Fine prospects for second reggae festival

By John Cousins

Tonight's Exodus reggae festival in Papamoa East looks set for success after a washout at the inaugural event last year.

Exodus organiser Glen Meikle said everything, including the weather forecast, was pointing to a good evening, while local police were confident the event had been well planned.

While 6000 reggae-loving revellers still braved atrocious conditions last year, everyone had their fingers crossed that the rain would stay away tonight, Mr Meikle said.

Mount Maunganui police Senior Sergeant Joel Lamb said police would be deployed to the festival in Bell Rd but their ultimate presence would depend on the need.

"Event staff run the event and the police are there to provide support."

Gates open at mid-day today, with the first act taking the stage at 12.30pm. This year's line-up has grown to 19 bands and six DJs performing on two stages.

Katchafire will bring in the New Year, followed by legendary Kiwi band Herbs closing out the show at 1.30am.

Exodus rules stated there would be bars selling alcohol but "if you are deemed to be too wasted when entering the bar, you are going to be refused. Get a feed, get you some water [free water stations on site] and sober up a little. This means you'll enjoy yourself more and you'll actually remember your New Year's Eve."

The rules warn that anyone caught holding or dealing illegal drugs would be treated in the same way as anywhere else, by security and possibly the police. People wearing insignia or colours associated with gangs would be refused entry.

Festival-goers have been asked to "make sure to look after one another on the day. Exodus is a peaceful reggae event so nothing but One Love vibes please".

- Bay of Plenty Times

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