New Years chaos at Pyramid Rock Festival
Sun 3rd Jan, 2010 News 5206 viewsin
The music ended at Pyramid Rock well before midnight on New Years Eve, with a storm causing the cancellation of all headline acts.
The music cut out on the main stage as the Beautiful Girls were closing their set at around 8:50pm with the crowd told to head back to their camp sites to ensure that their tents and cars were secure as a thunder storm approached the festival site. Though that storm had passed through by around 10:30pm the main stage was empty for the remainder of the festival.
According to the official statement from the promoters, “The Main Stage suffered major damage to vital lighting and effects systems that could not be restored in time to bring in the New Year. All effort was made to reinstate the appropriate and acceptable standard of stage production levels to the Main Stage area without success, prompting festival organisers arranging to re-locate the four remaining main stage headline acts Butterfly Effect, Grinspoon, Empire of the Sun and Van She for the night from the Main Stage to the Pharaoh’s Annex tent.”
Grinspoon and Butterfly Effect were backstage and prepared to play on the smaller Pharaoh’s Annex stage, but after consultations with security and emergency services personnel that plan was abandoned due to safety and overcrowding concerns.
The promoters state that, “The west facing Main Stage of the festival bore the full force of an extreme Westerly that brought fierce winds, heavy rain, lightning and thunder to the finale of the Phillip Island festival… suffer[ing] major damage to vital lighting and effects systems that could not be restored in time to bring in the New Year.”
Punters at the festival report that there were no stage announcements or communication from the organisers and that the sell out crowd were left in confusion as midnight passed without an official countdown on the main stage.
At Lorne, The Falls Festival weathered the storm with amphitheatre mudslides offering entertainment before Moby and a lacklustre set from Hilltop Hoods brought in the New Year. Though the festival was not without it’s own problems with Soul Sister Number One – Marva Whitney; the 65-year-old former backing singer for James Brown – suffering a stroke during her set on the opening night of the festival and being stretchered off stage.