Skyline counts costs after fest food fight


Hosts of a popular Queenstown Winter Festival event are considering cancelling it after it descended into a chaotic food-fight. 

The sixth annual Murder Mystery turned sour for some of the 175 attendees – in fancy dress as Olympians – when a cream puff was thrown and a food-fight ensued between two tables. 

At the end of the usually successful night the host company Skyline was left with a soggy cake-ridden floor and a $1000-plus bill to clean the carpet, general manager Lyndon Thomas says. 

“It’s a shame, it was a small group of people who acted like animals.” 

The company is evaluating if it should cancel next year’s event after a number of people were also banned from the bar. 

“We’re very disappointed and pretty shocked at the behaviour of some people and we don’t want that to happen again so we are weighing up whether to cancel it.” 

The event, which involves punters trying to figure out a mock murder mystery, is usually a festival highlight. 

Queenstown-based Radio New Zealand journalist Steve Wilde has hosted the event for the six years and says the night got out of hand. 

“It was just childish and rude towards Skyline. If you went to a friend’s house you have fun but you don’t start throwing food around the lounge, so why do it at Skyline?” 

Wilde says the event has been so popular over the years, especially among Wakatipu locals, and it’s a shame that some didn’t take responsibility. 

“I hope it isn’t cancelled – it’s always been a bit of a ruckus event but at the same time it’s always been in balance, except for this time,” Wilde says. 

Winter Festival director Simon Green says alcohol led to the demise of the festival’s similar Sporting Spectacular event a few years back. 

“Similarly, it isn’t a reflection on Skyline, instead it’s one on the local audience and it’s got to be condemned.” 

Green says despite the outcome, Skyline will be supported by Queenstown Winter Festival. 

However, Big Night Out director Ben Calder says the food-fight was what made the night more memorable. 

“It got more messy as the night went on, cake was going left, right and centre – but not in a malicious way.”