Ballarat Beer Festival patrons earn police praise

POLICE say the public is to be commended for the behaviour of patrons of the Ballarat Beer Festival.

Despite more than eight hours of drinking in the sun on Saturday, there were few incidents that arose from the festival.

Up to 10,000 people attended the function at City Oval, which was being held for the second time.

Ballarat Police Acting Sergeant Daniel Grainger said there were hardly any issues resulting from the festival into the night, and that the public behaved extremely well.

The event ran until about 8pm.

“We had no issues at all resulting from the beer festival,” Acting Sergeant Grainger said.

“Everyone was really well behaved, it was a credit to the organisers and everyone who went along.

“For 10,000 people to behave like that in a confined area devoted to having a beer and seeing a few bands, everyone should be thanked.”

In terms of drink-drivers, numbers were also extremely low.

Just one drink-driver was caught in town on Saturday evening, although police would not confirm if the motorist had attended the festival.

Ballarat Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Randall Smith said police had a heavy presence on the roads near the festival, in both marked and unmarked cars.

He said very few people drove home from the event, and thanked the public for their responsibility.

“A lot of people were on foot or had arranged other forms of transport,” said Acting Sergeant Smith.

“There were a lot of out-of-towners who made their own way home without driving.

“Overall we are very happy with the result and how everyone behaved.”

Police were also present at the festival throughout the day, but no incidents arose.