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Welcome to North Byron Parklands (Parklands), a beautiful 660-acre cultural arts and music events venue.

Located at Yelgun in the north of the Byron Shire, Parklands is currently home to two of Australia’s most respected music events (Splendour In The Grass and Falls Festival).

We believe that cultural arts and music events play an important role in society. With strong environmental underpinnings, Parklands is dedicated to creating a sustainable space for the arts and broader community.

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The holding company of North Byron Parklands, Billinudgel Property Trust, is a 100% Australian owned group of

like-minded people with a long history working in entertainment and the arts.







Jessica has been a successful music agent and concert promoter in Australia for over twenty years. She has operated her own booking agency Village Sounds for many years, currently representing Vance Joy, 360, Megan Washington, Big Scary, Bernard Fanning, Art Vs Science and Last Dinosaurs plus many more and co-promoting international tours in Australia with her business partner Paul Piticco for Mumford and Sons, Bloc Party, Hot Chip, Lana Del Rey and others.

Jessica was the co-founder of Sydney's Homebake festival, the first major music festival to provide purely Australian and New Zealand content. She is also the co-founder of winter music and arts festival Splendour In the Grass and more recently became a co-producer and shareholder of the Falls Music and Arts Festival.

Jessica relocated her home and business to Byron Bay in 2002, where she currently lives with her husband and young family.



Paul Piticco has built his career around Australia’s contemporary music landscape. He has managed the career of Powderfinger since the band’s inception in 1990, later forming Secret Service Artist Management in the late 1990’s and expanding the management roster to include Bernard Fanning and The Grates, amongst others.

In 2001 Paul created Dew Process, an independent record label that has signed and released many Platinum and Gold-selling artists such as Mumford & Sons, Sarah Blasko, The Living End and The Panics. He is also Co-Producer of Splendour in The Grass and national touring company Secret Sounds.

In late 2011 Paul opened Popolo, an Italian Kitchen + Bar in Brisbane with Andrew Baturo and Denis Sheahan.

In early 2012 Piticco launched new digital-focused independent label Create/Control. Designed to meet artists’ needs in today’s music industry environment, Create/Control is helmed by the team behind Dew Process and includes artists such as The Smashing Pumpkins, Metric, The Jungle Giants and Opossom.

Paul has been a Board Member for the Queensland Performing Arts Centre since 2006. He is an active supporter and fundraiser for Youngcare, The Yalari Foundation and Reconciliation Australia.



A qualified lawyer and accountant [though he's never actually practiced either profession] Brandon is passionate about music, art, architecture, urban design, technology and popular culture.

His company, Mixed Media manage and produce a variety of creative industry events including Creative Sydney, the Vivid Ideas exchange and The Qantas Spirit of Youth awards. Brandon is also a founding supporter and vice president of Sydney's largest community radio broadcaster FBi.

Brandon has been living in and around Byron, on and off, for almost twenty years.



General Manager of North Byron Parklands Mat Morris is an environmental scientist with specialist knowledge across the music, manufacturing and transportation industry sectors.

His expertise covers the development of environmental management systems including risk identification, assessment processes and comprehensive compliance audit systems.

Mat’s prior roles include developing waste avoidance and resource recovery strategies for the NSW EPA, developing environmental management systems with State Rail and as an environmental regulator with the Queensland EPA.

Mat is both a qualified environmental management systems auditor and waste auditor.

He lives with his wife and two young children in Bangalow.



In the early 1980s to the late 90's Neil was a formative part of the Independent music scene in Sydney, and has progressivly worked in the Industry and Creative development for 30 years in a variety of roles.

As a pivotal creator in early Web Design in this country, including ABC online, Neil has been on the ground and a freelance initiator of many projects eventually forming his own Web Design Company and moving to the Northern Rivers with his young family in 2000.

With his focus on Community, Neil is dedicated to communicating and creating relationship which has constantly informed his working life.





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Parklands is currently approved to host 3 events per year with a total maximum of 10 event days.


Since its debut in Byron Bay in 2001 Splendour in the Grass has grown to become arguably Australia's most popular music and arts event. The scramble for tickets each year highlights the popularity of this internationally acclaimed event with tickets consistently selling out in record time. Splendour has hosted literally some of the biggest names in contemporary music and continues to be the hot mid winter destination on the Australian music event calendar. For 3 days patrons literally make Splendour their home away from home - there's art, craft, workshops, market stalls, yoga, dance and fusion food. There's the incredibly popular Splendour Forum where guests discuss both the heavy and lighter topics, and ponder the tricky philosophical questions. There's comedy and there's karaoke. There's even a Splendour Day Spa and the Very Small Mall. But most importantly there's music and the spirit of community.


At Parklands we know how important it is to stay in touch with family and friends via mobile telephone. Parklands have been working with various mobile telecommunication companies to provide you with a fast and reliable service that you can count on during events.

