The Silverton Bush Doof has been cancelled after event organisers said they didn’t receive police support for the event.
The event was planned by friends Cameron Stanley and Jordan Gilby to run at the Silverton Hotel next month, but was cancelled last week as police said they couldn’t support the event due to drug concerns, according to Mr Stanley.
“I respect (owner of Silverton Hotel) Pete (Price) completely, he was great about the whole thing, he was prepared to do a lot and wanted to offer something different for the younger people here,” Mr Stanley said.
“Having him on board was awesome, but I can understand why he doesn’t want to do it, because if you were the owner of a hotel and wanted to host an event and were told by police that there was going to be drug use, there’s going to be problems, then you’re not going to want to host it.
“If you do host it and something happens the police are going to be straight on to you, they’re going to say I told you so.”
In a statement the police said the planning including traffic, transport, venue management, crowd safety, security and first aid risks need to be managed to ensure the safety of the event, but Mr Stanley said those plans were already in place.
“We wanted to organise it as safely as possible so we had buses, we had security, we had a ticket limit,” Mr Stanley said.
“So we went through all the right avenues and I’m just a bit annoyed that we did all the right things and it seems to me we just weren’t supported.
“Pete was up for it, I went and saw him and we had everything sorted out and he said he’d go and talk to the licensing officer and then he rang me the next day and said we’re not going to do it.
“To me it was all done properly, we did everything in our power to arrange it safely.”
Mr Stanley said that he was informed the event wouldn’t be going ahead after they were informed the police were concerned about drug use, although the police said that wasn’t the case.
“Police don’t not support things due to ‘fears’ of something,” Detective Inspector Michael Fuller said in a statement to the BDT.
“Police would provide advice to venues and event organisers in support of a safe and secure event.
“Ultimately it is a decision for venues and event organisers as to the holding or cancelling of an event.”
Mr Stanley said it was disappointing that the police wouldn’t work with members of the community to create more events for young people.
“I was going to work with Pete, I was willing to work with the police, we were going to do everything we could basically, but it feels like there was no support offered,” Mr Stanley said.
“Things like Rockfest went ahead no problem, St Pats Recovery Day, heaps of people were out there and there was alcohol, drugs probably, we’re not stupid, people will do it everywhere,” he said.
“This was aimed at a younger generation because we don’t have much at all, so I feel like this was aimed at young people, basically saying we can’t be trusted to hold an event.”
While Silverton is out of the picture, this may not be the end of the Bush Doof.
Mr Stanley said he has plans to approach other licensed venues in town to see whether they would be willing to host the event.
He said that another police concern was due to the openness of the Silverton Hotel, and hopefully a more enclosed venue would help allay those fears.
“Obviously if you’re able to wander off somewhere you can’t be watched by security and they can’t help you if something happened,’ Mr Stanley said.
“But that’s why we would have had security at points where people could possibly leave,” he said.
“There’s not really much more we could have done, drug use is out of our control and the only people that can control that is the police and they basically said they didn’t want to.”
“If Rockfest can go ahead with hundreds of people, three or four times the amount this would have had with our ticket cap of 200, why can’t this?”