Reasons to cancel R&V
I wish to reinforce the concern of people in the Tairawhiti district who have already petitioned for this year's Rhythm & Vines music festival to be cancelled.
Given the likelihood there will still be community spread of Covid-19 at the time this music festival is being held at the end of December, there is a strong possibility it could become a superspreading event — for the following reasons:
' Young people are more likely to spread Covid-19 due to their mobility and degree of social interaction
' Festival attendees travel together and gather in large groups in confined spaces
' Attendees are likely to be sharing food and drink on site, leading to cross-contamination
' Security at this event has always been difficult to maintain, so vetting who has been vaccinated or not will also prove problematic
' Alcohol and drug use by participants may make them less likely to observe health and safety protocols.
This music festival could prove to be a significant risk to the local community in many ways:
' Behaviour amongst festival attendees will put an increased risk on front-line staff
' A significant increase in the population during this period, not only from festivalgoers but also from other holidaymakers and people visiting whanau, will put additional pressure and stress on local services, resources and people
' Health and emergency services which are already under pressure could be severely impacted
' There are a significant number of people in the Gisborne district who are unvaccinated, particularly in the Maori community, plus people with pre-existing health conditions and disabilities who would be particularly vulnerable.
Taking these considerations into account, I believe that the risk to the Tairawhiti district outweighs the benefits.
Please consider cancelling this event this year.
Seven years crowd control, security at Rhythm & Vines