Each mobile phone company traditionally provides a Cell on Wheels (otherwise known as a COW) to expand their network coverage and capacity. Check out what you can expect from your carrier below:

  • Optus Customers
    Optus customers can expect good coverage throughout Splendour 2014 through the provision of a COW with a significant relay tower (some 40m), which is located at the venue.
  • Vodafone Customers
    Vodafone customers will also benefit from a COW being strategically placed at the venue to improve coverage and capacity.
  • Telstra Customers
    Telstra customers are going to struggle this year to get a line out or download-upload data as Telstra will not be providing any expanded network infrastructure. Last year Telstra provided two COWs, which resulted in a strong network performance for their customers.
    Parklands has been in contact with Telstra over the last 8 months and we are very disappointed that this major mobile phone service provider will not have any additional network facilities in place. Therefore, its customers will have virtually no mobile phone coverage at one of Australia’s premier outdoor festivals.
    If you’re with Telstra you might want to consider moving to another service provider or at the very least hang out with those of your mates that are on Optus and Vodafone during the event.
  • Surrounding Neighbours
    To our surrounding neigbours who use Telstra mobile, Parklands wishes to apologies in advance for any lack of service during the Splendour in the Grass event. As discussed with local residents at a number of community meetings over the past 12 months, Parklands believed that Telstra was going to install Optic Fibre to the site and provide a number of COWs. We had these commitments in writing however this telco has reneged on these vital service provisions. We are very disappointed that Telstra will not only be letting event patrons down, they will also be letting rural customers down as well.
    Again, our sincere apologies.
  • July 2014
    Parklands is pleased to advise that Telstra has made the commendable decision to deploy 2 COWs for Splendour 2014. We understand that this will improve mobile services for Telstra customers both at Splendour and in the areas immediately surrounding Parklands for the duration of the event.
    With regard to Telstra's permanent solution, Parklands is still in a trial phase and not in a position to invest in permanent infrastructure, but we look forward to working with Telstra on a mutually beneficial plan for the future.
    Following this latest news, we are now pleased to say that all 3 main mobile carriers – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – will have additional capacity at Splendour.


Falls is a multi day camping event which takes place at the end of December in Lorne (Victoria), Marion Bay (Tasmania) and now at Parklands in Byron Bay which hosted the inaugural Northern NSW leg Dec 13 / Jan 14th. The event presents music acts from around the globe and has a strong focus on the arts and environment. Over the years Falls Festival has been developed and fostered by a group of family and friends and this tradition continues today. It is one of the most beloved music and arts festivals in Australia.

"Energy levels were clearly high all over the festival, as punters bounded up and down the steep hill which formed one side of the vast natural amphitheatre surrounding the main stage. It is an impressive site to behold, and certainly adds to the essence of wonder and beauty already established by Byron Bay's sister venues in Lorne and Marion Bay." (Music Feeds 2014)

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Common Ground feature article Parklands Pledge

The full article can be found by following this link.

Falls Festival 14/15 Operating Times Clarification

As part of our ongoing communications to residents in the north of the Shire a recent letterbox drop has incorrectly stated the operating times for this event. The following operating hours will apply to the Falls Festival 14/15:

Tuesday 30th December 2014 – 11am to Midnight;
Wednesday 31st December 2014 – 11am to Midnight (main stages) - Midnight to 2am (bars, cafes, dance floors);
Thursday 1st January 2015 - 11am to Midnight (main stages) - Midnight to 2am (bars, cafes, dance floors); and
Friday 2nd January 2015 - 11am to Midnight (main stages) - Midnight to 2am (bars, cafes, dance floors).

We apologise for any confusion.


After months of productive negotiation North Byron Parklands and the organisors of the Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festivals are pleased to announce that Telstra will be providing superior connectivity to Telstra mobile users in and around the Parklands’venue.

Telstra has agreed to supply 2 portable mobile base stations known as COWs or Cells on Wheels for future events held at North Byron Parklands and also install fibre optic cabling to the Parklands’ venue. The COW’s will be connected to this fibre optic cable so festival patrons, local residents and event management using the Telstra network will be able to access high quality service for mobile voice and 3G/4G data. The cabling installation by Telstra is almost complete and the COW’s will be put in place for the upcoming Falls Festival event.

Today, Splendour in the Grass co-producer Jessica Ducrou said, “After Splendour 2014 we had a very positive series of discussions and are pleased to have reached an agreement with Telstra that will benefit our festival patrons and the local community. It’s a fantastic result and we applaud Telstra for their genuine interest in working through a very complex set of constraints and finding a solution for both their customers and Parklands.”

Telstra Area General Manager Sue Passmore today said: “We’re thrilled to have come to an agreement with North Byron Parklands, Splendour in the Grass and the Falls Festival to boost mobile coverage during these popular events. With the increase in network capacity and coverage as a result of these works, we will make sure festivalgoers and residents stay connected. It is important to note the increase in demand on the mobile network does not affect fixed landline services in the area. The fibre optic cable work has been installed specifically to provide additional support to our mobile services”

“This is a fabulous outcome for the venue. As with any outdoor events, whether they are metropolitan or regional, there can be a strain placed on mobile communication networks. Over the past 12 months we have been working with a range of carriers to improve network coverage in the area immediately surrounding Parklands. This outcome with Telstra strengthens the local mobile network and will bring a much greater level of connectivity for local community Telstra users,” added Mat Morris, General Manager of North Byron Parklands.


