Things at this year’s Deni Ute Muster took a dark turn after a 22-year-old attendee was allegedly set alight on Saturday (30 September).
Police were called to a campsite in Deniliquin around 6:40 pm, according to a police report and a recent Canberra Times article.
The punter was reportedly found suffering from “significant facial burns”, the police issued in a statement after a young man allegedly ignited aerosol nearby.
The attendee was subsequently “treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics before being airlifted to Alfred Hospital in Victoria, where he remains in a serious condition.”
The Canberra Times reports an 18-year-old man was arrested at Wagga Wagga police station around 6 pm yesterday (2 October). The young man has been charged with “grievous bodily harm by the use of corrosive fluid, reckless grievous bodily harm, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm”.
On Wednesday, 15 November, the 18-year-old will face a Deniliquin court after being granted strict conditional bail.
In a statement, Deni Ute Muster organisers told Countrytown, “As this is an ongoing police investigation, we are not able to comment on the matter other than to say that the Deni Ute Muster is cooperating fully with the investigation and that we wish the young man injured a speedy and full recovery.”
The Deni Ute Muster is one of Australia's most famous ‘bucket list’ music festival-type events and attracts approximately 20,000 people of all ages to celebrate music, mateship and, of course, the iconic ‘ute’.
This year’s event was led by an all-Australian line-up, including Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole, Andrew Swift, Casey Barnes, Catherine Britt, James Johnston, Jayne Denham, Jessica Mauboy, John Williamson, Lee Kernaghan, The Whitlams Black Stump Band, Travis Collins and Zara Lindeman. Missy Higgins also made her first Muster appearance.
Other artists who performed at this year’s event included Amber Lawrence’s Kids Gone Country Show, 2022 Gympie Music Muster Talent Search winner Duncan Toombs, Gretta Ziller, Jade Gibson, Jamie Preston, 2023 Toyota Starmaker winner Loren Ryan, Pete Denahy, The Bush Poets, and more.
“From the previous Deni Ute Muster to the next, the team are continually working on putting together a program of music and activations for all ages that will create great memories,” Deni Ute Muster General Manager Vicky Lowry commented in a statement following the festival’s line-up drop.
“We look forward to welcoming you through our famous Deni Ute Muster gates to experience a weekend of fun, friendships and a festival like no other in Australia.”