Today’s Letter to the Editor comes from the President of WA’s Events Industry Association Cassandra Brennan, in response to 20-year-old Perth man Jamie David Foster being found not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm, after admitting to kicking festival site manager Aaron Gill in the head during a festival break-in, fracturing his skull.

All Letters to the Editor are purely opinions expressed by our readers, and do not necessarily represent Tone Deaf’s views.

Hi Tone Deaf,

The decision to acquit the guy who kicked Aaron Gill in the face at the Wonderland Festival sends a frightening message to the people who work at events in Western Australia.

We’ve received hundreds of messages expressing concern that this decision creates a dangerous precedent and will give license to organised gangs of trespassers to break down barriers and illegally enter events.

Are we now expected to stand by and watch fence jumpers enter private property. We have no power to detain them or deter them in any way, and they know it!

It’s time for WA Police to actively engage with the industry and our Association to arrest illegal trespassers and charge them.  Criminal trespass at events has become a sport for organised groups of people who come armed with bolt cutters and other tools to breach fence lines, leaving security and workers who are usually in the backstage areas to try to keep them at bay.

If we can get the area outside of the fenceline policed, we can do what we do best, which is manage the event on the inside.

This has been going on far too long and we need to work with industry as a whole including state government agencies and local government to find some effective solutions.

I spoke to one of the big security companies who work these events, and he said that if we don’t fix this, we risk not having an open air event market in Western Australia – it has become just too dangerous.

I really appreciate being able to voice our opinion.

Cassandra Brennan

President, Events Industry Association

Further information:

Fence jumper Jamie David Young found not guilty

Fence jumper who kicked festival staff in the head had “no other option”