Revellers who have stuck it out in the mud and puddles at Splendour in the Grass have complained of more difficulty leaving the festival site late on Saturday night with videos posted online showing crowded and chaotic scenes.
A number of major music acts were cancelled on Friday night due to the wet weather, which had already caused disruptions in attendees being able to gain access to the event while some festival-goers were forced to sleep in their cars after their tents flooded.
Organisers pushed ahead with the event over the weekend but the unenviable conditions appear to have caused ongoing issues, exacerbated by what some attendees say was poor management and planning.
Sydney man Lyndon Sharp attended Splendour on Saturday, lamenting the long wait to get to the stages.
"It took more than two hours waiting in the carpark for a shuttle bus to the site," he told Yahoo News Australia.
"[We] left early Saturday night in an Uber as we could see a bus disaster about to happen. Friends waited several hours to get a bus back to the carpark at 11.00pm."
He doesn't believe the inclement weather was responsible.
"There just weren't enough buses," he said.
Videos shared on social media show massive crowds waiting to exit the site on the penultimate night of the event on Saturday.
"I was lucky, I only waited 30 minutes ... but people waited literally hours," one woman said on TikTok, sharing a video of crowds trying to leave the event. "My friends waited three hours to get on a bus."
Another said she wasn't back to her bed until 6am.
"Not to mention it’s a PREBOOKED bus ticket… like they knew how many people needed to go home," she said.
A number of people complained about waiting as long as four hours to get a departing bus, with some attendees reportedly stuck there until the very early hours of the morning.
"People waiting until quarter to six this morning for buses home," journalist and podcaster Nathan Jolly complained on Twitter, even going as far to say that it was "criminal" that organisers went ahead with the event due to the conditions on the ground.
It is criminal they went ahead with #splendourinthegrass. People waiting until quarter to six this morning for buses home, inaccessible areas, food being cooked in actual sewerage, danger, understaffed, oversold. Class action lawsuit, please. pic.twitter.com/OGpraadc2G
— Nathan Jolly (@nathanjolly) July 23, 2022
However Mr Sharp told Yahoo News Australia that most people took the delays and problems in their stride and were just happy to be back at a music festival.
"Most people handled the delays surprisingly well," he said. "Live music, after several plague years absence, justifies many hardships," he said.
Nonetheless, he also took to Twitter, blowing off steam by saying the long bus delays had "ruined the event completely".
People waiting 3 hours for the buses and still a LOT of people waiting… Zero communication from @SITG. No water available for those waiting for the non-existent buses.
This is not a weather issue. This festival was not prepared.#splendourinthegrass #SITG2022 pic.twitter.com/OYlZPdbulX
— Jesse Howes (@Jesse_Howes) July 23, 2022
Saturday saw acts including headliners Jack Harlow, The Strokes, Glass Animals and Violent SoHo delight crowds with more in store for Sunday.
US rapper Tyler the Creator is the headline act tonight, with Liam Gallagher, Mura Masa, G-Flip and others also gracing the stage.
It wasn't the mud that made me disappointed at Splendour in the Grass this year, it was the management's complete failure to provide bus shuttle services as promised - 2,3 and 4-hour waits are just ruined the event completely. pic.twitter.com/W62sJJBsS2
— Lyndon Sharp (@lyndons) July 24, 2022
Splendour in the Grass has been contacted for comment regarding the bus delays and any changes to plans with festival-goers set to leave on Monday morning.
Co-owner of the event Jessica Ducrou said organisers apologised for the lack of communication, Nine News reported Saturday.
"Obviously we were dealing with the inclement conditions and just wanted to make sure we could operate the show," she said.
Organisers are no doubt hoping for a smoother ride for the final 24 hours of the event.
ABC reporter Ruby Cornish is currently at the festival, reporting on Saturday morning that while many people are excited for the day ahead, there will do doubt be concerns about how their exit plans will go.
"A lot of hands are going to be need on deck to make sure those cars can get out of the mud," she said.
Splendour in the Grass organisers respond to anger over bus delays
In a statement on Saturday, organisers acknowledged the frustration felt by those at their event.
"We hear you and we understand your frustration with our bus services last night," the company said in a statement.
"Our event site closes at 2am and and 90% of our bus patrons were off site by 3.30am, like it was in 2019.
Organisers said some routes were impacted due to bus driver shortages, estimating that about 1000 attendees were affected.
"Our sincere apologies to you all.
"We are doing everything we can to secure extra services for tonight's exit, which is challenging in the current climate."
A message about Splendour bus services pic.twitter.com/u6ABmF6vXq
— SplendourintheGrass (@SITG) July 24, 2022
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