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The Hunter Valley’s Wine Machine Festival ‘Disaster’

Over the weekend, thousands of festival-goers flocked to the Hunter Valley in NSW for what was supposed to be an event filled with delicious food, some of the best wine and some big live music acts.

But unfortunately things didn’t really go as planned, and as a result people are now demanding refunds and an explanation for the “disastrous” event which saw ticket holders thrown out during a dangerous storm, the main act cancelled and unsatisfactory food and drink options.

Wine Machine festival, held at Roche Estate in the NSW wine region, has since been compared to the almost unbelievable events of Fyre Festival, after a thunder storm struck during the middle of it.

Around 50,000 people, some of whom paid up to $150 for a ticket, were evacuated from the property by police after the weather took a turn for the worse, with Kyle and Jackie O’s own newsreader Brooklyn Ross explaining just how dangerous it was.

Brooklyn, who attended the event in the Hunter Valley over the weekend, said that he was almost arrested when police began removing ticket holders during the storm, saying that people were left to find their own shelter in the heavy rain and lighting.

“I was there…what a disaster,” Brooklyn said during his news bulletin.

“It was like a severe storm with lightning strikes and everything, so I just assume that the organisers and security thought, ‘Oh well we can’t get anyone hit by lightning here at the festival on the property, so let’s just kick them all out onto the streets at the Hunter Valley.”

Some people have since dubbed Wine Machine Fyre Festival 2.0, the failed festival in the Bahamas that left a huge amount of people out of pocket after it was postponed indefinitely, with reports of huge queues for food and drinks, poor sound quality of acts and some performances cancelled altogether.

Brooklyn said this might be a bit of an exaggerated comparison, but that the event certainly wasn’t successful. He also revealed that he came close to being arrested after complaining about the treatment of ticket holders.

“That’s a bit of an exaggeration, the Fyre Fest thing, but it was crazy,” he said. “I actually almost got arrested. I had to be escorted off by police.

“I was yelling at them being like, aren’t the police supposed to be helping people and they’re just trying to evacuate this thing. I just didn’t understand. “There was lightning everywhere…where are we supposed to go?” he continued.

“I don’t get how it was safer from a police perspective to be out on the street.”

See footage from Brooklyn's Instagram story here!

The event was reportedly understaffed after two mini busses full of staff broke down on the way to the event, leaving lines for food and drink two-hours long on some occasions.

Complaints were also made about the surcharges placed on all card transactions, despite the fact that the event was advertised as ‘cashless’.

People were quick to take to social media to complain about Wine Machine festival, with some saying it was actually “worse than Fyre Festival”.

“Hey Fyre Festival 2.0, when are you refunding our money for the worl’d worst organised part?” wrote one festival-goer.

“This was my worst festival experience from the layout to the bloody queue that took up to an hour to be served.

“They have no clue how to run a festival… this is dead and buried.”

The festival has since released a statement and apologised for the way that the event was handled.


“Due to the current climate in NSW, severe licensing conditions were placed upon the event limiting drinks to two per person causing unacceptable congestion at the bars,' they wrote.

“Two of our staffing mini-buses carrying 32 staff were also reportedly involved in an incident whilst en route from Sydney resulting in bars being under staffed.”

They also said that the cancelled main act, Hot Dub Time Machine, would be making an announcement in the coming day about a complimentary make-up show.

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