Young festival goers and their parents say it’s “absolutely ridiculous” attendees have had to wait in line for up to six hours. (File photo.)
Young festival-goers in Raglan have waited more than six hours in queues to get into Soundsplash, and frustrated parents and attendees say it’s “unacceptable”.
Friday was the beginning of the popular three-day summer festival, which features acts including Fat Freddy’s Drop, Katchafire, Ladi6 and Troy Kingi.
Stuff has received messages from concerned parents of attendees on Friday evening, saying their children were waiting between five and six hours to enter.
Zoe said she started queueing at the Raglan Airfield with a group of friends at 11 am on Friday morning.
The 17-year-old didn’t get into the festival until about 6pm.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous.”
There’s an option to drive in, but some attendees get dropped off at the Raglan Airfield where there’s a line for tickets and bag checks.
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They then get a bus up to Wainui Reserve, where the festival is held.
Zoe told Stuff she expected some wait, but not six hours.
“I’ve lost most of the first day of the festival.”
During the wait there weren’t any explanations for the delay from staff or organisers, she said.
“I think there were water venues, and I’m pretty sure there were sunscreen venues, but we didn’t get told about any of that. There were no staff hanging around, we had no assistance.”
She didn’t want to go to the toilet, for fear of losing her place.
“I haven’t gone to the toilet in six hours, I haven’t eaten in six hours.”
She counted about six staff members checking bags, and said there wasn’t enough staff for the number of attendees.
A parent of another attendee, Steve Tucker, said queues had been a problem at the festival for the past several years.
On Friday, his 16-year-old daughter, Abbie, waited in lines for six hours.
Tucker said most attendees in the younger age bracket are dropped at the airfield.
He was not sure whether all the queues at the festival were as long, or whether the problem was mainly centred at the airfield.
His daughter waited there with friends in the bag check line for four hours, then one-and-a-half hours for the bus up to Wainui Reserve, he said.
“It’s unacceptable,” he said.
“It’s just not fair for teenagers to sit on an airfield for five or six hours to get a bag check, get a ticket and get a bus.”
The group eventually lost hope and decided to walk up to the reserve when a passerby who had recently dropped off her own children, offered them a ride.
His daughter paid about $300 for the festival and camping ticket.
“When you are paying big money, they should be able to sort it out,” he said.
“My older daughter has been to the festival for the past couple of years, and it’s always a drama.
“They just can’t get it right.”
He questioned how much funding the festival was putting into adequate staffing.
Tucker said Soundsplash was a popular event for those under 18-years-old, because it was a rare summer festival 16 and 17-year-olds could go to without parents.
“She’s 16, this is her first big event, and it’s put a real dampener on it.”
Stuff contacted Soundsplash organiser Brian Ruawai, but he did not respond for comment on Friday.