Splendour music festival may yet call Yelgun home

RACHEL AFFLICK rachel.afflick@northernstar.com.au SPLENDOUR in the Grass organisers have officially applied to move next year's festival to the North Byron Shire Parklands site near Yelgun.

They lodged a new development application with Byron Shire Council on Thursday.

The size of the music festival would be bigger than ever allowing 22,500 people through the gates each day. This compares to 17,500 people this year. The Splendour in the Grass music festival has been an annual event in Byron Bay since 2001. Organisers have for some time wanted to move the festival to a larger site. They previously submitted a DA to stage this year's event near Yelgun but withdrew it before a decision was made. Now they're trying again.

The 2008 Splendour would occur as a 'trial' event over Friday, August 1 to Sunday, August 3 and would be similar to the events held in previous years at Byron Bay's Belongil Fields. The larger site would allow for a combination of live music stages contrasting with other areas for softer entertainment. But not everyone is happy.

During public meetings on the issue earlier this year residents opposed to the site said the DA should be rejected because of its impact on a nearby wildlife corridor. They were also concerned about potential danger to residents from alcohol and drug-affected revellers. But the DA states the design of the event had addressed issues raised by residents during the consultation process.

It said most negative impacts would be local and temporary while most benefits would be regional and long lasting. Under the DA there could also be changes to the ticketing system. To prevent locals missing out tickets would go on sale to Byron Shire residents first. The DA is on public exhibition until September 28 and submissions from the public are invited.



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