Today was a record day for the Fieldays, Southern Hemisphere’s largest agricultural event, causing a chaos with traffic jams, and visitors losing patience stuck for hours in some car parks trying to exit.
The organisers tried their best to work to exit visitors as quickly and as safely as possible, but did not appear to be having much success.
The exact numbers are yet to come in, but are expected to have far exceeded yesterday’s 33,853. On the first day, nearly 29,000 people went through the gate.
By 11am, Orange car parking was full and announcement was made on social media “if you are heading to Fieldays, parking is almost full.”
“We have been working to exit visitors as quickly and as safely as possible. Despite best planning we acknowledge this hasn’t been ideal for some visitors in the Orange Carpark, we thank you for your continued patience as we work to resolve the pockets of remaining congestion,” the organisers said.
Fieldays – ‘the ultimate launch platform for cutting edge technology and innovation’ is held every year at Mystery Creek, near Hamilton. It was cancelled last year due to Covid-19 situation. This 4-day event was inaugurated on 16th June and tomorrow is its last day.
Significant traffic impacts around Mystery Creek added to the woes of visitors who were stuck in the gridlock for hours.
Hundreds were stuck trying to exit Orange carpark, but with most exits closed, stuck visitors resorted to social media to air their grievances.
At 2pm, one disgruntled visitor wrote “Trying to make everyone leave from one exit point is an absolute disaster . Please open the top orange exit. 45 mins no movement”
Another posted: “Absolutely ridiculous! How are we meant to turn around when we are stuck in gridlock traffic? What a shambles. Iin the orange carpark! Haven’t moved a metre in over 30 minutes.”
Event organisers tried to update the latest position on their FB page, but that was of no help as gridlocked visitors were unable to turn or take any action.
Some, fortunately, left their cars behind and took the free bus service- on production of ticket, to reach the event. This year, there was a ferry service also to the venue.
In spite of the exit woes and chaos, there was something for everyone- skill, speed, precision, strength and endurance competitions were all there.
This year, Fieldays Innovation Awards featured 65 ‘extremely high quality’ entries from the primary industries. This year’s winners are:
Early Stage Winner: Cropsy Technologies; Prototype Winner: SpringArm Products; Growth & Scale Winner: Intelligent Growth Solutions Ltd; Young Innovator Winner: Cropsy Technologies
Much larger crowds are expected tomorrow, being the final day before the event wraps up. Today’s experience suggests leaving your car in the garage and using the alternate transport – bus.