Festival forced to go alcohol-free after promoters forgot to get a liquor license

Over the weekend, a thousand punters assembled just north of Auckland for house and techno bash Shipwrecked. Having secured headliners such as UK don Clive Henry, Norway’s Djuma Soundsystem, and Berlin’s Nico Stojan, it was set to be one of the boutique festival’s biggest years.

There was only one problem: the festival wasn’t allowed to serve any alcohol.

According to the New Zealand Herald, festival promoters The Greatest Show On Earth failed to secure a liquor license for the event, meaning the three-day camping festival was a completely dry affair. Auckland Council’s manager of liquor licensing Peter Knight told the Herald that an application for a license had been withdrawn at the last minute; this was subsequently confirmed by an event organiser.

As Shipwrecked takes place near the alcohol-free areas of Lake Tomarata and Te Arai beach, promoters had lodged a special licence application with Auckland Council in early December — but it received strong opposition from locals, and so a hearing had been set up for February 2nd.

But given that Shipwrecked was due to kick off on February 3, and the hearing included a mandatory 10-day appeal period, there was no way that promoters would have been able to serve alcohol at the event even if the license was granted.

Shipwrecked’s website didn’t announce the changes.

Tickets to the festival cost up to $250; there’s been no announcement about whether punters could receive any compensation.