Rabbits Eat Lettuce sister-festival to go ahead
THE company behind a Queensland bush doof where two patrons died will push ahead with its sister music festival despite being rebuffed by one council.
Ebony Greening and Dassarn Tarbutt died from suspected drug overdoses at the Rabbits Eat Lettuce music festival at Cherrabah Resort, near Warwick, earlier this year.
Ms Greening, 22, of Nambour, and Mr Tarbutt, 24, of Maleny, were found deceased in a tent the morning after the festival.
The company's bid to hold its Bohemian Beatfreaks festival this year at Cherrabah was this week knocked back this week by Southern Downs Regional Council.
The council cited "strong" police concerns about "excessive strain" on local policing resources and patron safety as reasons for the refusal.
"The music festival was denied approval after strong objection from the Queensland Police Assistant Commissioner for the Southern Region and as well as issues surrounding safety and community benefit," Mayor Tracy Dobie said.
"In this instance, Rabbits Eat Lettuce has not provided sufficient measures to meet safety and application standards."
But Bohemian Beatfreaks organisers told The Courier-Mail they had already sourced another venue for the event but did not specify where.
"When we became aware there might be issues with the Cherrabah Venue Permit back in June this year we promptly secured a replacement venue in Southeast Queensland to guarantee the November Festival will be going ahead," they said.
The organisers claimed the Southern Downs Regional Council had rejected their permit "on seemingly emotional abstract grounds."
"It is a shame as the community of Warwick and the Southern Downs Region will miss out on the annual injection of $1.7m into the local economy from event expenditure and visitor spending," they said.
"In a time of extreme drought, a lot of people out there are doing it tough and every dollar counts.
"Through the entire Permit Process our Event Management, Emergency Resources, Safety Plans & Contractors have not been faulted or pulled into question by Council or Police. The Permit was rejected on seemingly emotional abstract grounds.
"We run one of the safest festival environments in the country."
Organisers said safety initiatives include registered paramedics, an event doctor and fully equipped medical facility onsite.
In a letter to the council, police raised concerns about drug use and community standards.
Police also queried whether Warwick was an appropriate area for a dance music festival.
"Warick is a largely rural, conservative and older population, which it is submitted, are not supportive of these events being held in this locality," it said.
Organisers said this was an "outrageous" claim.
Mayor Dobie invited future musical festival applications if organisers met "concerns surrounding safety and strain upon local police".
The deaths of Ms Greening and Mr Tarbutt are being investigated by the coroner.