Flooding forces festival cancellation

Due to the Waitawheta River rising, Sundaise Festival concert goers camping at Dickies Flat in the karangahake Gorge were evacuated overnight. Organisers have now cancelled the festival. Photo: Angela Richards.

Sundaise Festival organisers have been forced to cancel the festival due to the atrocious weather and are asking people to now vacate the property.

Overnight, a number of people had to be rescued after the venue and nearby camping areas at Dickey Flat in the Karangahake Gorge near Waihi were flooded out.

Around 1000 people were at the Sundaise Festival which started yesterday and was due to run across the weekend.

“It is with great sadness that we have had to make this decision but given the forecast and the river state, for the safety of everyone here we are moving people off the property today,” says Sundaise organisers in a post to Facebook.

“Thank you all for your support. We will be making further announcements throughout the day as we assess the situation and help everyone to make a smooth and safe departure.”

An information centre has been established at the Lucky Star area of the venue, while a tractor and 4WD vehicles are being organised to help people who get stuck, says organisers.

Emergency services were called in when festival goers became stuck and campsites were flooded shortly after midnight.

A police spokesperson says about 800 people had been expected to stay in campsites near the festival, but these people had to be accommodated when the area was flooded.

“Many campers were taken in by local residents and housed in farm buildings, and the Whatawhata Hall was opened up to provide shelter and people were taken to the Salvation Army in Waihi. 

“Buses were also organised by the Thames-Coromandel District Council and Hauraki District Council to evacuate people.”

Everyone was evacuated from the scene safely thanks to a good co-ordinated response from emergency services, council staff and festival staff, adds the spokesperson.

According to the Thames-Coromandel District Council, 140 concertgoers self-evacuated, while 61 people were evacuated from the Dickies Flat campground and taken to the Waihi Salvation Army Hall.

1 Comment

Too late!!!

Posted on 11-03-2017 12:33 | By Jimmy

The event should have been cancelled 2 days ago when they had the chance, pure greed and selfishness on the organisers part!, once again volunteers have put their own lives at risk, the weather was forecast and the area is notorious for flooding in conditions that have occurred!, will punters be repaid?, also where were OSH with electricity involved?, after all solar panels would be useless!, any insurance?, do not expect sympathy you took the risk and would have been happy to take the rewards.

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