THOUSANDS of people smeared with glitter and dressed in vibrantly coloured outfits flocked to Victoria Park to attend the Spilt Milk festival on Saturday.
Revellers travelled from all over Australia to attend Ballarat's biggest music festival, including from Brisbane, New South Wales, Adelaide and right around Victoria.
Police and security were heavily and visibly present at the Gillies Street entrance to the festival, with the dog squad travelling up from Melbourne to assist the policing effort, while medics travelled around the festivals on bicycles.
While the crowds were tame, a small unrestrained dog caused a slight commotion as it ran through the crowds lining up to enter, while a drone crashed into a tree.
Despite the very clear police presence at the entrance, The Courier still observed brazen drug dealing taking place, with police consistently escorting dozens of people to a tent set up near the entrance to the festival after police dogs reacted as they walked by.
But the majority of people who travelled to Ballarat did so to enjoy the music and the atmosphere, despite the temperamental weather.
Related coverage: Spilt Milk 2019: The fun, the colour, the aftermath
Related coverage: Flying above Spilt Milk, see who's at the festival
Where did people travel from and what were there thoughts arriving in Ballarat?
A group of 21-year-old women from the Mornington Peninsula - Maddy Hall, Saige Hammon, Anita Ross and Brooke Kliese - travelled to Ballarat for a girls weekend filled with fun and live music.
While they frequently attend music festivals and feel safe as a group, it was being cat called by a group of security guards on their way towards the gate that made them feel uncomfortable.
"They are meant to be the ones protecting us but one of them cat called us. Unfortunately that's just what's it's like being a girl sometimes," Ms Ross said.
Ms Hall said they all wanted to dress up for the event and shouldn't have to change what they want to wear to prevent such behaviour.
The group agreed that no matter how much security there is people would still take drugs, so like the safe injecting rooms in Melbourne, they agreed they would support pill testing if it would improve safety for people taking the substances.
Matt Revizza, 22, and Shannon Mortimer, 21, travelled on a bus from Melbourne to attend.
Like most, they were keen to see the headline act - American singer/songwriter Khalid.
The pair have attended other festivals and said while the police presence made them feel safer, it is usually only a small percentage of people who do the wrong thing.
About pill testing, they both agreed that while it might help to keep people safer, it could also promote drug use.
Daniel Baker, Jack Ellis and Nick Politakis travelled on the bus with a group of mates from Bendigo.
They have all been to a few festivals, including Groovin The Moo, and made the trip for the great line up of artists.
Tui Schultz, Lexi Mathews and Kelsey Williams drove from Adelaide to experience the good vibes and check out people's outfits.
They were surprised to see Ballarat as a larger city, expecting it to be more of a country town.
While bottles and cans had been tossed in front gardens and on sidewalks surrounding Victoria Park after festival-goers downed drinks before crossing Gillies Street, a man sat on the nature strip monitoring noise levels.
Two acoustic consultants were positioned outside the festival, including on the corner of Valentine and Winter Streets, to monitor decibels to ensure noise does not exceed a certain level.
This noise monitoring was a condition of the festival being allowed by the Environmental Protection Authority and the City of Ballarat to be hosted at Victoria Park, to reduce disruption to neighbours.
Beau Weyers travelled to Ballarat for the sound check on Friday and was positioned on Gillies Street throughout Saturday.
He said the aim of his role was to give feedback to production about any noise before it exceeds the limit, so the correct stage can be determined and the noise level reduced.
As wind can propagate noise further, low cloud can mirror it so it carries further and rain can reflect noise of the ground, the mixed bag of weather on Saturday made for careful monitoring.
Meanwhile, just off Sturt Street, dozens of buses were parked.
Glenn Goodchild, of company Melbourne On The Move, worked with local bus operators to transport more than 2500 people from across the state to the festival.
More than 20 buses left from Melbourne while others arrived from Bendigo, Geelong, Horsham, Ararat, Ringwood, Melton, Beaufort, Daylesford, Creswick, Caroline Springs, Mordialloc and Castlemaine transported people to Victoria Park.
It was hungry work for the more than 50 bus drivers, in one of their top four biggest events of the year, so they enjoyed a sausage sizzle to the sounds of the music from the festival.
ISEC security services was contacted for comment.
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