24 July 2023

Controversial Orin Aya festival looking to move to Lakeland

| Matt Nicholls
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The Orin Aya festival has previously been staged at Home Rule Lodge in Rossville but is looking at relocating to Lakeland.

The Orin Aya festival has previously been staged at Home Rule Lodge in Rossville but is looking at relocating to Lakeland.

THE locally maligned Orin Aya Festival is searching for a new home and appears to have its sights set on a rural property in Lakeland.

The music festival is less than 40 days from kicking off and has yet to get a permit from Cook Shire Council to host the event after previously being based out of Home Rule Lodge in Rossville.

However, locals were not fans of Orin Aya and its festivalgoers after a number of incidents both in Rossville and Cooktown.

Organisers had looked to shift the festival to Laura at Olive Vale Station and have been promoting Orin Aya as being held there this year, but Cape York Weekly understands those plans were scrapped due to its remote location.

Many Lakeland locals are upset at the prospect of having the festival staged in their small town and an impromptu community meeting is organised for this afternoon (Monday) to meet with the Orin Aya organisers.

A number of locals told this masthead that they would be expressing concerns to both the organisers and the council.

“We are just a small town with no real facilities to have 3000 people turning up for one weekend,” one person said.

“We don’t have a health clinic or a police station. We don’t even have a supermarket to cater for those people.

“We’ve heard some horror stories about when it was held at Home Rule and we don’t want a repeat of that here.”

Cape York Weekly contacted event manager Terry Curnuck, who requested that questions be emailed to him.

He replied with one-sentence answers, claiming the reason the festival was moved from Home Rule was due to it not being suitable as an all-weather option.

When asked why the festival was not being held at Olive Vale as advertised, he replied: “A better suited venue was available closer to Cooktown and that “things are looking good” when questioned about the short amount of time before Orin Aya is due to begin on September 1.

Mr Curnuck did confirm that Orin Aya would seek permission from Cook Shire to host the event in Lakeland.

“It’s a requirement to have permits to run all events such as this,” he said.

Mr Curnuck said he would discuss with Lakeland residents about plans to ensure that appropriate facilities and services were on-site at the festival.

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