A music festival held in regional Western Australia is facing criticism after attendees drank alcohol and partied on a sacred rock formation.

The Wave Rock Weekender festival is an annual event held in the Wheatbelt town of Hyden, about 300 kilometres east of Perth.

The festival is held in a caravan park near the famous 15-metre high rock formation known as Wave Rock for its distinctive shape.

The rock is spiritually significant because of Dreaming stories associated with the area and is also known as Katter Kich.

Senior Ballardong elder Farley Garlett has criticised festival crowds for ‘disrespecting’ the rock and has called for more protection for the site in future.

Festival organisers have defended the event, saying they have regularly consulted with local traditional owners for the past 18 years.

It’s not the first time the site has been the subject of controversy: in 2013 Mercedes Benz apologised after it filmed an ad at the rock featuring a BMX rider.