Coast's major events plan against worst-case scenarios
IN THE wake of the Manchester concert tragedy, major events organisers in and around the Sunshine Coast have opened up about the steps taken behind-the-scenes to make sure their patrons are safe.
The Sunshine Coast and surrounding region is home to an array of unique and diverse events that draw visitors from across the country and the world each year.
The Noosa Food and Wine Festival last weekend drew 10,000 visitors to Hastings St, and the Big Pineapple Music Festival sold out tickets to this Saturday's event.
Noosa Food and Wine Festival director Maria Crews said a huge amount of consultation with emergency services and the council, and scenario planning went on behind the scenes ahead of the festival to make it a safe place.
"We basically go through everything that can go wrong and what our strategy is, and also talk about what our risks are and how to mitigate them,” she said.
That included scenarios on a similar scale to the disaster that killed and injured dozens in Manchester.
"But without being complacent we're very lucky up here on the Sunshine Coast that there's a very low risk,” Ms Crews said.
"If you were in Sydney or Melbourne you'd approach it differently, but the advice from police up here is there's always a risk but it's a low risk.”
Ms Crews said there was a large security presence at the festival, but organisers tried to keep it low-key to keep patrons comfortable.
"Just to make sure everyone was protected and safe, both from outside threats and from people being silly as well,” she said.
At the other end of the Coast 132,000 people were drawn through the gate at this year's Woodford Folk Festival, and festival director Bill Hauritz said there was a robust and rigorous safety planning mechanism that was constantly reviewed.
"It (safety) is a big thing on our minds and while we've got a great safety record we ... are always on the lookout for things happening.”