Splendour in the Grass issued a second grovelling apology after its blunt explanation for six-hour wait times for buses was slammed by fed-up revellers
The latest statement comes as attendees at the Byron Bay music festival may be stuck there for another day as they try to free their bogged cars.
About 50,000 revellers descended on the three-day festival near Byron Bay at the weekend – but the excitement quickly turned to frustration with the wild weather kicking off unlivable conditions and lengthy bus delays to leave the event.
Those left on Monday, the campers, were some of the worst-hit with heavy rains triggering floods and thick mud at campsites.
The horror conditions also mean thousands have been left wondering how to get their cars out of the festival grounds, which turned to mush just hours into Splendour’s start.
‘I would say like 50 per cent of the cars down here are going to need to be pushed out … We’ve already spoken to the girls down the road in the campervan and they’re pretty bogged,’ festival attendee Ewan Roxborgh told the ABC.
Splendour had its opening day cancelled on Friday after torrential rain turned the site into a marsh.
The rain eased on Saturday but took another turn for the worse about 11pm as thousands of attendees tried to get back to their accommodation for the night.
Frustrated patrons took to social media to complain after they waited as long as six hours for a bus to pick them up, with some still stranded on the grounds at 6am.
In a statement on Sunday morning, organisers said everyone was off the premises by 3:30am, with people heaping further criticism after the response.
Scrambling to repair its image, management sent out another apology on Sunday evening, saying they brought in ‘toilets and water’ as ‘extra measures’.
Splendour in the Grass issued a second grovelling apology after its blunt explanation for six-hour wait times for buses was slammed by fed up revellers
Frustrated attendees took to social media to complain they waited as long as six hours for a bus to pick them up
Scrambling to repair its image, management sent out another apology on Sunday evening, saying they brought in ‘toilets and water’ as ‘extra measures’
‘We know last night’s journey home was sh*tty for some of you. It usually takes some time to get everyone out of the venue, we’re so sorry you had that experience at Splendour,’ the statement said on Sunday.
‘While it doesn’t excuse the delay, the fact is some of the buses we ordered didn’t show up and that had a significant impact.
‘We’ve been on the phones all day to pull in as many additional transport options as we can. There will likely be wait times again tonight, but we will have extra measures in place to support you including toilets and water.
‘We are doing our best to get you all home safe and as quickly as possible.’
Initially Splendour organisers had blamed the problems on its Tweed routes and said 90 per cent of its patrons had left the site by 3:30am – the same as it was in 2019.
Attendees said they were lacking responsibility over a perceived lack of logistical planning after thousands were forced to move to offsite campgrounds.
The latest apology fell upon deaf ears, with people saying the improvements were nothing but a ‘basic human requirement’.
Initially Splendour organisers had blamed the problems on its Tweed routes and said 90 per cent of its patrons had left the site by 3:30am – the same as it was in 2019
Attendees said they were lacking responsibility over a perceived lack of logistical planning after thousands were forced to move to offsite campgrounds
Revellers said they were forced to wait till 6am for a bus to get out of Splendour
‘To say sh*tty for some of you, it’s usual, blame the bus company, then make out how amazing you are being on the phone all day is NOT owning your stuff Splendour!!! Such a lack of compassion for the people who are paying you who you literally left out in the mud, hungry and cold all night,’ an attendee responded to the latest apology.
”Toilets and water’ arent an extra measure…. pretty sure everyone was aware it was a basic human requirement. take a bow splendour!’ a woman replied.
Another said: ‘Dear Splendour on top of everything else, your PR, media and comms teams have produced an epic series of how-not-to-do-it announcements and messaging.’
A man claimed a bus driver said it was organisers who had significantly underestimated the amount of vehicles needed – particularly after the campgrounds were closed on Friday.
‘Our bus driver roped in two other busses that had to follow him because they didn’t know the bus route to tweed via the coast line. The bus drivers were absolute legends and after they dropped us off at 5am were on their way back after organisers were pleading to them over walkie talkies,’ he said.
‘Come on Splendour we deserve better than that and so do the bus drivers that were out there all night! More toilets and water isn’t going to fix a thing, especially those that couldn’t make it today because of getting home at a time when the rest of the state is waking up. What a slap in the face.’
Splendour in the Grass revellers were forced to wait as late as 6am to get a bus out of the festival grounds on Sunday morning
In a statement on Sunday, organisers said everyone was off the premises by 3:30am, with people heaping further criticism after the blunt response
The initial statement drew an avalanche of criticism with people saying the organisers were showing a lack of accountability.
‘There is a limit of what number of excuses you can continue to use. Accept responsibility that you have not run the festival properly and apologise for that,’ a woman replied.
‘While the music was incredible, your festival sucks. It was so poorly organised it appears you don’t actually care. Caring means resourcing the event adequately. You have to over resource so you have contingency to fall back on,’ another commented.
‘I knew this was going to be an issue on Friday, when you had TWO buses to transport thousands of people to and from the venue,’ a man added.
Some even suggested the lack of planning was ‘dangerous’ and that she heard ‘desperate cries for medics’ after people desperately stampeded for buses.
