Drunken riot erupts at BW festival in Gisborne

By Te Ao Māori News

A drunken riot erupted at the BW Summer Festival in Gisborne disrupting the New Year's Eve celebrations. Seven people needed hospital treatment and 83 others were injured. 63 people were arrested during the three hours of violence and Gisborne police say it was lucky no one was killed.

Footage captured by a BW Festival worker shows some festival goers throwing bottles, then charge down a mesh barrier.

The aftermath is just as frightening as the riot.

Police say, “There were a lot of people injured in that interaction, also missiles were fired from both ends, and that included cans of alcohol and other items throughout the camp sight..”

The BW camping grounds have a BYO liquor license. Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon says their licence will have to be reconsidered.

He says, “I think their BYO liquor license should be revoked. I've already sent notice to the chairman of the liquor licensing committee to consider my request. “

Police say, “Alcohol was the definite aggravator in this situation, coupled with 5 days of drink, 18 and 19 year olds not a good concoction.”

The BW at this stage couldn't confirm if the festival would continue in the future. But for now, it's up to the locals to clean up the mess left behind.