24 Dec 2018

'Hard-line' approach to illegal freedom camping during Bay Dreams South

12:16 pm on 24 December 2018

The influx of visitors to Nelson for next month's Bay Dreams South are being warned not to risk freedom camping in areas where it's banned.

Outdoor music festival.

Photo: 123RF

All 20,000 tickets to the music festival on 4 January sold out within weeks.

It is the first time the sister festival to Bay Dreams in Tauranga will be held in Nelson.

City councillor Tim Skinner said it would be a big event for Nelson, especially considering it took only weeks to sell as many tickets sold in a year to the All Blacks test match in Nelson in September.

Tickets to the festival cost $175, and $79 to the Bay Dreams pre-party the night before.

Mr Skinner said the concert organisers would be setting up two temporary campgrounds on council-owned sports grounds in Nelson.

Ticket-holders are able to book a tent site for $99 over two nights at either Rutherford Park near the concert venue at Trafalgar Park, or Saxton Field 11km away.

The two sites combined will accommodate 4600 people.

Mr Skinner said there was still space at some city camping grounds, while he was hearing many others would be staying with family or friends.

"The lack of available accommodation at this time of year is a concern, but there's still capacity at the campsites at the Brook [valley] and in the Maitai, but I hear it's quite amazing the number of family and friends that have been called upon to help out," Mr Skinner said.

"I hear people saying they've got friends staying on the lawn or in spare rooms, and I guess this age group [are] pretty resourceful in finding somewhere to stay."

He said the council would be taking a "hard-line" approach to illegal freedom camping, and patrols would be targeting hot-spots in council parks, reserves and car parks.

Mr Skinner said it was great for Nelson to have an event like this, which is what many people had been asking for, for a long time.

He said the cost to the council was minimal; mainly in staff time to process the consents needed.

The council has backed down on some of the planned road-closures after concerns were raised by businesses and retailers.

It has recently approved an amended road closure plan submitted by the organisers of the Bays Dreams South Festival, who sought day-long closure of some roads, which will now be closed from 5.30pm on the night of the event.