About 15 Bay of Islands Music Festival billboards have had penis shapes cut into them.
A person with an apparent disdain for musician Shaggy has left a festival organiser at her wits’ end, as she spends hundreds of dollars replacing billboards which have had phallic shapes cut into them.
Advertising for the Bay of Islands Music Festival is in full swing, with the two-day shenanigans organised for January 25 and 26.
However, a number of billboards have been vandalised, with the culprit taking to them with a knife, cutting a phallic shape and leaving a penis shaped cut out behind.
Northland local Jackie Sanders of Jacman Entertainment, which organised the festival, said about 15 billboards had been ruined, particularly those which highlighted Jamaican reggae musician and headline act Shaggy.
Approaching the situation with a bit of humour, Sanders posted the defaced billboards to the local Facebook group with a “guess the shape” competition and a cash reward for anyone who could help identify the “artistic culprit” for prosecution.
However, with each billboard costing about $150 and the efforts to seek permission for their placement, Sanders said it was hard not to feel disappointed.
“It’s not just a [penis] on a sign, it’s a bit more than that. It’s the cost of the sign and the cost of someone to take it down so it’s not looking messy on the side of the road.”
Sanders said they were making an effort to keep prices low to bring “something exciting and vibrant” to the region, however a lack of local transport and infrastructure options made it more expensive.
The added cost of replacement signs was frustrating, she said.
“This time’s a bit different. We’re really trying to put Northland on the circuit and it’s like the biggest line up we’ve had up here.”
She said festivals organised by the group in other parts of the country had not faced this much vandalism, dubbing the area “the naughty north”.
Sanders had obtained some CCTV footage and provided it to the police, and believed it was the same person doing the vandalism.
A police spokeswoman confirmed they had received a report of damage to promotional signs and were making inquiries.
Performing alongside Shaggy at the Waitangi Sports Grounds was Toots and the Maytals, Shihad, Blindspott, The Black Seed, Otium, Mel Parsons and Latinaotearoa, with Northland local DJ Big G also performing.
Tickets are available here.