No Uber drop-offs at Big Pineapple Festival

Planning on going to Big Pineapple Music Festival this year? Free buses and taxis will get you to the event site but, what about ubers? Alex Frost reports

By Alex Frost

The free bus service to Big Pineapple Music Festival this year has stirred up an Uber driver and has prompted police to deliver a road safety message to the Sunshine Coast community.

Uber driver Kathy Christie says blocking off Ubers from the event will be a “restraint of trade”.

“It’s going to be interesting to see who is going to stop us from dropping people off at the event,” she says.

“We pick people up from where they are, while taxis are usually only accessible at a taxi rank.”

Uber drivers may lose clients if festival-goers book an Uber from the event site.

“Our customers pay via a mobile app prior to being picked up by one of our drivers,” she says.

“The Nambour Connection Road is a public road and therefore, the event organisers cannot legally block us off.

“If someone books an Uber to Big Pineapple from Mooloolaba, I will try and drop them off as close as possible to the event.”

However, Mrs Christie says she doesn’t think the free buses will impact business.

“We had a massive day last year and we’re expecting an even bigger one this year,” she says.

Festival-goers must book a bus prior to the event at no cost from one of the nine pick up locations across the Sunshine Coast.

Ubers will be available from the Sunshine Coast Community Church.

With free buses promised, it’s hoped there will be no festival-goers crossing the highway before or after the event.

A Queensland Police Service media release says patrons should take great care throughout the weekend.

“Queensland Police encourages people attending the festival to be mindful of personal safety, travelling to and from the venue and whilst attending,” it says.

Nambour Police Senior Constable Smith says police will be monitoring the Nambour Connection Road throughout the day for festival-goer safety.

“We will have police on duty on the way into the festival,” he says.

“The speed will be limited to 40km/h.”

Hundreds of people walked home alongside a congested Nambour Connection Road last year.

Senior Constable Smith says it is time Big Pineapple Music Festival made some changes to improve the safety of patrons.

“There are no drop off points or parking on the side of the road this year,” he says.

“The pick-up point across the road last year didn’t work because people were being dropped off in all sorts of places.”

Queensland Ambulance spokesman Timothy Eva says paramedics will be ready for another busy year at Big Pineapple Festival.

“We are committed to providing service as engaged and look forward to a successful festival for this year,” he says.

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