Frequency Festival cleaners fraud uncovered

Organisers of the Frequency Festival are in hot water after a firm assigned to clean up after last weekend’s mega event has been accused of illegally employing most of its staff.A special unit formed by finance ministry officials and police found out that 48 of the 53 workers hired by the company to clean up at the site in St. Pölten were not registered with labour market authorities.Police announced today (Thurs) that the company had been set up only days before being assigned to the post-Frequency cleanup.”The fraud was well organised. The company picked up most of the workers at parks in Vienna,” one investigator said, adding that the majority of staff were Serbs and Bulgarians.Officials plan to press welfare fraud charges against the firm, while organisers of the three-day event – attended by around 115,000 music enthusiasts – hired another cleaning company.Punk legends Die Toten Hosen, rock trio Muse and trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack co-headlined the festival, which featured around 100 further acts.It is not the first time that Frequency Festival bosses have come under fire.They were accused of inadequate safety precautions after 31 people were injured when a bridge in the main area of the 2005 edition of the event – held at the Salzburg ring racing track – collapsed.The 2008 edition of the festival – one of Austria’s biggest music events – was overshadowed by two reported rapes and the death of a 39-year-old man. His body was found in his tent by cleaning personnel. Police said at the time that excessive consumption of alcohol had been the cause of the German’s death.