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'Staff were panicked, screaming' - Concert-goer disappointed in Homegrown organisers, police, for 'uninformed' evacuation

A concert-goer who was caught up in the evacuation at the Homegrown music festival last night says she's disappointed with how police and security handled the situation, saying they caused unnecessary panic.

Krystal Boland told 1 NEWS police and event staff were "stressed" and "uninformed" during the procedure, leading many concert-goers to feel the same.

"We were told to step away from the barricades and then staff started screaming that there was an order to get away and on to the street," Ms Boland said.

"Nobody outside the stage had any indication of where to go, just that there was an evacuation and that staff were panicked and screaming.

"There were people saying a bomb threat, some saying a fight, some people reporting that all stages were going to be evacuated and that it was being shut down, people really upset and shaken.

"I didn't know if there was a bomb or a gun and there was no communication from Homegrown for about fifteen minutes on Facebook."

Homegrown chief executive Andrew Tuck wouldn't comment on what caused the evacuation and refuted comments from some attendees that security could have managed the situation more effectively.

"That's not the case, the people leaving were very chilled and relaxed," he said.

"But obviously some people wanted to know more information… and there was a sense of urgency."

Mr Tuck said from when the call to evacuate was made to when the main stage concert had started again took 28 minutes.

He said the evacuation was well-structured and he was pleased with how it went.

"Everything we do is for patron safety. Kudos to the Homegrown team, security and police ... we got to show our processes worked and we can evacuate if we need to."

Security at the event had been raised due to the March 15 terror attack in Christchurch where a gunman killed 50 people in two mosques.

Many events immediately after the attack - including the Super Rugby contest between the Highlanders and Crusaders in Dunedin the following day - were cancelled for safety reasons, making Homegrown one of the first major public events to take place since the attack.

Ms Boland said the way the evacuation was controlled showed "a complete lack of professional and calm communication.

"I understand the fear after last week, but after Homegrown assured everyone that they'd worked with the police to have a safe event, I would have expected better communication between the police and the event staff, and a controlled and calm evacuation sequence."

The evacuation was eventually cancelled with people allowed to return to the stage.

Police said this morning there was "no threat" discovered - but for Ms Boland, the night finished when she was moved.

"If they had just explained that this was "merely a precaution" then thousands of people wouldn't have gone home.

"I left and went back to my hotel because the chaos absolutely ruined my vibe."

Concert goer Katie Brown said she felt security was more relaxed yesterday than it was at the event in other years, but the festival was well-managed.

"I barely saw police ... if there were a whole lot of people walking around with guns then I would have felt more vulnerable," she said.

Ms Brown said it was nice to have a sense of "we're back to normal" at the event.

She said before the crowd at the Dub and Roots stage was about to have a minute's silence in tribute to those affected by the Christchurch terror attack, someone on stage said, "please leave now ... this is serious".

Ms Brown said some concert goers were running to leave but she felt people would have panicked more if organisers had described what the potential threat was.