'Arrogant & Disgraceful': Police, Officials & Fellow Promoters Blast Maitreya Festival

9 March 2016 | 3:36 pm | Neil Griffiths

More controversy for the dance festival.

The fate of this year's Maitreya Festival has been up in the air since last month when organisers threatened legal action against the local council for being denied a permit and now days after management announced that the outdoor dance event would be held at a new location, police, emergency crews and council are urging punters not to attend this weekend's festival because the entire operation is unauthorised. 

In the last 48 hours, police, emergency services and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) have advised that the festival has still not received a permit to go ahead after VCAT upheld the decision last week.

"Victoria Police strongly discourages event organisers from proceeding without the appropriate authorisation," a statement on the Victoria Police Facebook reads. 

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"As the Maitreya/Maitreyah Festival is unauthorised and several support agencies (eg St Johns) have withdrawn services for the Festival, Victoria Police warns organisers and attendees, that your personal safety could be compromised by attending."

Ambulance Victoria also confirmed they would not be present at the event to be held "just down the road from [Wooroonook lakes]".


A message relating to the Maitreya/Maitreyah Festival. Victoria Police is monitoring the situation regarding the...

Posted by Victoria Police on Sunday, 6 March 2016

A message regarding the Maitreya/Maitreyah Festival:Ambulance Victoria will not be on site at a festival planned for...

Posted by Ambulance Victoria on Monday, 7 March 2016

Earlier today Buloke Shire Council advised in a statement that the warnings given by police should be taken seriously. 

"Aboriginal Affairs Victoria visited the site to consider the illegal works being carried out there and possible damage to indigenous heritage," the statement reads.

"They identified a number of concerns and issued a stop order on the work being undertaken at the Lakes.

"We have major concerns for the health, safety and welfare of patrons, and urge anyone planning to attend the event to seriously consider the risks and not to do so."

However, in what could be assumed as a response to the warnings, festival organisers released a Facebook post last night, insisting that "The stages are built and the shades are hung," and that facilities including showers, bathrooms and medical services will all be available on site. 

On Monday, organisers announced that they had recruited the Emergency Medical Management for the event, who claim to be "Australia's first and only holistic first aid service".


3 DAYS TO GO!!!!We are getting super excited on site!!!The stages are built and the shades are hungWe wil have...

Posted by Yourtreya Festival on Tuesday, 8 March 2016

If you want to know more about the people keeping you safe at The festival check out the link below! We will have...

Posted by Yourtreya Festival on Sunday, 6 March 2016

Speaking to theMusic today, Stereosonic founders, Richie McNeill and Frank Cotela called the actions of the Maitreya organisers as "Incredibly arrogant, disgraceful and endangering".

"My opinion is they’re not coming back next year, they’re doing this as a cash grab," McNeill suggested.

"Because to go against the police, the ambulance, the fire brigade, the indigenous people, the council…there will be repercussions.

"I can't believe the stance that they’re taking. If I was a supplier I wouldn't be going out there if I was paid in full because it just feels and smells like a set up."

Cotela added, "They just think they've got carte blanche to do whatever they want".

"From a promoter point of view, this is just wrong. It’s not the right thing to do if you don’t have the right tools and the right permit to go out and put a festival together."

A number of acts have reportedly pulled out of this weekend's event in favour of other festivals, including Sebastien Leger, however organisers have denied these claims. 

The Music has contacted festival organisers for comment. 


The company who were to set to provide sound systems for Maitreya Festival this weekend have officially withdrawn from the event.

Entertainment production company Full Throttle Entertainment's managing director, Adam Ward, confirmed the withdrawal in a statement posted to Facebook today.

"It is with heavy hearts that Full Throttle Entertainment have withdrawn from providing sound systems for the three stages at this years Maitreya festival," the statement reads. 

"This is a result of a multitude of reasons. Despite claims by random individuals on social media platforms that our 'F1 and new Vero are on site at the festival', we can assure you that this is not the case, the trucks have returned to Sydney."

Read the full statement below. 


As a result of a large number of enquires from punters questioning our attendance at this years Maitreya Festival. We...

Posted by Full Throttle Entertainment on Tuesday, March 8, 2016