For Immediate Media Release Tuesday Nov 4th, 2014

In April 2012, after a 2-year process of consulting with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment(DP&E) the Planning & Assessment Commission (PAC) granted a 5-year trial approval for North Byron Parklands (Parklands). This approval requires a series of trial events that are to be monitored and
reviewed and event related activities adjusted where required to fully trial the site.

Parklands’ owners supported the original sound criteria recommendations made by the DP&E to the PAC as part of the trial approval process as they aligned with other outdoor event venues in NSW and other parts of Australia.

The PAC decided not to follow DP&E’s recommendations to set noise criteria in line with most other outdoor venues and, in doing so, did not set any criteria for bass sounds. It is during particular weather conditions that some residents have experienced these bass emissions from events held at Parklands.

Parklands had today lodged a minor modification of its trial approval with DP&E. Included in the application is a proposal to set criteria to better manage lower frequency sound emissions from events held at the venue. These modifications would benefit the local community, especially in relation to sound by providing clear parameters around bass emissions generated from events held at Parklands.

By setting specific noise criteria covering bass frequencies, events held at Parklands will have a clear range within which to operate. These revised sound criteria would align Parklands with similar outdoor events in the region and NSW. As part of the PAC’s determination Parklands operators are required to review noise performance after 12 months to assess suitability and performance.

“Now, with 3 events having been staged at Parklands over a 15 month period, a body of data and experience has been accumulated. By setting clear bass limits the intrusive component can be better managed by event operators. Many other outdoor venues in NSW have limits set for bass frequencies and this modification would bring Parklands into line with those venues. Part of the trial approval process is about reviewing and improving the way we do things and this includes sound management. We are now 2 years into our 5 year trial approval and we remain committed to building on our track record of improvements,” said Parklands General Manager Mat Morris.

In the modification Parklands is also seeking the ability to host small-scale events on site, which would include community events, local school cross-country and sporting events along with more community tree plantings.

“Parklands has been inundated with requests from schools, sporting organisations and other community groups (mostly from the north of Byron Shire) seeking to host activities at the venue. As part of our commitment to support our community Parklands hopes to allow various organisations, currently without a home, a place to flourish and serve the community in which they operate,” added Mat Morris.


North Byron Parklands (Parklands) is pleased to announce the results of its economic impact study for 2014. This report is an analysis of the latest two of three events held at Parklands to date.

The Economic Impact and Benefits 2014 report, produced by RPS Australia East, has revealed that for the 8 days of the year that events operated at Parklands in 2014 (Falls Music & Arts Festival and Splendour in the Grass) $41.4 million in economic output was generated in the Northern Rivers, with Byron Shire accounting for $24.1 million of this economic output.

The events combined generated 22,900 room night stays in Byron Shire accommodation and 6,125 room nights in other parts of Northern NSW (not including camping on site at Parklands). Most of this accommodation was booked for Splendour in the Grass in the regions’ typically quieter winter season.

Most importantly is the level of local employment created in the Byron Shire and the Northern Rivers by the Falls Music & Arts Festival and Splendour in the Grass. Across the two events held at Parklands in 2014 a total of 308 equivalent full-time (EFT) jobs were created. Of these positions created, Byron Shire residents filled 99 EFT jobs while an additional 34 positions were filled by Northern Rivers residents.

Other key results generated by the two events held in 2014 include:

  • $2.9 million in wages and salaries paid to residents of Byron Shire;

  • $1.8 million in wages and salaries paid to residents in the Northern Rivers; and

  • A total of $11 million in wages and salaries (including Byron Shire and the Northern Rivers).

These positive benefits support the objectives of the Destination Management Plan prepared by Byron Shire Council and Destination Byron.

Cameron Arnold, President Destination Byron and Co-Chairman North Coast Destination Network, today said: “The economic value of the North Byron Parklands in its early stages is incredible and these figures show exactly what these world class events bring into the Byron Shire and more broadly the Northern Rivers.  The engagement that the Parklands have undertaken with local residents in the creation of jobs and generation of business not only for accommodation and the visitor industry, but further afield is to be applauded. We look forward to continuing to work alongside Parklands management in achieving mutual objectives for the Destination.”

As part of the community grants program the events hosted by Parklands in 2014 provided over $43,000 in direct cash contributions to organisations including the Shara Community Gardens, Brunswick Valley Landcare, Brunswick Valley Rescue, Ocean Shores Primary School and to The Training Station partnership with Mullumbimby Music Festival. In addition, tens of thousands of dollars worth of tickets were provided to charitable organizations and public schools to raise much needed funds through raffles and prizes. To date, since its inception in 2001, Splendour in the Grass has donated over $400,000 to community groups in the Northern Rivers.

