Security tight at Groovin’ the Moo

The wellbeing and safety of attendees was a top priority for organisers at this weekend’s Groovin’ the Moo Festival.

Ocean Alley performs at the Bendigo Groovin' the Moo festival. Photo Katie McShane

The all ages event has been running since 2005, with the 2020 and 2021 shows being cancelled due to COVID. After the hiatus, the festival came back in full swing last year, and this year was no different.

With headlining acts FatBoy Slim, Denzel Curry and Amy Shark, the demand for tickets was great among avid festival goers.

The annual festival has been the subject of controversy in the past, with drug use leading to three deaths in 2017. Police have also investigated several reports of assaults at the festival over the years.

A second-year Groovin’ the Moo attendee, Emma Hayes, said the safety measures of the festival this year were adequate.

“They put security where they needed it most, especially for those who were underage,” she said.

Security workers was present throughout the venue, and at the most central points. Bag checks and entry protocols were tight. Security guards were situated at the barricades of each stage, there for those who needed assistance.

“There wasn’t really a moment apart from … right in the mosh where I felt unsafe, but that’s really hard to cover,” Hayes said.

Noah Sim was attending his first Groovin’ the Moo festival.

“I felt relatively safe, there’s a big security and police presence here,” he said.

One of the safety teams included the volunteer group, Red Frogs. The organisation aims to be a safeguard for young people, and to provide a secure place and group to access at events, such as Groovin’ the Moo.

“We have to stay as a group all together, for our safety as well as the other persons,” Noah Stevens, a first time Red Frog volunteer, said. “If there’s an incident, you try and get as much help as possible.”

The Red Frogs provided shelter, water and blankets to festival goers.

The Victorian Police were another major presence within the festival, with no official arrests reported at the time this story was written. There were no recordings of serious injury at the event either.


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