Falls Festival Crowds Well-Behaved

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More than 16,000 revellers per day are flooding through the gates of the Byron Bay Falls Festival, which began on New Year’s Eve and finishes on January 3.

Crowds rang in the new year with English indie rock back The Wombats.

Earlier in the day acts included American satirical musician Weird Al Yankovic, Australian electronic music duo Peking Duk, and hip hop favourites the Hilltop Hoods.

Friday’s highlights include recent ARIA award-winning Courtney Barnett, Perth five-piece Birds of Tokyo, Paul Kelly, and British indie rock band Bloc Party.

British electronic music duo Disclosure will close the festival on Saturday.

The event is held at the North Byron Parklands festival site near Yelgun and is one of three Falls Festivals with the others in Marion Bay in Tasmania and Lorne in Victoria.

The Lorne festival was relocated this year due to the threat of bushfires.

Festival director Brandon Saul said 95 per cent of the 16,000 revellers each day were camping on-site and they had all been well-behaved.

“They’ve been disappointingly well-behaved, you could say,” Mr Saul joked. “When I was that age I wasn’t that well-behaved.”

Milder conditions keep paramedic presentations down

The welcome news comes after 20 people were treated for overdoses at Stereosonic in Brisbane in December and two people died at events in Sydney and Adelaide.

Mr Saul said there had been no reported incidents with police and presentations to paramedics were down 50 per cent.

“And they’ve all been minor things like sunburn,” he said.

Temperatures at the festival site have so far reached a maximum of 26 degrees, which Mr Saul described as a welcome relief.

“We’ve had festivals before that have reached 40 degrees, so it’s great to have milder conditions,” he said.

“The waterslide and Palm Beach (water park area) have been a big hit though.”

One of the 47 acts playing at the festival was local Byron Shire punk band the Goons of Doom.

Timothy Cooney (aka Killa Whale) said the Falls Festival was one of the band’s favourite gigs.

“It was pretty hectic playing in the morning after New Year’s Eve because everyone had a big night, including us,” he said.

“But it was good — we’re a professional outfit.”

Tyler Westin from Brisbane said it was his first Falls Festival.

He said he was camping on-site with three friends.

“Camping here makes it easy because the grounds are a fair way out of Byron,” he said.

“But it’s a good vibe in the campground, nice and chilled after the big days out in the sun.

“The waterslide is an added bonus.”

The festival’s emergency first aid director Stephen Barnes said the medical team of 20 staff ‘managed the lowest number of injuries in the history of The Falls Byron and our doctors, nurses and paramedics thoroughly enjoyed their time working at such a wonderful event’.

Director of the festival, Brandon Saul, praised the army of over 500 volunteers helping make the event run smoothly and give it its ‘good vibe’.

‘Everyone commented on how friendly, polite and cooperative the patrons were and that it made this year’s Falls Music and Arts Festival Byron a great experience,’ he said.

‘We were thrilled to host such a successful event in perfect conditions.’

The parklands’ general manager, Mat Morris, congratulated festival patrons for ‘embracing the new recycling system’.

‘We saw record levels of recycling which resulted in a truly beautiful festival site,’ Mr Morris said.

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