By Joe Bourke
Opinions are divided in Bondi after the announcement that ‘Shore Thing’, the popular beach’s annual New Years Eve music festival, has been cancelled.
In the official statement made by festival organisers Mi5, “lengthy discussions with Council and other stakeholders” were cited as justification for cancelling the event.
Waverley Mayor Sally Betts said she was initially concerned about the security of Bondi Beach on New Years Eve now that no organised event will take place, but that council and police had worked together to address the issue.
“We sat down with all the police last week and went through all the contingents and worked through a whole lot of logistical things.”
Director of Bondi Beach Radio, Chris Williams, is a supporter of the event because it adds to the culture of Sydney on New Years Eve.
“Sydney is known worldwide for celebrating the new year in a particular way, and its all about really showcasing our natural environment.”
“Whether you’re at Darling Harbour or The Rocks or North Sydney, it’s all about framing the New Years Eve celebration in the context of this great natural environment that we have in this city and I look at the Bondi experience as being part of that broader celebration.”
Residents in the vicinity of the beach have been campaigning for the event’s cancellation for some time, claiming that the event is noisy, messy, and brings antisocial behaviour to the area whilst cutting off locals from visiting the beach.
Bondi resident Ian Plashchik said: “The local community was predominantly behind its cancellation. I can hear the music from my house and it makes a very big mess of things.”
Mr Williams said that the mess should not be a consideration.
“It may be visually more extreme the next day because there have been 15000 people there but I’m sure after two days it’ll be back to normal, which is no different to when we get large storms.”
“It boils down to the cultural impact. I think that’s the strongest argument to our existence as an international global city, and this great opportunity for the global music spotlight to shine on our inspirational beach.”
The event has featured such artists as Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg and Skrillex in recent years.
Cr Betts said that the beach will still be open for anybody who would like to visit, but stressed that no alcohol is to be brought.
“Unfortunately if some people do drink too much, they spoil it for everybody. So everybody is welcome, come and have a wonderful evening but just don’t bring alcohol.”
This year there will be no event, but Cr Betts said that it might be good to have a “family event” in the coming years to replace Shore Thing.