a 25-year-old from Whittington and a 21-year-old from Torquay were arrested and have been charged with being drunk in a public place and issued with a penalty infringement notice - following the incident last week.

A 17-year-old boy has also been arrested and is being charged on summons with assaulting a police officer, being drunk in a public place and other related offences.

 

benjamin.graham@news.com.au or follow @bengrahamjourno on Twitter



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