Big Pineapple festival safety concerns as 100s walk home
BIG Pineapple Music Festival-goers took their lives in their own hands by walking home in the hundreds along dangerous major roads and motorways.
With large volumes of festival traffic coming to a grinding halt along Nambour Connection Rd at Woombye on Saturday night, some patrons were lined up for more than an hour for taxis while others opted to walk rather than wait.
One witness said he had spent 40 minutes in traffic to get to the festival pick-up point to retrieve his brother.
"There were hundreds of people walking along the road in packs," he said.
"Ubers were cancelling and taxis were turning around because of the traffic."
A number of attendees and residents also took to Facebook to voice concerns and frustration.
"Couldn't believe the amount of kids crossing the highway last night," Libby Cox-Deger wrote on the Daily's Facebook page.
"Running in and out of traffic. Amazing no accidents. Why isn't there free transport for people to access?"
Festival director Mark Pico said organisers had encouraged patrons to buy tickets for organised charter buses before attending the festival.
Buses were available at designated pick-up and drop-off points at Noosa, Coolum Beach, University of the Sunshine Coast, Buderim, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Nambour.
"We had seven extra buses at the end of the night that weren't even meant to be there," he said.
"We put them on for free to pick up people who had been dropped there with no way home because we didn't want them to be stuck.
"People were waiting for a long time last year ... as far as getting large amounts of cars and people out of there, it's like that at every festival and unfortunately there's no human way to do it quickly.
"With everybody leaving at once you're always going to have that happen.
"We have a full-on transport system in place and what we do now is get together and talk about how we can better the situation ... as far as traffic, we will be looking at whether it is possible to make it better with so many people leaving at the same time.
"It's hard to regulate people doing spontaneous things like jumping over fences and walking across the roads.
"All in all, we were really happy with how everything went.
"The patrons had an amazing time, the bands loved, it and Tourism Sunshine Coast were stoked."
The Sunshine Coast Daily has contacted Queensland Police for comment.