What happens when more 15,000 revellers converge on an inner city Melbourne park to ring in the new year with no perimeter fencing, byo drugs/alcohol and just 12 police officers on duty?
A potential horror story of violence and destruction didn’t eventuate but this hasn’t stopped the media from describing it as such.
There are over different 15,000 versions of NYE in Edinburgh Gardens 2014 and I suspect most people had a pretty fun time. The fact it turned out to be a largely peaceful celebration despite the absence of any effective crowd control seems both newsworthy and worthy of further discussion.
Ms Fristacky says local residents had varied views of the New Year’s Eve party. “Quite a few residents who attended said it was a great night, they enjoyed it, it was 20,000 people mostly peaceful, yes there were some incidents, but they were isolated.”
Reading between the lines, the night sounds a bit like a night at an open air music festival like Meredith or Golden Plains. Events like these show us that while we will never be completely rid of dickheads, most people want to be good to each other.
Misrepresentation of the evening and villification it’s participants has spread righteous indignation far beyond residents of the parks gentrified surrounds. Yarra Council is now facing increased pressure to crack down on park users.
‘Trash’ing the Gardens
We were told the park was trashed. While this brings thoughts of vandalism and permanent damage, reporters were actually referring to litter, most of which was all picked up and removed by Council staff and volunteers by sunset on 1 Jan.
Now don’t get me wrong, there was a whole lot of litter. The place was a mess but one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and the indignation inspiring imagery was media gold for the evening news and daily papers.
“inadequate lighting and excessive crowding also appeared to dissuade people from using the rubbish bins and toilet facilities provided, with significant complaints about public urination;”
Music festivals like Meredith and Golden Plains see attendees cleaning up the mess from the night before when the sun rises.
Climbing can be fun but the recently installed tennis court fences aren’t very strong. The top bars slipped under the weight of people climbing on them. The Herald Sun reported this as vandalism. By these standards your average two year old is a wanton vandal.
Ambulance staff set up an emergency triage area in the park, where they treated about 20 people.
Most were treated for alcohol-related problems, while others suffered cuts from broken glass in the park.
Meredith and Golden Plains are two music festivals where you can bring your own alcohol but have a strict NO GLASS POLICY.
There were two violent acts reported. A man lost several teeth when he was punched in the face and a seventeen year old boy was arrested after he allegedly punched a female police officer in the face.
I don’t think anyone has worked out a solution to dickheads but MMF try:
Festivals at the Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre have a No Dickhead Policy.
Essentially this is a self-policing policy whereby ‘the dickhead’ is not celebrated at the festival. Dickheads or people involved in dickhead behaviour will usually find that a solid citizen will firmly but politely inform them that their dickhead behaviour is not admired or appreciated. The Dickhead will usually realise they are being a dickhead and pull their head in. If not, our Helpers or Staff or even Security might make a discreet intervention.
So if you are a Dickhead, this festival isn’t for you.
Hey Rupert, Stop Bashing Our Youth
Demonising our youth may sell papers but what does it do to our social fabric? Crafting words that stir up moral panic doesn’t make life easier for anyone.
The sky is not falling and the connected generations are not falling for your lies.