ORGANISERS of the Connections Transformational Gathering event held in the Deua River Valley (nicknamed ‘bush doof’) from December 31 to January 2 have spoken about rumours surrounding the event.
Gabe Ingram, who owns the property on which the event is held, denies a neighbour’s claim that he plans to hold 10 such events a year.
“That is totally fictitious; at the most I would want to hold one or two events a year,” he said.
“I would like to hold other events like weddings here, but nothing like this event.”
Another neighbour claimed that organisers charged for admission to the event to cover fines administered by Eurobodalla Shire Council, and this was also denied by Mr Ingram and co-organiser Justin James.
“We were hit with a $500 administrative fee after the first time we held the event (2014-15 New Year) and we are in negotiations with council about this time,” Mr Ingram said.
“Many people who went made a $50 donation, and that was to cover costs like garbage removal, first aid, toilets, water and other expenses,” Mr Ingram said.
“It is a labour of love for us,” Mr James said.
Both men conceded that the noise from the first event was unacceptably loud.
“The first time we held it, we sent a lot of noise up the river, and that wasn’t right, but this time we moved it to another part of the property and had no complaints because people hardly heard it,” Mr James said.
Mr Ingram and Mr James said that there were 470 guests at the event, plus 70 volunteers helping run it, and that it was never meant to be a come-one, come-all event.
“It is not a big music festival, it is a community gathering,” Mr James said.
“It is not for everyone, and we didn’t want gatecrashers.”
Mr Ingram said the event did not have paid security guards, but that he was advised that they would not be necessary, and in the event they weren’t.
“There were no incidents, people told us they had a great time, and the place was looking beautiful afterwards,” Mr Ingram said.