Mat Morris, General Manager, Parklands said “With youth unemployment at record levels in Byron Shire and the Northern Rivers Region it’s great to see so many people, including younger people, able to secure work at one or both events. Local Byron businesses have also been able to benefit with direct expenditure by events with these companies of $11.5 million while businesses and service providers (including Byron) in the Northern Rivers received $18.4 million”.

Download the report-->

Parklands Composting Toilets - Permaculturenews.org article

Splendour in the Grass is a music, arts and culture festival held near Byron Bay in Northern New South Wales, Australia. It is a 3-day event attended by more than 30,000 people (on an area of 256 ha., or 660 acres — partly adjacent to a large nature reserve) and it is considered the country’s largest winter music festival.

Read the full article-->


Now this thing was immense. Splendour’s brand new Amphitheatre Stage, with its wide base and steep hill, made for excellent views and huge crowds who dropped by to catch big names like Violent Soho, Outkast, City And Colour, Lily Allen and Hilltop Hoods. Definitely worth the hike.

The layout of the festival is working a lot better this year. Though we’re definitely getting our daily dose of exercise, there are few bottlenecks and everything is easy to find. The buses are a LOT closer to the entrance this year as well, and the brand new bowl of an Amphitheatre is the perfect size, allowing you to see the stage from all angles with great sound.

Splendour promoters spent a lot of money and many years trying to get approval to move the festival to its current site at Yelgun. This year we found out why. The natural amphitheatre, used for the first time ever at Splendour 2014 (following its debut at Falls Byron over New Years), is one of Mother Nature's marvels. When full, Zan Rowe described it as a "Cauldron of Humanity".

The popular three-day event, for so long synonymous with its original Belongil Fields venue in Byron Bay — and more recently on secondment to Woodfordia in south-east Queensland — enjoyed a successful second iteration at its new North Byron Parklands home. Last year’s problems of delayed entry and excess mud weren’t in evidence, as scores of music fanatics soaked up a strong line-up of both international and local music, including OutKast, Interpol, the Preatures and Kelis.

Coming to Splendour for their first and only Australian performance since reforming earlier this year, Outkast weren’t just the most anticipated act on the bill, they’re arguably the act on the Splendour bill that felt like a once-in-a-lifetime event. You could feel it in the crowd. Punters were lined all the way up the sides of the mainstage’s impressive natural amphitheatre, ranging from the curious to casual fans to the Outkast faithful for whom their Splendour-exclusive show was the deciding factor in making a Byron road trip.

Unless you’ve got the best will power in the world, it’s almost impossible not to be curious over what went down from 24th to 27th July at the incredibly lush festival grounds at Parklands Byron Bay, especially when such a grand event is headlined by the likes of Outkast, Lily Allen and Interpol.

On a winter’s day that felt more like summer, at least while the sun shone, the festival’s newly appointed natural amphitheatre played host to some of the biggest names of the day, including Interpol, Outkast, the Preatures and the Presets, a diverse selection of artists and genres united by being able to turn the main arena into a throbbing mass of bodies.

Hip hop headliners OutKast topped most fans’ must-see checklists at this year’s Splendour in the Grass music festival but the real star of this year’s show is the festival site itself — and some groundbreaking bush toilets. The sprawling, 660 acre cultural and music events facility known as North Byron Parklands has been born of a harmonic convergence of longtime music industry identities with a keen eye for the environment. The site’s dream team of owners — including Splendour promoters Paul Pittico and Jessica Ducrou and Falls Festival Byron Bay director Brandon Saul — have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on improvements since last year’s rain-soaked stoush.

Two years into a five-year trial that grants approval for three events at the site each year, Parklands’ owners are keen to learn from experience before putting any permanent infrastructure down at their Yelgun property, a 20 minute drive south of Gold Coast Airport and 20 minutes north of Byron Bay Instead, Parklands has become a pop-up city this weekend as more than 25,000 people a day — 17,500 of them on-site campers — pour through Splendour’s gates.

Like Woodfordia, the Woodford Folk Festival’s home on the Sunshine Coast, the environmentally friendly parklands is being tailored to suit Splendour’s needs. Its centrepiece is a splendid, vast natural amphitheatre surrounding the main stage where OutKast thrilled fans last night. The area can hold up to 25,000 people — more than two thirds of the event’s total crowd.The amphitheatre and clean, green improvements made since last year, including hundreds of relocatable composting toilets and new low flow showers, have received the thumbs up from punters and campers in particular.

Trees planted last year — the pilot program saw punters plant 450 trees in less than 15 minutes — have grown to give the site a more mature, bedded down vibe and festivalgoers have been invited to help plant another 2000 native shrubs and eucalypts over the weekend. Plantings are being held each day as part of a joint venture between parklands, Splendour and Brunswick Valley Landcare, with the program culminating tomorrow in National Tree Planting Day.

