Homegrown fans put sevens to shame

OLIVIA WANNAN
Last updated 05:00 17/02/2014
Tiki Taane
Smooth operator: Tiki Taane.

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Emergency services have praised the packed Homegrown crowd for their good behaviour.

More than 15,500 people went crazy for their favourite Kiwi musicians at Saturday's Wellington waterfront event, now in its seventh year.

Big acts included Tiki Taane, Ladi6, Opshop and Dane Rumble.

Coming a week after the Wellington Sevens event described as "an absolute zoo", Homegrown organisers might have been apprehensive of crowd behaviour.

The event has previously struggled with concert-goers turning up drunk and vomiting after pre-loading on alcohol.

But beefed-up security and new rules around under-18s appear to have worked.

Inspector John Spence, who was in charge of the police presence at the event, was pleased by the crowd and the organisers.

"The crowd was pretty good all round. It wasn't too bad in town afterwards either."

There were three arrests on Saturday, all for intoxicated people outside the event, and five people were taken to hospital, he said.

However, police did hand out more than 50 infringement notices of $250 each for breaches of the liquor ban outside the licensed event sites.

Homegrown event manager Jonnie Halstead said most breaches were for people who had brought their own alcohol to drink outside the venue.

Security strictly monitored people moving between festival sites to ensure they did not bring in alcohol purchased outside the gates, he said.

This year, festival-goers aged between 15 and 18 had to pre-register their parents' details and provide a copy of their birth certificate to gain entry. Three sets of parents were phoned, Mr Halstead said.

"In all three scenarios, the youths had put down the correct details of their parents. Obviously, they were a bit concerned to hear they had consumed alcohol before the event."

The success of the scheme meant it would be repeated for future events, he said.

"The crowds were excellent. . .They're here for the music predominantly, which is a really good thing."

St John Ambulance team leader Andrew Green agreed the crowd were "nice and quiet". "[Pre-loading] was markedly down on previous years."

Lower Hutt nurse Kyla Rutherford had found the atmosphere throughout the day positive and friendly. "There's a really great vibe here."

The 24-year-old and her group of friends had an "amazing" time listening to favourite acts Opshop and Six60.

"It's a really good summer festival."

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