Written by Emmy Mack on March 13, 2019
Home sweet hooooooooooooome!
Yes, Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival Byron lovers can breathe a heavy sigh of relief, because after a period of nervous uncertainty, both festivals have now found a “permanent home” in North Byron Bay Parklands.
A deal has just been inked to secure the future of both events at the beloved site, which has weathered a 6.5 year trial and almost 9 years in the NSW planning system to finally get rubber-stamped as an official outdoor cultural arts and music venue.
The Independent Planning Commission (IPC) not only gave the venue the big tick to continue hosting Splendour and Falls for as long as both festie faves continue to exist, it also greenlit a $42 million development application that, according to a press statement, will allow the venue’s owners to “improve the functionality and amenity of the site”.
“Parklands will now become the permanent home of Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival Byron,” the statement reads.
“The venue will also have the ability to host community events in addition to a small number of one day concerts. This will see Parklands attracting world class artists to the region across a range of music genres.”
North Byron Parklands General Manager Mat Morris reckons the news will spell great things for the local area, with Splendour and Falls continuing to provide the annual Community Grants program (which since 2013 has given over $630,000 to community, educational and environmental groups across the Shire) and generate lots of jobs for locals.
“It’s been a journey,” Morris says. “While the planning process has been a lengthy yet robust process, it’s great to finally receive approval to operate for up to 20 days per year.
“…We look forward to bringing the Shire and the wider region some of the finest local and international artists to the venue as well as being able to host a range of smaller community-based events.”
In its own press statement, the IPC, perhaps in a bid not to appear too out-of-step with the Berejiklian Government’s established stance on music festivals, stressed that “strict conditions of consent” had been placed on the venue to address “residents’ concerns about crowd numbers, noise, traffic and sewage and wastewater management”.
However, the Commission also cheerfully concluded that “the development will continue to deliver a unique tourism experience that will generate positive economic and social benefits, including local employment opportunities.”
So there’s that.
See you at SITG 2019?