The site improvements have been overseen by North Byron Parklands general manager Mat Morris, a music-loving environmental scientist who has literally steered the project from the ground up. Waste-water truck movements in and out of the site and the amount of waste the festival sends to Byron Shire Council’s sewage treatment plant (STP) have been dramatically reduced thanks to 240 new state-of-the-art composting toilets and 192 low-flow, gas-fired shower stalls. Combined with six pilot composting toilets built at the site in 2013, Parklands now boasts the most composting toilets at any outdoor event in the country — 246 in total. Designed by Quicksmart Homes, the 100 per cent relocatable low-odour toilets are in keeping with parklands’ mission to sustainably manage water cycles (freshwater and waste water).

The festival hopes to further boost its grey water treatment facility before next year’s event. Future priorities at the site include improved mobile phone network coverage and capacity. Optus, Vodafone and Telstra currently send Cell on Wheels (COWs) units to the site during the festival. Parklands said Telstra had previously committed to installing Optic Fibre to the site but “reneged” on its decision earlier this year. In a statement on its website, the venue says: “Parklands is still in a trial phase and not in a position to invest in permanent infrastructure, but we look forward to working with Telstra on a mutually beneficial plan for the future.”


Basking in an abundance of sunshine, North Byron Parklands welcomed back Splendour in the Grass and its patrons to experience the venue in all its intended glory.

Traffic flows both onsite and offsite worked extremely well with little or no congestion beingexperienced. After working hard with various government agencies to improve traffic management arrangements, the results were seamless with patrons arriving smoothly over the three-day event. Patrons also utilised the public transport network provided by the event in record numbers adding to the traffic management plan’s success.

The event undertook a detailed noise-monitoring program in accordance with the Venue’s Noise Management Plan and acoustic consultants also undertook over 100 noise measurements at local residencies throughout the event.

Directional wind changes throughout the three days resulted in some locations experiencing sound from the event. The event hotline, community email and acoustic consultants have recorded noise related issues for further analysis post event. The event hotline did experience some technical difficulties and event staff has identified opportunities for future improvement in this area. The Department of Planning and Environment was also in attendance at the event to monitor compliance.

This year hundreds of patrons got their hands dirty across the weekend by planting 2,000 trees to improve habitat values across Parklands. A joint program between Parklands, Splendour in the Grass and Brunswick Valley Landcare saw patrons taking a break from festivities to commune with nature. Across the 3-day event they planted endemic trees including dry shrubs and eucalypts in a location of Parklands that has been committed for rehabilitation. The planting concluded on the final day of the event (Sunday July 27th), which coincided with National Tree Planting Day.

Parklands’ new composting toilets and low-flow showers were also a big hit with patrons. Over 750 people were surveyed with the overwhelming majority concluding that the amenities were some of the “best event facilities” they had experienced at any festival.

Parklands Manager Mat Morris said, “Parklands is proud to host such a world class event as that produced by the Splendour in the Grass team. The Splendour team worked hard to address the teething problems from the previous year and the improvement has been dramatic and will only continue to improve. We’re thrilled that patrons attending the event got to experience the full beauty and versatility of this outstanding venue.”

Parklands Unveils World Class Composting Toilets

North Byron Parklands (Parklands) has today unveiled the largest number of waterless composting toilets at any outdoor event in Australia. Patrons at the upcoming Splendour in the Grass event will be the first to experience these state of the art, waterless and low-odour composting toilets.

Thanks to Byron Shire Council’s commitment to sustainable technologies, council granted Parklands an approval for 258 composting toilets in 2013. Parklands worked with the Australian company Quicksmart Homes who designed and commissioned the 240 bespoke composting toilets and 192 low-flow gas-fired shower stalls. With the 6 pilot composting toilets built in 2013, Parklands now has an incredible 246 waterless units, which will significantly add to patron comfort and amenity.

Being 100% re-locatable this design allows a huge amount of flexibility in terms of providing unique camping and event lay-outs for events held at Parklands. It also supports Parklands’ environmental philosophy to manage water cycles (fresh water and waste water) sustainably.

This initiative will provide a number of key environmental benefits including a significant reduction in waste-water truck movements and a dramatic reduction in waste being sent to the Byron Shire Council owned sewerage treatment plant (STP). Complementing this initiative Byron Shire Council recently provided an approval to augment our existing grey water treatment facility (which processes shower water). This facility can now treat up to 920,000 litres of grey water on site, further reducing the amount of waste water directed to Byron Shire Council’s STP.

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Venue Blog


Telstra mobile customers experienced outstanding coverage on site due to the permanent fibre optic cabling and temporary COW’s in place for the Falls event. Parklands management along with Splendour in the Grass and Falls organisers are currently in discussion with both Optus and Vodafone to try and ensure quality coverage from all major mobile phone networks.

We want to thank our neighbours and the broader community for their continuing support of North Byron Parklands. We received excellent feedback from members of the community, as well as from the 1st Brunswick Heads Scout Group who were invited to restock their supplies by salvaging and recycling unwanted camping gear from Falls.