‘I was so frightened of being crushed in the bus crowd last night with peoples desperation escalating as the morning approached. No crowd control and no staff in sight! Thank god there were no casualties,’ she wrote.
People took to social media after some waited as long as six hours to get transport back to their accomodation.
‘When you’ve been in the bus line for four hours and still have so far to go,’ one woman wrote on TikTok alongside a video of crowds packed in the freezing cold waiting for transport.
Frustrated attendees took to social media to reveal they waited as long as six hours this morning for a bus to pick them up
Day three of the festival saw sunny skies after Splendour organisers had to cancel its opening night
‘This is so grim, shame on the organisers! What do they expect not allowing people to be picked up and no parking – total scam artists,’ another wrote.
‘Splendour should be so ashamed of themselves.’
According to attendees, workers at the festival didn’t provide water or warmth for the shivering crowds.
‘Don’t let them fool you, we had to beg for water. There was no communication from anyone as we stood there for hours. They said they would bring blankets and never did,’ a frustrated reveller wrote.
‘There’s people here without shoes, jackets, food and the amount of buses in comparison to people is ridiculous.’
The rain eased on Saturday but again took another turn for the worse at around 11pm as thousands of attendees tried to get back to their accommodation for the night
Other festivalgoers slammed the organisers’ poor planning, complaining they were still waiting for a bus by the time the sun was rising.
‘Not to mention it’s a PREBOOKED bus ticket … like they knew how many people needed to go home,’ one woman in the group wrote.
‘Update: just got home. It’s 6am. The sun is UP.’
One woman said organisers should rethink their decision to go from a 40,000 capacity to 50,000 as there weren’t enough resources for that many attendees.
‘I understand there are so many factors playing a part in things going wrong but previously when it was capped at 40,000 waiting time to get home was never that long, two hours max,’ she wrote.
Other ticket-holders said they would boycott the festival on Sunday to avoid waiting in six-hour lines to get home again.
Festival co-founder Jessica Ducrou insisted the music festival was safe to attend and staff were carrying out repairs on-site to ensure the event could go ahead until its last day on Sunday.
Festival co-founder Jessica Ducrou told punters to ‘bring your gumboots’ with the grounds still submerged in thick mud and floodwaters on Saturday
Ms Durou insisted the music festival was safe to attend and that staff were carrying out repairs on-site to ensure the event could go ahead until its last day on Sunday
‘We’ve had muddy events before, it’s not new to us, but I think the amount of rain that the Northern Rivers has received over the past six months has made it very difficult,’ she told ABC.
‘Everyone’s working as hard as they can to make this an experience they deserve, but it is very challenging conditions.’
Organisers were forced to cancel main-stage performances on the first day of the festival on Friday amid flooded campsites and delays accessing the site.
Thousands of festivalgoers were forced to spend the night on the flooded campgrounds with growing calls for the music event to be cancelled.
Kadence Mathers was among the revellers who described the situation as ‘grim’ saying that a steady stream of rain overnight had added to her misery.
Organisers were forced to cancel main-stage performances on the first day of the festival on Friday amid flooded campsites and delays accessing the site
Thousands of festivalgoers were forced to spend the night on the flooded campgrounds with growing calls for the music event to be cancelled
‘I’m standing in … my complete foot is in water right now,’ she told the Today Show on Saturday morning.
Ms Mathers videoed the campgrounds submerged in floodwaters with cars bogged down in thick mud.
She went inside her tent to reveal it had become a ‘waterbed’ with floodwaters becoming trapped between the ground and the floor of the tent.
‘I’ve been using socks and stuff to mop up the water that is coming in,’ she said.
Ms Mathers confessed she just wanted to leave the campgrounds, but would be unable to go anywhere until her car was freed from the thick mud.
‘I mean it would be good for the festival to go ahead, but it’s not fun in there,’ she said.
‘It’s completely flooded and muddy. You can’t walk without slipping. It’s not fun.’
Festivalgoers were determined to not let the rain and muddy conditions ruin their fun on Friday
Festivalgoers complained on Friday they wanted to leave the music festival because of the horrible conditions (pictured, punters wearing raincoats on Friday)
A severe warning for damaging surf has been issued for the Byron, Coffs Coast, Macquarie and Hunter coasts (pictured, muddy grounds at the music festival on Friday)
Festivalgoers complained on Friday they wanted to leave the music festival because of the horrible conditions with one uploading a video to TikTok showing cars bogged in the mud accompanied by the soundtrack, ‘I wanna go home’.
‘Splendour in the swamp 2022,’ the caption read.
‘Splendour in the mud’, ‘splendour in the swamp’, and ‘splendour in the sludge’ are some of the names being thrown around to describe the mayhem.
One reveller claimed on TikTok that staff were confused, having no idea what was happening or where to send festivalgoers to set up camp.
‘I don’t know what the f*** is going on,’ she said in the video.
‘We were in the car for six-and-a-half hours and they [staff] finally made a makeshift campground in the day parking area.’
Another video showed party-goers trudging through ankle-high water in gumboots as they tried to get from one side of the festival to the other.