An Open Letter to Fence Jumpers

by Alastair

For those not already aware, you’ll know that the annual Listen Out Perth festival was on this weekend, and I am sure that after many past incidents, you would be accustomed to seeing footage of hundreds of people overwhelming security as they jump the perimeter fences into these festivals. Of course this year was nothing new.

I can imagine a fence jumper’s thought process that the risk involved in jumping is worth not paying for a ticket. They also seem to not give a shit about putting themselves in danger to be fought off simply because security are doing their job, or gambling with earning themselves a criminal record. But most importantly, is it worth showing a clear lack of respect for artists and event organisers alike?

Whilst music festivals can be pretty pricey, fence jumpers must not value themselves or the artists they so ‘desperately’ want to see so much so that they’re willing to defy the law. Let’s be honest, there is no glory associated with being a straight up dickhead. But hey, you can’t stop a freeloader from trying to freeload.

Whether you are fence jumping or being a juvie who can’t wait a couple of years to enter legally or obviously aren’t a serious music lover who can’t ‘afford’ a ticket, you are not realising how much of an impact you’re having on festival culture, Perth’s in particular. I realise you don’t really give a shit that you aren’t supporting the artists or local music industry because you’re young and can clearly do what you want, but you seriously need to consider the consequences-not on yourself but more-so others and the music industry itself.

It’s unfortunate that it is this minority who are jeopardising the longevity of music festivals, which sucks especially in the city of Perth where so many national festivals already don’t even run. Although for different reasons, we’ve seen it happen with Stereosonic, Future Music and Big Day Out. There is so much planning that goes into running a festival-they don’t happen overnight. So how does it make any sense to be a dickhead to especially the organisers who put the event on in the first place-the one your jumping the fence to get into…think about that.

Lately these fence jumping incidents have been getting more and more out of control and violent, to the point where you’re no longer a cheap ass, or a free loader, you’re actually just a criminal scumbag.

We will all probably remember this incident after watching the video above, where a fence jumper kicked a security guard right in the temple, luckily this juvie was caught and properly prosecuted.

I don’t condone fence jumping, but if you’re planning to jump the fence at an event you should be risking your own welfare and your’s alone. This means if you get caught you don’t try fight a security guard or ruin the experience for other punters who actually paid for their ticket.

Sadly, fence jumpers did have a significant impact on paying punters’ days at Listen Out. Hurling rocks and sticks over the fence at both punters and security is not okay, making for a very dangerous environment and actually resulting in injured punters who did not pay to have a shit day due to this minority of losers. Spitting on event employees and various cases of assault against law enforcement and event staff alike were other problems. There is a huge group of people that help keep great events like this running smoothly and safely. Way to bite the hand that feeds you.

The groups of attempted fence jumpers at Sunday’s event, not only caused harm to some individuals but those who did get in, transformed a positive vibe for punters peacefully enjoying Anderson .Paak’s set into an aggressive atmosphere front of stage.

Unfortunately, a lot of this also went down during Slumberjack’s set which also altered the vibe at the front of the crowd. Which really sucks as the local lords were killing it after being booked on such short notice to replace Stormzy.

There are so many reasons not to jump festivals, but if you are a jumper there isn’t anything this article or anyone can do that will change your outlook. But the absolute least you can do is make sure you’re not harming anyone else involved with the event and think about if it’s worth the risk of losing another music festival, especially since we’ve lost so many already.

So thank you fence jumper of Listen Out you’ve once again put Perth in the national spotlight for what can only be described as dog acts. You’ve given national tours and artists another reason to skip Perth and local governments another reason to reconsider hosting festivals. Bravo!

Comments 14

  1. Oscar

    hey i totally agree that violent fence jumpers should get fucked but what about the under 18s who want to enjoy the music but cannot? Its either buy a fake id and risk a $250 or risk yourself jumping the fence. If it were an all ages event i guarenetee you there would of been way less jumpers.

  2. horse tranq

    Shit article, you fail to see the real problem which is listen out being cheap skates and hiring less security, i saw not 1 cop nor sniffer dog the whole time until the riot, there were minimal security, they were the most pathetic form of security being mostly scrawny indians. Please do more research before you blame it on the jumpers, people have been jumping festivals for decades and you think this is the real reason why we’ve lost festivals LOL

  3. Owen

    If you read the whole thing oscar, it says wait your turn.. because if you keep doing this shit there won’t be anymore music festivals in the future so you will ruin it for everyone…
    heads up, it’s called goodlife (underage music festival)

  4. Ryan

    Im with horse tranq on this one, overpriced for something that seemed to be VERY average. Doesnt help that the event is held at joondalup which is a terrible venue, i would like to add one last thing, perth has a large amount of DISGRACEFUL people attending these festivals. To those people reading this. Flock somewhere else, be apart of some other thing. Stay sway from festivals, you are polluting the Australian music scene. You are the reason why im refusing to attend origin. Last year made me sick. Alot of fights breaking out.