On a final note, North Byron Parklands is now on Instagram. We’ll be posting regular updates about the venue and also great behind-the-scenes images of what it takes to prepare our venue for an event like Splendour in the Grass. Please connect with us at #northbyronparklands.

Next up is Splendour in the Grass 2015. We’ll be back with more details on how Parklands prepares for Australia’s most popular festival event. Until then….

1000 native plants

On another positive note, more than 1000 native plants were put in the ground by Falls patrons. The summer and early autumn heat and rain have combined to create a fantastic growing season in the Northern Rivers and Parklands is no exception.  Our native tree plantings are exploding out of the ground, particularly the eucalypts, furthering our habitat restoration program.

image: Kirra Pendergast

image: Kirra Pendergast

image: Kirra Pendergast

Greetings again from Parklands HQ

We return off the back of another highly successful Falls Festival. The event’s traffic management plan was once again a brilliant success with no traffic congestion reported by the community, the RMS or NSW Police.

We are particularly happy to write that the event fully complied with its current approved noise criteria. A lot of work was done in preparation of the Falls event which focussed on ‘at source’ noise attenuation and mitigation.

Falls staff installed 143 hay silages (weighing in excess of 300 kgs each) at the back and sides of all the main stages and some of the smaller venues.

This mitigation strategy resulted in better than expected noise levels outside of the venue space.

143 hay silages - noise attenuation and mitigation

18th December

It’s been a while since I’ve written and with the second instalment of Falls Festival Byron Bay just around the corner, I wanted to update you on how Parklands is shaping up in preparation for the event.

After some decent rainfall recently, the property is looking green and lush. There’s been extensive mowing, trimming and slashing and a large area has been prepared for the 1000 plus trees which will be planted by Falls punters across the festival weekend.

This is all part of our ongoing commitment to regenerating North Byron Parklands and populating it with endemic species.

The rainfall we’ve had has not only improved the look of the site and given our thirsty native trees and plants a much needed drink. It has also resulted in some 400,000 litres of precious rainwater falling into our tanks, which negates the need for 26 truckloads of water to the site. We’re pretty happy about that.

In other great news, I can report that Telstra contractors have completed the fibre-optic cabling and their two temporary CoW’s are now in place at Parklands. This should result in superior connectivity for Telstra mobile users both on site and in the immediate area. We’re pretty happy about that too!

As far as Falls infrastructure goes the Forest and Amphitheatre stages are now in place. The Teepee Life area is also almost set up and overall the bump-in is going ahead smoothly.


It literally takes a small army to construct a festival site, especially in a ‘parklands’ environment where there is virtually no existing infrastructure.

Around 500 people are involved in the process of setting up the Falls festival here at Parklands, from carpenters and other tradespeople, experts in stage, fencing and tent construction, cleaners, managers across all areas and a host of others who all play a vital role in ensuring the space is safe for patrons.


The composting toilets and showers are ready and so are we.

To any Falls punters reading this, we ask you to make use of the garbage facilities and please, please recycle your tents if you plan to leave them behind. Or better still, take them with you to help keep Parklands green and clean.

Stay safe over the holiday season and enjoy the fabulous Falls Festival here at North Byron Parklands.

Signing off for now,


General Manager, North Byron Parklands




Last year’s inaugural Splendour In The Grass at Parklands was a steep learning curve for all involved. The incessant rain didn’t help much either. Many lessons were learned from the previous event and as a result new and revised systems put into place, which ensured that key areas such as traffic management this year went off without a hitch. Parking and public transport systems also worked smoothly and all in all we’re really happy with the major improvements that were so evident this year. These improvements could not have been possible without the planning and work of the many people who were involved.

Hosting events like Splendour in the Grass and Falls is an organic process that involves a small and dedicated army of workers. We’ll continue to refine our systems as we move forward. Importantly, we’d like to do a big shout out to the local community for their support of the event and to the many local business and tradespeople who worked at Splendour. We couldn’t do it without your support.

The site now looks just as it did before Splendour so thanks to the clean-up crew for their tireless efforts.

Huge thanks must go out to the punters who took the time to get their hands dirty and take part in a mass planting at Parklands across the Splendour weekend. With their help, an incredible 2000 native trees have been planted in our dedicated rehabilitation zone.

Onward now to Falls...


Well we have successfully hosted a truly brilliant Splendour In The Grass festival, which wrapped up here just 10 days ago. The sun shone for the most part and our visitors were able to experience Parklands the way it was intended.

Parklands as a venue was invariably praised by patrons, (most) locals and the media (check out Praise For Parklands on our news page). Our brand new composting toilets went down a treat (no pun intended!) and our low flow showers were a big hit with campers also. These environmental initiatives are a major on-going priority for Parklands.

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Sustainable cultural arts and music events play an important role in our society both in terms of expressing and strengthening positive social values and providing economic opportunities in the form of employment and income generating opportunities.

In a regional context sustainable arts and music events are particularly important to the wider northern rivers region where they provide substantial social, environmental and economic benefits to a broad group of individuals, businesses, community groups and not for profit organisations.

