Police commend crowd behaviour at Esk Beerfest

More than 7000 people are estimated to have attended Saturday's Esk Beerfest. Picture: Phillip Biggs
More than 7000 people are estimated to have attended Saturday's Esk Beerfest. Picture: Phillip Biggs

Police have praised the good behaviour of crowds at the weekend’s Esk Beerfest, with more than 7000 people estimated to have filled Royal Park. 

This year marked a change from the traditional venue at the Esplanade and Shields Street, with organisers promising a bigger, bolder and more family-friendly event. 

Tasmania Police Inspector Scott Flude said overall police were “very pleased” with the behavior of crowds. 

“Generally it was a really well-attended event,” he said.

“There were big numbers, but overall the crowds were well behaved.

“Any event of that size, when alcohol is involved, has the potential to go the other way, but fortunately in this case it didn’t, so that is commendable.” 

It is understood there were two incidents during the night. The first was a report of a minor assault at the festival, but police did not release any details.

The second happened after the event, with a woman reportedly breaking her leg outside of the park.

Beerfest’s James Harding said organisers had taken extra steps this year to ensure a safe environment for all attendees, including hiring extra security.

“As organisers, we do our best to keep everyone in a safe and fun-filled space,” he said. 

“But I would say this is one of the best behaved crowds we have ever had, at least during the hours of the event.

“We increased security this year in preparation for bigger numbers and they were onto everything, before there was any potential for a minor incident to become more serious.

“There were a lot of people just having a really good time and I think people appreciated having more room to move around.”

Crowds were about 2000 down from earlier predictions, despite online sales tracking better than previous years. 

Mr Harding said the weather, including some early rain, had proved “challenging”, but overall the feedback had been fantastic. 

“I think some people were probably turned off by the weather, but that ended up being a non-event really,” he said. 

“A lot of the feedback from the bands is that it had been one of the best gigs they have done for a long while. 

“The stallholders all had reported a great turnover and it was just great to see so many families, people of all ages young and old having a dance up at the main stage.”

Mr Harding said this year’s festival also attracted a much larger interstate audience, with plans to continue the event along a similar format in 2019. 

“This event started in Launceston and the festival has earned a great reputation,” he said.

“We will continue to build on that.”