29 Dec 2015

Festival kicks off with tighter alcohol rules

12:00 pm on 29 December 2015

The Rhythm and Vines festival in Gisborne gets under way today, with major changes to its alcohol policy after riots marred last year's event.

The riot took place at the BW Summer Festival, which runs alongside but separate to Rhythm and Vines.

The riot took place at the BW Summer Festival, which runs alongside but separate to Rhythm and Vines. Photo: Ollie Neas

Cars were overturned and tents set on fire at an event at a nearby campground.

Police said it was pure luck that no one was killed in the riots, during which 63 people were arrested and 83 injured.

This year the festival organisers have cancelled the corresponding beachside festival and beachside campgrounds will no longer host entertainment.

Festival organiser Hamish Pinkham said BYO alcohol will no longer be allowed.

"We're setting up these licensed beer gardens this year, which will be under our consent and under our license and well managed.

Mr Pinkham said organisers had phased out the BYO culture which is happening nationally and they were looking forward to a safe and secure festival going forward.

The festival runs from today until 1 January.

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