While such events come with a host of positive benefits, we also recognize that these activities need to be managed in a professional and systematic way to reduce and / or mitigate potential impacts.


Parklands welcomes constructive feedback from our community.

Community Noise Information

Members of our community are able to contact Parklands either during events or at other times to provide feedback or complaints regarding the performance of events. Feedback or complaints can be lodged in the following manner:

  1. Community hotline 02 6680 4049

  2. Email - community@northbyronparklands.com

  3. By post - P.O Box 517, Bangalow, NSW 2479

  4. Or by filling in the form below


Parklands has appointed a community manager who operates 4 weeks prior to, during and 2 weeks after any event held at Parklands. The community manager also attends regulatory working group meetings where community issues are regularly discussed. The community manager’s role is to:

  1. Develop and maintain relationships with community members across events

  2. Identify key issues

  3. Document and report issues

  4. Environmental Health and Safety Management Manual (EHSMM)

Parklands ESHMM sets out the organisations guiding policies, objectives and targets for the management of identified significant environmental, health and safety risks across all event activities conducted on the site. One of the standards under this management manual deals with ‘offsite management’ issues during events. Matters such as the following are dealt with under this standard:

  • Illegal camping

  • Litter

  • Illegal parking

  • And other community matters


Parklands, Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival have create a Community Grants Program which will currently deliver approximately $40,000.00 every year to local charities and community groups based on current patron capacities.

Splendour in the Grass has donated over $350,000 in direct cash donations throughout the Byron shire during their 13-year history. This figure excludes funds raised through the many hundreds of tickets donated to schools and community groups. It also excludes the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised at the festival itself by community groups over the years.

In its inaugural year at Parklands Falls Festival provided community funding in conjunction with Byron Shire to help deliver the Summer Safe program operated by the Council over the New Year Eve period.

To apply for a community grant please complete and return the community grant application form 2014 before 5.00pm Friday 18th July, 2014. Applicants will be contacted after the event.



Understanding Noise

Noise in the environment is made up of a wide range of different frequencies. The human ear responds more to frequencies between 500 Hz and 8 kHz and is less sensitive to low frequency or very high frequency noises. To allow noise measurements to take account of the response of the human ear to differing frequencies, frequency weightings are used. For the measurement of noise associated with events at Parklands, two frequency weightings (A-weighted and C-weighted) are used.

dB(A) is a measure of the overall noise level of sound across the audible spectrum with a frequency weighting (i.e. ‘A’ weighting) to compensate for the varying sensitivity of the human ear to sound at different frequencies.

dB(C) is a measure of the overall noise level of sound across the audible spectrum with a frequency weighting (i.e. ‘C’ weighting) that places an increased focus on low frequency (bass) noise.

The figure below provides a graphical representation of the differences between the frequency weightings. It can be seen that the C-weighting is much flatter with only limited attenuation at the low frequencies. This weighting provides a better measure of the control of low frequency 'bass' music from the event sound system.


The impacts of meteorological conditions

Certain weather conditions may increase or decrease noise levels observed at a given receptor location during an event. This is because certain weather conditions can focus sound-wave propagation paths at a particular area. Of particular importance to the propagation of noise from the event sound system are temperature, wind (including speed and direction) and the presence of temperature inversions.For example, where winds are blowing towards a given receptor location (i.e. source to receptor winds) noise levels at the downwind location can increase. Similarly, where winds are blowing away from a particular receptor, noise levels propagating from the event would be lower at upwind receptors. These weather effects typically increase/decrease noise levels by 5 to 10 dB.

Management of Noise During Events

Parklands adopt best practice acoustic management techniques to minimise the potential acoustic amenity impacts on the surrounding community. This is achieved by incorporation of a range of design and management measures into each event held at the venue

Design Measures

Best practice acoustic management techniques incorporated into the design of the event include:

  • Directing, where possible, public address speakers, event stages and speakers away from sensitive receivers;
  • Considering where possible, speaker directivity and selection of speaker arrays to minimise spillage of noise beyond venue area;
  • Direction of amplified noise is to be directed away from the Billinudgel Nature Reserve as far as practicable;
  • Where speakers are mounted on poles or otherwise elevated above ground, they are generally to be inclined downwards at a minimum angle of approximately 45 degrees from the horizontal or otherwise designed to reduce noise spillage to the surrounding environment;
  • Positioning event stages and speakers to utilise any noise attenuation to sensitive receivers provided by the natural topography of the site and surrounding area;
  • Using fixed or portable barriers (e.g. shipping containers) to construct acoustic barriers where necessary to limit noise emissions from event activities (e.g. behind stages)
  • Using time synced unattended noise monitoring equipment at receptor and stage locations to allow analysis of noise levels (front-of-house and receptor levels) post-event and calibration of predictive noise modelling for future events.

