Monday, February 02, 2009

Dear Laneway festival organiser,

I had a very unfortunate thing happen to me at your festival yesterday.

I was advised that I couldn't bring in my stainless steel bottle even after I emptied the water from it. I was told that I should have known because it was on the website, but I didn't. There was no information on the ticket and while I understand that you don't want people sneeking in alcohol. I'm not sure what the problem is with an empty bottle. Yes you might argue that it could be used as a weapon, but so could anything- my phone, bag, sunglasses, purse, keys anything.

Both my husband and myself argued with your staff for a few minutes. I explained that it is an expensive bottle, and one staff member assured me that she will still be at the gate until 10pm and will look after it. My husband tried to give his number just in case but they wouldn't take it and I expressed concern that someone might take it, and even asked how will she recognise me. We had about 5 members of staff all assure me that it will be ok and I could collect it at the end of the night and I couldn't come in until I handed it over. So I relunctanctly gave it over. They placed it behind the large rubbish bin at the lonsdale st entrance.

Several hours later (at about 6pm) I went back to where I had seen the staff member put my bottle and realised it wasn't there, I told staff at the same gate and was advised to go talk to Katie. I went around the coner to Katie who basically said there is nothing she can do. She didn't even ask for our details or suggest that she will look into it. We even advised of her the exact time we entered and explained that 5 staff members witnessed what had happened but she didn't even attempt to search who was working at the time. Instead she basically told me that I shouldn't have handed it over, even though I didn't have a choice. So I asked to speak to the manager. I was given a number for a manager named Rachel(0401 455 444) and told I can call her. I called her and again she didn't get my details or even attempt to talk to staff who were on at the time instead when I asked to speak to her manager she hung up the phone of me. I think the most frustrating thing is that no-one even tried even a little to help me.

No this bottle that we are talking about is not some disposable bottle, it's not even a bottle you can buy in shops. It's a special bottle (it's both aluminum free and plastic free and is eco friendly) and as you can see from the website you can buy it from, it is $37.20 not including the shipping charge or the sports cap ($4.95). I think it is only fair that given I know the exact time that I entered and the exact gate (approximately 1pm at the lonsdale stage gate)- that you either locate my bottle (it's a large blue klean kanteen bottle) and return it to me or compensate me the money that it costs.

By the way, my friend has the exact same bottle and showed staff who allowed her to enter the same stage 3 times with it. I also saw another person be told that they can either empty it's content or leave it there. It angers me even more that the mesage is so inconsistent.

By the way, I have since looked at the website which states that:

You can only bring water if it is in a sealed plastic bottle. No glass or cans will be allowed.

It does not state that I can not bring in an empty bottle!


Johanna said...

it really annoys me that you can't bring water in and then they want you to buy bottled water - that is even worse that you lost your good water bottle - hope they respond to your letter!

Mandee said...

I heard about how shitty the laneway fest was, sounds lame.

And not allowing you to bring it what I assume was a Sigg bottle, I would have gone off at them too.

I've complained to festivals like Good Vibes before in regards to bags and what you can bring in. ie. sealed, packaged vegan food, only to receive an email that pretty much stated they didn't care. I guess they make their money as soon as we buy the tickets and they don't have to give a shit after that!