Heat blamed for early closure of Laneway bar

By Cassandra Mason

The high temperature at the Laneway Festival was a major reason for the early closure of one of the main bars on the site. Photo / Dean Purcell.
The high temperature at the Laneway Festival was a major reason for the early closure of one of the main bars on the site. Photo / Dean Purcell.

The decision to close one of the main bars at Laneway Festival yesterday, causing queues and frustrating patrons, was prompted by the heat, a promoter says.

One of the two main bars at the annual music festival, held at Auckland Waterfront's Silo Park, was closed just after 8pm last night after festival organisers and Auckland Council decided to prevent further intoxication.

"It was a decision made by the Auckland liquor licence people in conjunction with our bar managers," said Laneway New Zealand co-promoter Mark Kneebone.

"They had some concerns over intoxication levels... and they felt the most reasonable way to deal with it was to close one of the bars."

Mr Kneebone said the closure was more of a preventative measure, especially given the heat of the day.

"It was so hot on the site and that was a big driver of it. It wasn't so much about the consumption but that it was a really screaming hot day and everyone's on asphalt."

Conditions like this were far more likely to cause intoxication, he said.

While Mr Kneebone admitted the call put pressure on the other bars, he didn't think there had been much of a negative response from music fans.

"People were good, it was a really mellow show."

Laneway New Zealand apologised to fans for the closure on its Facebook page.

"Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, the Auckland city council has decided to close down one of the main bars. We respect their decision and apologise for the inconvenience and queue times this creates."

Festival goer Charlotte Evans said she and her friends had become frustrated with the lines, which worsened once the bar was shut down.

"The lines were crazy. We were pretty pissed off," she said.

Evictions were down this year too, with only a few kicked out for intoxication and about 12 for "fence jumping", Mr Kneebone said.

Some paddle boarders scored themselves free entry when they made the effort to sneak in via the water.

"Frankly, I was quite impressed," said Mr Kneebone.

Security grabbed them and we said, 'You know what? You've paddled boarded around from another bay... congratulations.'"

Yesterday's Laneway Festival was Auckland's third and the second time it had been held at Silo Park.

- NZ Herald

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