A quick trip back up to the Goldie was on the cards in mid April as I headed to the Surfers Paradise beach side fan zone and Robina Rugby 7’s program of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Starting the fan journey from Yeronga station in Brisbane we took a clean, fast (50 minute express) and hassle free train directly to Robina station on the Gold Coast before hopping on a quick and clean light rail train that took us directly into the heart of the main tourist part of the Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise and the fan zone there. Transport and Comm Games staffers were friendly, helpful and ‘on it’ when it came to answering fans questions regarding way-finding questions. The journey from door to door took under 90 minutes and was one of the most seamless and well executed fan transport journey’s in which I have done for a major event. Positive staffing, way-finding signs, ample and fast transport all helped make this a smooth process.
First up to check out was the Surfers Paradise fan zone which featured an interactive ‘Giant Sing Along’ activity which saw heaps of kid and fans singing iconic songs on the beach into microphones. A yoga fitness class on the beach was a stand out under the shade of this huge beach stage that was pumping out tunes from multicultural bands. The art installations scattered around the fan area were creative as were the roving street performers entertaining the crowds.
Making my way to Robina Stadium for the Rugby 7’s tournament was again a seamless experience as the air conditioned buses went straight from the centre of the fan zone to the tournament. Security was tight with extensive searches but once inside it was good to see the free sunscreen on offer at the stadium while the screen content and ‘cams’ especially ‘Titanic Cam’ all got a good laugh from fans. The Borobi mascot hands for volunteers, directional signs and fan booths all ensured fans were communicated to effectively at the venue with many staff on hand to seek help from. The colourful sleeves for bollards was also a creative idea to make the area not have as much of a ‘security theatre’ presence as other major events often have.
Upon leaving it was great to see so many fans high 5’ing police and volunteers along with collecting free bottles of water. A novel way to ensure the exit is positive and fans are looked after. An impressive and superbly well run major event from the moment we left home to when the key went in again at night.