A sea of revellers dressed in tie-dye, bum bags and glitter descended on Nelson for the second installment of Bay Dreams South last week – and according to organisers it all went “perfectly to plan”.
The music festival saw just over 20,000 people congregate in Trafalgar Park under sunny skies on Saturday for the follow-up to last years’ inaugural, sold-out event.
“I’ve been involved in running festivals for 17 years and this is the smoothest running one I’ve ever been involved in,” says Bay Dreams director Toby Burrows.
“Last year was a bit of a test but I feel this year we really nailed it. Everyone felt a lot more comfortable.”
Starting at 12pm, a steady flow of punters streamed through the gates throughout the afternoon and into the evening, with many taking advantage of door sales – thanks to 5,000 extra tickets this year.
Free water and sunscreen were available at the event and free buses were in service for ticket holders.
Visitors praised the camping set-up at Rutherford Park, although more than 60 tents were left behind which will be packed up and sent overseas for refugees.
Police, paramedics and fire crews had a heavy presence at the event throughout the day and reported no major incidents.
“The large crowd was generally well behaved, and police are happy to report there were no major issues. Four people were arrested at the event for disorderly behaviour and have been spoken to,” says Senior Sergeant John Price.
Emergency Manager at NMDHB Pete Kara said health services saw just over 500 people throughout the day requiring treatment for small cuts, exhaustion and overdoses, which was “as expected”.
The festival brought an impressive line-up of acts, with international superstar Tyler, The Creator as headliner, alongside other international names including Skepta, Yelawolf, Netsky, SASASAS and Ella Mai.
Chair of Nelson City Council’s sport and recreation committee, councillor Tim Skinner, says he is “absolutely delighted” with how the event went.
“The crowd was exceptionally well-behaved, and throughout the day I saw numerous examples of partygoers looking after their mates and being respectful to each other and to our city.
“I’d like to thank all of the emergency services, event organisers and volunteers – an event of this size takes a huge amount of planning and co-ordination and it really was a team effort.”
Toby says while Nelson may be small, the city is a perfect candidate for a music festival.
“The proximity of everything to the city is great – we’re really excited to bring it back again next year and hope to be here for the long haul.”