The head of one of New Zealand's marquee festivals says only a tiny number of punters tried to get through its gates with fake vaccine passes.
Rhythm and Alps, based in Cardrona Valley near Wānaka, was held between December 29-31. At 10,000 people, it would be one of the largest music festivals this summer after the cancellation of Bay Dreams and postponement of Rhythm and Vines.
When tickets were being sold for Rhythm and Alps, vaccine passes hadn't been introduced which posed a problem for founder and director Alex Turnbull when the Government confirmed vaccine passes would be required to enter such a gathering.
It meant organisers had to urge people who had already purchased tickets to link their vaccine pass with their ticket, which would allow a more efficient scanning process at the festival entrance.
Turnbull said there was good uptake - about 75 per cent of festival-goers at Rhythm and Alps and another smaller festival in Tauranga had done so.
For those who hadn't, customer service staff were on hand to assist people in linking their vaccine pass.
While this worked well in Tauranga, issues cropped up in Wānaka on December 30 as sheer demand overpowered the Wi-Fi available to festival-goers.
"There were some slight delays that day for people who hadn't uploaded their vaccine pass," Turnbull said.
"There was some tension there for a short period with the Wi-Fi and we just had to power that Wi-Fi up but as soon as people get in the gate, they calm down."
Aside from that, Turnbull said the system worked very well.
"The actual hardware and software worked really well."
He did acknowledge two or three people had tried to enter the festival with fraudulent vaccines pass, but were removed.
Other small issues included people's names on their ticket not matching their vaccine pass, but Turnbull said this only impacted about eight per cent of people and was resolved with help from staff.
In addition to vaccine pass scanning, it was highly recommended people continue to scan the Covid Tracer QR code which is used by contact tracers to establish possible locations of interest and exposure events.
While anecdotal reports had suggested vaccine pass scanning reduced the frequency of QR code scanning, Turnbull said at least 98 per cent of people had scanned the QR code with help from persistent staff.
"People are used to scanning in and we can say that almost every person scanned in on arrival."
Considering his festivals were among the first to encounter vaccine passes, Turnbull was happy with how his team managed the extra requirement.
"It was important for us to be able to lead by example to the other events across New Zealand and I'm pretty sure we achieved that."
He predicted future festivals would experience less trouble as ticketing agencies incorporated vaccine passes into the purchasing process.
Turnbull encouraged other festival organisers to ensure staff were well-resourced to manage any issues which did arise as people entered the venue.
"At the end of the day, it's the utmost safety of New Zealanders as a whole and event organisers really need to step it up and make sure the front gate is really well-staffed and the compliance is there.
"It's not to be underestimated because it's a lot of work and it needs to be done well."