A dedicated Facebook page 'Refuse to be Ripped Off – NYE Above the Harbour scam' was created following the event, documenting ticketholders’ experiences.
According to posts on the page, queues for food were said to be in excess of two hours, at which point it was of a poor quality, there were insufficient amenities, and views of the city’s fireworks were obstructed.
Tickets to the event were said to entitle guests to an inclusive food and beverage menu provided by the nearby Shangri-La Hotel Sydney. It was held above the Sydney Opera House and claimed to offer views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and Circular Quay.
The organiser's response
The criticism has prompted event organiser Mothership Events to offer attendees a $100 (£49) refund per ticket, however many have voiced that this is not sufficient. Posts on the aforementioned Facebook page have encouraged people to lodge a general official compliant with government body, NSW Fair Trading.
A statement posted on the event's website yesterday (4 January) read: "The organisers of NYE Above the Harbour, New Years Eve event, would like to apologise to patrons who had issues with service and facilities at this year’s event."
It continued: "Over the last two days all parties involved have been working diligently to view patron feedback and formulate a response.
"While many patrons enjoyed the event, the organisers greatly regret that a number of patrons have complained about event elements."
In an earlier statement, the event’s caterers noted that it was difficult to produce the dishes on offer "at the speed required under the circumstances."
Meetings & Events Australia's response
Event industry association, Meeting & Events Australia (MEA) has noted that the event organiser is not a member and does not fall within its jurisdiction. The company is subsequently not subject to MEA's Code of Ethics or Disciplinary Tribunal.
In a statement the association noted: "MEA’s jurisdiction is limited to MEA’s members; therefore we can only use our influence to encourage a satisfactorily outcome, which we will do."