9 Mar 2013

Wildfoods festival clamps down on alcohol breaches

7:53 am on 9 March 2013

Organisers of the annual Hokitika Wildfoods Festival are stepping up security this year in an attempt to reducethe number of arrests.

The town'spopulation will triple on Saturday as an expected 12,000 people turn up for the festival, now in its 24th year.

Event coordinator Mike Keenan says 68 arrests were made last year, mainly for breaching the town's liquor ban.

Mr Keenan said the issues last year were not at the festival venue itself, but at campgrounds and with hotels and alcohol sale outlets.

He said security will be tighter this year to make sure alcohol is not brought into the town centre.

The festival brings about $6.5 million into the West Coast economy.

The event runs from 10am to 5.30pm on Saturday.