The Splendour In The Grass music festival is planning a return to Byron Bay in northern New South Wales for this year’s event.
After two years at Woodford on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Splendour In The Grass organisers are currently working on taking the festival back to its original home at the Belongil Fields.
The dates for the 2012 event are July 27-29.
The festival was moved to Woodford because of a dispute over the approval of the North Byron Parklands festival site at Wooyung, where organisers had hoped to permanently relocate the event.
“Despite great efforts to have the festival at North Byron Parklands this year, we are yet to have a determination on the application,” Splendour co-producer Jessica Ducrou said.
“In the meantime and after much consideration, we are excited at the prospect of returning to the birth place of Splendour.”
Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham has welcomed the news.
“Splendour’s home is Byron Bay and there is defined benefit that the festival delivers to the area, especially in winter, so it is a welcome return,” she said.
Ms Ducrou says moving back to Byron Bay is a win for the punters.
“[It] allows us to give our audience the true Splendour experience, a quality music and arts festival combined with that distinctive Byron culture,” she said.
“We’d like to thank Woodfordia and the very wonderful Bill Hauritz (Woodford Folk Festival director), Mayor Allan Sutherland and Moreton Bay Regional Council for welcoming us with open arms and hosting our event for the last two years.”
Mr Sutherland, who has lobbied to keep the festival in Woodford, says he is disappointed by news of its departure.
“It has been a tremendous economic and cultural boon for our region to host one of Australia’s premier music festivals for two years in a row,” he said in a statement.
“The festival has injected more than $20 million into the local economy and attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the region.”
He says his door remains open if organisers ever wish to return Splendour to Woodford.
“When Splendour in the Grass organisers came to us a few years ago, they were in a bind about where they could host this festival,” he said.
“Council welcomed the festival with open arms to ensure the music didn’t stop.
“We understand the realities of the decision Splendour has had to make and our door is always open … [for] the festival to return in the future if circumstances changed for festival organisers.”