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Northern Bass music festival dampened by rain, mud, flooded tents

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Attendees of a music festival in Northland have described “very grim scenes”, saying their tents were flooded, cars got stuck in the mud and drinking water and showers got cut.

One woman at Northern Bass in Mangawhai claimed to the Herald festivalgoers were not allowed to leave their campsites for a period of time.

She said: “All in all it’s been a pretty horrible experience!”

The Herald has approached organisers of Northern Bass for comment but has yet to receive a response.

People put wooden pallets over the muddied ground between tents while festivalgoers trudged through mud and puddles.
People put wooden pallets over the muddied ground between tents while festivalgoers trudged through mud and puddles.

"There are at least 20 cars already stuck in the mud and definitely more to come when everyone tries to leave tomorrow," one festivalgoer says.
“There are at least 20 cars already stuck in the mud and definitely more to come when everyone tries to leave tomorrow,” one festivalgoer says.

Among other issues, the woman said festivalgoers with food stored in their cars have had to go without through the morning as they were barred from accessing them and hospitality options on site would not open until later in the day.

She later questioned organisers’ communication, saying some staff were allowing revellers to return to their vehicles and leave the campsite while others were not.

“Our friends all left camp in [their] cars today and are now not being let back in, and are being told to park in town and shuttle in,” she said.

Eventually, she was allowed back to her car, and faced with a swampy outlook she decided she wanted to leave.

Northern Bass attendees sheltering under marquees, umbrellas and in plastic raincoats.
Northern Bass attendees sheltering under marquees, umbrellas and in plastic raincoats.

Mud covers the campsite and carpark at the Northern Bass music festival in Northland.
Mud covers the campsite and carpark at the Northern Bass music festival in Northland.

“It’s very grim scenes here with a lot of people ditching tents and leaving,” she said.

“There are at least 20 cars already stuck in the mud and definitely more to come when everyone tries to leave tomorrow.

Photographs she sent the Herald showed people putting wooden pallets over the muddied ground between tents while festival-goers trudged through mud and puddles.

Other attendees can be seen sheltering under marquees, umbrellas and in plastic raincoats.

Images from Northern Bass music festival in Mangawhai, Northland, show festivalgoers trudging through a quagmire.
Images from Northern Bass music festival in Mangawhai, Northland, show festivalgoers trudging through a quagmire.

Images from Northern Bass music festival in Mangawhai, Northland, show festivalgoers trudging through a quagmire.
Images from Northern Bass music festival in Mangawhai, Northland, show festivalgoers trudging through a quagmire.

Photographs sent in by a camper at another Mangawhai campground, meanwhile, showed one young girl boogie-boarding in the floodwaters.

“I packed up camp and left today after two nights in a flooded tent. [I] almost got the car stuck driving out,” the festival-goer said.

“I’ve come back tonight and the flooding is just getting worse. We’re currently debating leaving and just spending New Year’s [Eve] in Mangawhai.”

MetService forecast rain for much of the North Island this afternoon and evening, with downpours of 25mm/h tipped to be accompanied by thunderstorms and hail for some.

A young girl boogie-boards on floodwater at a campground in Mangawhai, Northland. Photo / Emma Simpson
A young girl boogie-boards on floodwater at a campground in Mangawhai, Northland. Photo / Emma Simpson

The Northern Bass attendee said drinking water ran out between 7am and 10am Saturday, and people couldn’t take showers on Sunday due to what she understood were “water issues and vandalism”.

She also said there was no water people could use to wash their hands after using toilets.



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