The rain came down, the tunes were banging and the cops were out in force at the inaugural Up Down Festival in Newcastle on the weekend.
Organisers and a handful of performers on the dance-heavy lineup addressed the heavy police presence at Sunday’s Up Down, which had the dubious honour of being among 14 festivals placed on the NSW Government “high risk” list.
Sydney electronic duo Set Mo and FBi Radio presenter/DJ Sandro Dallarmi took to Instagram to poke fun at the swarm of police gathered at the festival’s entry gates. “Need more cops,” Set Mo captioned an Insta Story.
A spokesperson for NSW Police says Up Down was a “pretty well behaved” festival. TIO can confirm cops made more than a dozen positive drug searches, with criminal infringement notices and court attendance notices issued.
There were no major incidents, the crowd was “well behaved” and organizers are “thrilled” with how the show played out, a spokesperson for the event tells TIO. The level of policing, however, was out of hand.
“We do not believe the festival is a high risk event,” reads a statement issued midday to TIO. “The level of policing was excessive and intimidating, however we understand that they have a role to play in overall safety of all festivals. In addition, unfortunately our invitation to Premier Gladys Berejiklian was rejected, however we welcomed Newcastle Labor MP Tim Crackanthorp for a boogie.”