Splendour not a word neighbours would use
By RACHEL AFFLICK
GRASSROOTS opposition to the Splendour in the Grass festival site at Wooyung is growing.
Twenty-five resident groups from Northern NSW and Southern Queensland have banded together to say a collective ‘no’ to moves to stage the festival in their backyard.
South Golden Beach woman Kathy Norley said it was the biggest alliance of local resident groups she’d ever heard of, and it would send Tweed and Byron councils their biggest message yet that the community did not want the festival at Wooyung.
“I believe having the numbers will let both councils know we’re not happy,” she said.
Of concern to the resident groups are the cumulative effects of the festival on the environment, flooding, infrastructure, emergency services and traffic.
Splendour in the Grass organisers plan to hold a three-day event on their northern Byron Shire parklands site at Wooyung in August.
It would cater for 22,500 patrons a day, along with 2000 staff, performers, stallholders and guests.
One resident, Ocean Shores man David Hall, believes if 22,500 people were to converge in the north of the shire for the festival there would be absolute chaos.
“I know people in Sunrise (Byron Bay) who’ve woken up and found broken glass in their swimming pool, who’ve woken up and found people going to the toilet in their yard,” he said. “Good on them for getting it out of Sunrise, but we don’t want it here.”
Mr Hall said as well as flooding and fire hazards, the festival would be heard throughout the bedrooms of Ocean Shores, New Brighton and South Golden Beach homes.
But Splendour in the Grass producer Jessica Ducrou described it as ‘a fantastic opportunity for the community’. She also defended the environmental credentials of the event, saying fences would prevent people running through environmentally-sensitive areas.
“We will be planting tens of thousands of trees,” she said.