Byron Music Festivals Under Threat if Redevelopment Rejected
THE NORTH BYRON Parklands, near Byron Bay on the NSW North Coast, is home to two of Australia’s largest music festivals, which attract tens of thousands of music fans and, organisers say, millions of dollars to the region’s economy.
However, a $42 million proposal to create a permanent festival site for up to 50,000 people has raised concerns that the staging of events such as Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival harms the environment, creates traffic and transport problems and affects the amenity of locals.
Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson also attacked the planning process as “undemocratic and disrespectful”.
“Festivals bring creative, cultural and economic benefits for our shire but they are also a two-edged sword, impacting on our locals by way of traffic, waste and noise. These issues can be overcome but they are nonetheless real and important for residents,” he said.
The development application submitted by North Byron Parklands proposes the construction of an administration building and “golden view” bar.
“Parklands’ long-term vision also includes the construction of a conference centre and associated accommodation as per the approved concept plan, with capacity for up to 180 attendees and accommodation for up to 120 guests a day,” according to Mat Morris, the general manager of North Byron Parklands.
The site’s owner also seeks permission to stage outdoor events for up to 20 days a year, including Splendour in the Grass, for up to 50,000 patrons for a maximum of five days.
“The maximum attendance for Falls Festival Byron would be capped at 35,000 patrons,” Mr Morris said.
The proposal also involves temporary camping for up to 30,000 people a day for certain events.