Splendour of Byron
FOR Splendour in the Grass co-director Jessica Ducrou it's good to be back home in Byron Bay preparing for the festival's opening at Belongil Fields this Friday.
For the past two years Splendour has been staged at Woodford in Queensland and returns to Belongil Fields for this year only before taking up residence at the new parkland site in the north of the shire next year.
"This site is like a comfy pair of slippers; we know it very well," said Ms Ducrou.
"I live in Byron and my team lives in Byron so it's great to be home.
"It changes the energy a bit being here. It's a great show here, smaller and more compact.
"And it has the convenience of being close to town."
Ms Ducrou believes the economic benefits that Splendour delivers to local businesses has been sorely missed over the past two years.
"When we were at Woodford, people in Byron told me it really affected the local economy," she said.
"I live here and saw businesses close and I had business owners telling me that Splendour was one of the major things that kept them alive in the winter months."
A poll of visitors to last year's Woodford event identified Byron Bay as festivalgoers' preferred venue.
"Ultimately what people wanted was for the festival to return to Byron Bay," she said.
"Many people come from Sydney and other interstate capitals and they want to stay in town before and after the festival to make it worthwhile."
Ms Ducrou and fellow director Paul Piticco were recently rated the second most powerful people in the Australian Music Industry Directorate's Power 50.
"We don't take these polls very seriously. Paul and I are only one part of a very big team and this is acknowledgement of their achievement," she said.
"I'm just a huge music fan."
Jess Ducrou's Hit Picks for Splendour 2012:
At the Drive In - My personal favourite.
Afghan Whigs and Mudhoney - Both legendary bands
Django Django and Band of Skulls - Expect breakthrough performances.
Azelia Banks - 212 is one of the best songs I have heard recently.
Bloc Party - My all-time favourite Splendour band.