Rhythm & Vines – Back in 2014, an unfortunate incident took place at Gisborne's BW campground during the New Year's Eve celebrations, which traditionally attracted a large number of Rhythm & Vines festival attendees. In the years leading up to that eventful night, a culture had developed at the campground characterized by excessive drinking and rowdy behavior, especially on the final day of the festival. The campground's lenient B.Y.O. (Bring Your Own) policy allowed festival-goers to stock up on alcohol throughout New Year's Eve, before heading to the nearby R&V festival where B.Y.O. was not permitted.

Unlike previous years, the 2014 BW campground implemented restrictions that prevented campers from entering sections of the campground other than their assigned areas. This enforced separation was met with disapproval by many attendees. As anticipation grew for the exciting night ahead, a minority of campers coordinated an attempt to tear down the deer fencing that divided the campground. Overwhelmed by the situation, security struggled to maintain control, and when the first fence was successfully flattened, it triggered a sense of discontent and disorder throughout the entire campground. Chaos unfolded over the next few hours as tents and gazebos were systematically destroyed and set ablaze by a few individuals. Some campers even fueled large bonfires using tents and camping equipment. Sadly, the event led to 63 arrests, 83 reported injuries, and seven hospital admissions.

As festival-goers began boarding buses to the nearby R&V festival, the violence subsided, leaving behind a devastated campground. Fortunately, due to tighter security measures at the R&V festival site, the impact of the disorder between BW campground and the main event was minimal. However, this incident marked the end of an era as it was the last year that BW hosted Rhythm and Vines attendees in large numbers. It also had a lasting effect on the New Zealand festival scene, making summer music festivals with B.Y.O. alcohol licenses almost unheard of.

While the events of that night were regrettable, it's important to remember that the vast majority of festival-goers attend music events to have a great time and enjoy the music in a safe and responsible manner. The focus now remains on creating positive and enjoyable experiences for all attendees at festivals throughout New Zealand.

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