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Thursday 9 November 2023

Festival assaults a concern for liquor event organisers

Are you attending a beer or wine festival this weekend?

Will you be safe?

And just what precautions should organisers be taking to make sure everyone enjoys a non-violent environment?

That question was raised this week by British-based trade magazine Drinks Business after two assaults at a beer festival in New Zealand last weekend.

The assaults raised issues over how festival planners can be sure the safety of their workers and attendees is guaranteed, and also how situations like these can be avoided in the future. There could also be serious insurance implications. 

Most events impose responsible service of alcohol measures and employ security.

The two assaults last weekend centred on the Dunedin Craft Beer Festival, an event that has become so popular that it is held in a sports stadium.

A worker at the festival was left with a severe concussion after being picked up and dumped on his head by a patron last Sunday.

Senior Sergeant Anthony Bond of Dunedin Police told local media that a 20-year-old man attending the festival at Forsyth Barr Stadium allegedly ran towards the 19-year-old employee and picked him up off the ground. He then allegedly dropped the employee onto his head, which caused a severe concussion.

The two men were not known to each other and the 20-year-old man was charged with assault and intent to injure.

It followed an incident outside the beer festival on Friday night when a 26-year-old man approached a 30-year-old man and allegedly assaulted him. The victim was allegedly punched several times in the head and kicked when on the ground.

The alleged assailant was charged with assault.

Image: Andrii OmelnytskyiScopio

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