Festivals in Byron Under Threat

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Byron councillors have moved to limit the number of major music festivals in the shire to two a year.

Councillor Simon Richardson says an amendment was made yesterday to the council’s draft events policy.

At the same time, Bluesfest was given consent to go ahead at its new Tyagarah site until 2021, leaving just one vacancy.

Cr Richardson says the policy will be reviewed every two years, but at this stage it could mean a scaling-down of plans for the proposed North Byron Parklands site.

“We’d love them to bring Splendour (in the Grass) back, but it was worrying hearing yesterday that there was talk of three festivals of up to 50,000 people, not including the small ones,” Cr Richardson said.

“We’ve got to understand that when you have a major festival, it may be a three or four day festival but there’s a couple of weeks bumping in, a couple of weeks bumping out,” he said.

“So you’re talking about potentially a month of intrusion for everybody else… if you’re doing three or four a year, people (will find) themselves living next door to an amusement park,” Cr Richardson said.

The North Byron Parklands group is not commenting directly on the council’s decision or what effect it might have.

It released a statement today saying it had participated in the consultation process for the events policy and recognised that the council was working to develop a framework to manage events.

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