Furious festival goers describe waiting for more than three hours for transport in the cold, despite having been informed there would be shuttle services
People at the Splendour in the Grass music festival have said they resorted to sleeping on the side of the road while others trudged along a highway after being left stranded at the festival site in the early hours of Saturday.
Attendees who were staying in the nearby towns took to the festival’s Facebook page to vent outrage at the lack of transport provided to take them back to their accommodation after the last act of the night.
They described waiting for more than three hours for a bus in the cold, despite the festival’s information page telling attendees buses would be provided.
Some of the posts have been deleted but Guardian Australia has obtained screenshots of many of the comments.
On their website, Splendour in the Grass said: “Use shuttle buses between the festival and surrounding locations.” And on their page about transport, they said: “Please use the festival shuttle buses provided by Splendour. They are the fastest and safest way to travel to and from the event.”
Some reported waiting until 4am to get on a bus, while others spoke about chaos in the long queues as people pushed in while marshalls did nothing to keep order.
Many reported on Facebook that they were either attempting the 2.5-hour walk back to their accommodation themselves, or that they had seen many others doing so.
One Facebook user posted a photo of people lying on the side of the road, saying they were “sleeping in the mud” as they waited for the bus.
In response, the managers of the festival’s Facebook page urged the attendees not to attempt to walk home, saying it was “extremely dangerous”.
They also said they had heard the complaints and were doing everything they could to fix the situation.
Erin Lavinsky, from Melbourne, told Guardian Australia she left the main stage well before the end of the final set by The Strokes, who closed the day, but still didn’t get on a bus to her Mullumbimby accommodation until 1:30am, after a two-hour wait.
“You couldn’t find anyone to ask for direction or help. Someone should have been out there directing and marshalling. There should have been someone with a megaphone or something keeping people informed. We were on the Facebook page and there was nothing but an excuse. It’s not a proper way to communicate.
Not to mention that the buses should have been free after all that.
“The fact that it’s been running for so many years and this still doesn’t work properly … you can’t do a festival like that.”
Other attendees said lines for the portable toilets were so long, they were forced to relieve themselves on the side of the road.
Splendour in the Grass is a three-day music festival taking place north of Byron Bay in New South Wales, which more than 25,000 people will attend. Headline acts include The Strokes, The Cure and The Avalanches.
The festival organisers posted an apology on their Facebook page and have been contacted for comment.