Parking and traffic for Bluesfest 2017 at Tyagarah in Byron Bay.
Parking and traffic for Bluesfest 2017 at Tyagarah in Byron Bay. Marc Stapelberg

Bluesfest backflips on paid parking

BLUESFEST has today announced the cancellation of paid parking for the 2019 festival, advising that paid parking will now be introduced for the 2020 festival.

The decision comes after the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) ordered Bluesfest Services Pty to pay $1200 immediately to Burleigh Waters resident Anthony Donnellan on March 14, after the tribunal deemed the festival to have engaged in "misleading and deceptive conduct" by releasing parking tickets for its 2019 festival after it released entry tickets for sale.

A spokesperson from NCAT confirmed Bluesfest Byron Bay had lodged an appeal against the decision last week on March 22.

In a statement released this morning, Bluesfest apologised for any confusion caused and inconvenience it may have caused ticket purchasers.

"Although Bluesfest had full approval from Byron Shire Council, the NSW Police and the Roads & Maritime Services to include paid parking in the 2019 festival, Bluesfest has today decided to implement the introduction of this initiative when tickets go on sale for the 2020 festival," the statement said.

Bluesfest said all 2019 ticketholders will be refunded by April 12, 2019.

The statement said paid parking is being introduced due to increased costs in multiple areas of the live music business including artist fees, production, logistics, grounds maintenance and security.

"As the last major live music event within the region to introduce a parking fee, Bluesfest understands that it imposes a further cost for patrons, however as a business, the company needs to ensure the future of the festival," the statement said.



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