  5. Gurnr

    That’s the most baseless victim blaming I’ve ever heard.
    Also police aren’t for hire, it’s their choice to be present and bring sniffer dogs.

  6. JB

    While we are on the subject of ruining festival experiences for others, especially in ‘sold out’ ones,

    How about cracking down on people buying up to 10 tickets at a time with the pure intention of selling them back to keen go’ers for 5 times the price!!

    As for security, egging on jumpers to come over the fence so they can ‘fuck them up’ and throwing bottles and rocks back into the group is not what I’d call ‘handling the situation’.
    Seeing a festival worker slapping, soaking with beer and pulling the pants down of a man who was already in the headlock of a guard was cheap and a poor attempt of getting a few highfives and laughs.

    before you blame the violence on people jumping in and victimize the staff, collect a bit of a non biased info first ?

  7. RD

    The problem here is that police AREN’T actually able to be paid for.

    Everywhere else a promoter can organise an adequate number of police officers attend, and pay for them accordingly so they are correctly allocated and aren’t being drawn away from the community. For some reason Perth doesn’t have a system that allows this, and police are the only true deterrent that will stop this disgusting behaviour.

    Proof of this working actually happened at the weekend’s festival, where one single police officer was able to move on over a hundred young people who were tearing the fences down. The problem is that the single police officer was called away, and when he had left all the jumpers returned and continued to wreak havoc, and got away with it because there was no one to stop them.

    This event had more security and more fencing then I have ever seen before at a festival of this size…in over 10 years! Bulking up on security and fencing obviously isn’t working, there needs to be a different change, and paid police presence is it.

  8. Georgia

    Imagine being an event coordinator working the entire year on something you are so passionate about only for your event and your management to be tainted because of the disrespectful, illegal and abusive actions from a bunch of juvie/bogans.
    In regards to police presence, the WA police allocate the distribution of its officers and despite being aware of the event the state did not allocate enough officers. Once they did attend, they were recalled and returned hours later (in riot gear) leaving event staff and security to fend for themselves.
    Fence jumpers brought tools to break fences, which they did, and broke property to create objects to throw at security.
    Security, who can earn less than uni students, are expected to put their bodies at risk while hundreds of kids run at them with rocks and tools and are happy to do whatever it takes to no get caught.
    Now let’s think of the event itself. So many people are taking drugs now that bar sales are at an extreme low meaning money has to be made elsewhere (and drink prices have to be lifted). Artists are expensive, especially when there are so many of them, so of course the ticket price has gone up (not to mention the additional cost of damaged property from jumpers). More money being spent on security means more expensive tickets for punters because of a bunch of idiots ruining it for everyone. Most adults agree that it is safer and more enjoyable not having U/18s in an event, for juvies, you will also feel this way when you turn 18, for the time being, there are still festivals for you.

    The fact is, fence jumpers risk the safety of punters, artists, security and staff. They damage property, trespass, abuse others and risk the longevity of this events. If event organisers have to poor extra money to stop these idiots and cop all the negative response from media they won’t have enough money, or even desire, to fund the next event.

  9. Cassie

    So you think that being under 18 or not having the money to buy a ticket is a good reason to vandalise property, put lives at risk and blame people who are just trying to earn a living? You fence jumpers are idiots and have no respect. Promoters don’t make a lot of money, security and fencing was adequate, security guards are not paid to get bashed. Grow up you morons and stop spooling events for everyone else. And this is not the reason festivals are in decline so unless you know what you’re talking about… Shut up

  10. Jessie

    So glad something like this has been written!! But the sad thing is this younger generation have lost the ability to consider how their actions impact other people, and sadly due to lack of enforcement and consequences, continue to act this way because they know they can get away with it.

  11. Sylvanus

    I have jumped a fence before, and honestly, i’m quite proud of it. Call it immaturity or the absolutely insane adrenaline rush, but i think it was worth it. Don’t get me wrong, I support my favorite artists (and even artists i don’t necessarily enjoy). I pay for 99.99% of my tickets, I buy my favorite albums even though I can easily listen for free in multiple ways, and I buy merch. But It almost felt like a right of passage for the hardcore music goer in a weird way. I spend almost $1.5k a year on concert tickets. Music has saved my life and I am forever grateful to the producers who made said music. I don’t see a lack of respect in what I did, But a desperate act to go to a place where i feel like i fit in. A place where i am accepted. I understand i am going to get a lot of hate by posting this here, but that is ok with me. I just though you should hear this side of the story.

    That being said, I have met way too many people who jumped the fence just to pick up chicks and, in general, be a dick about it, And that is wrong.

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