Prior to commencement of the event, the implementation of the control measures are audited and signed off by the independent noise consultants. Where further modifications to the noise attenuation measures are identified by the noise consultants prior to the event, they are implemented subject to consultation with event organisers as necessary to ensure that the implications for the security and safety (of event staff, performers and patrons), emergency personnel access, fire and traffic have been effectively considered.

Management Measures

The management measures adopted by festivals held at Parklands to limit the potential for unacceptable noise impacts on nearby sensitive receptors include both proactive and reactive measures.

Proactive noise management measures adopted include:

  • providing guidance for all sound engineers on the acceptable event front of house noise levels;
  • providing event stage managers responsible for the management of noise emissions from sound amplification equipment;
  • use of trigger levels by consultants to provide advance warning of the potential for noise limit exceedences;
  • undertaking consultation with community and regulatory groups; and
  • responding to complaints in a timely manner.

In addition, meteorological data collected by the on-site monitoring station is reviewed throughout the event to determine the requirement for further specific acoustic controls to accommodate the influence of weather conditions on the propagation of noise from the event.

You can access Parklands Weather Station data at this link http://new.mhl.nsw.gov.au/users/NorthByronParklands-Meteorological

Also throughout events, reactive management of noise emissions is provided through the use of event trigger levels. The trigger levels provide feedback to acoustic monitoring personnel and event stage managers where noise levels are approaching the noise limits at sensitive receptors.

Warnings are triggered when short-term noise levels, measured at the mixing desk, exceed the event levels established during sound checks (or varied throughout the event due to variations in meteorological conditions). At any time where the short-term trigger levels are exceeded, the event stage manager implements strategies to reduce noise levels.

In addition, where attended noise monitoring identifies that noise from the event is exceeding the noise criteria, the acoustic consultant:

Reviews the meteorological data recorded by the on-site monitoring station.

Reviews front of house noise levels to determine whether they are consistent with the levels established for the event.

Resolves conflicts between the actual and recommended front of house levels. Where required, the event stage manager(s) is contacted and request that noise levels be reduced with monitoring continuing at the location until event noise levels have reduced.

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The project approval was granted a trial approval by the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission in April 2012. The trial approval allows for the following events each year up until the 31st of December 2017:

  • A large event commencing at 25,000 patrons

  • A medium event commencing at 15,000 patrons and;

  • A small event commencing at 10,000 patrons

The total event days per calendar year is 10. Currently Splendour in the Grass (large event) uses 4 events days and the Falls Festival Byron Bay (medium event) also uses 4 event days. A third event is yet to be confirmed.

Regulatory Working Group (RWG) The RWG comprises a range of regulatory authorities and Byron Shire Council appointed community representatives. Agencies include:

  • NSW Police

  • Roads and Maritime Service

  • Byron Shire Council

  • Rural Fire Service

  • State and Emergency Service

  • Office of Environment and Heritage

The RWG generally meets prior to an event and the minutes of all RWG meetings are made available to the general public.

  • The minutes from September 24 -2014 meeting here

  • The minutes from May 05 -2014 meeting here

  • The minutes from March 25-2014 meeting here

  • The minutes from October 16-2013 meeting here

  • The minutes from May 01-2013 meeting here

  • The minutes from February 27-2013 meeting here

  • The minutes from September 12-2012 meeting here

Performance Report As part of the project approval, Parklands are required to prepare a performance report, which is submitted to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

  • Our first performance report covering Splendour in the Grass 2013 and Falls Festival 13/14 can be found at the following link.
  • Our second performance report covering Splendour in the Grass 2014 can be found at the following link.
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To manage and enhance the environment in which we operate Parklands has developed a range of policies, procedures and monitoring programs. These include:

Fauna and Flora Management Plan

The FFM Plan has been prepared by a suitably qualified ecologist to manage potential impacts arising from the carrying out of events. The FFMP was prepared in consultation with the Office of Environment and Heritage, Byron Shire Council and the RWG before being approved by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

Fauna and Flora Monitoring Program

The FFM Program has been developed to monitor and assess any impacts of the project on fauna and flora within and adjacent to the site. The Program includes details of locations at which monitoring will be undertaken, procedures and protocols for sampling and analysis methodology used.

The FFM program was prepared in consultation with the RWG before being approved by the Department of Planning and Environment.

Habitat Restoration Program

Parklands has developed a Habitat restoration program which is designed to increase native vegetation across the site, reduce fragmentation between existing forest blocks and improve fauna habitat.

To date, our bush regeneration team has planted thousands of local native trees and shrubs. In assist with this tree-planting program, Parklands have commissioned a large greenhouse, which is used to propagate a range of suitable tree stock for the site.

In addition to planting trees, Parklands also has a weed eradication program to remove local and exotic weeds. This work has been successfully conducted by our bush regeneration team as well as partnering with National Parks and Wildlife Services to manage lands adjoining the Billinudgel Nature Reserve.

Summary Environmental Scorecard February 2015

Parklands has been monitoring flora and fauna at the venue since 2007. With the commencement of events in July 2013 the flora and fauna monitoring program has taken place before, during and after each event at the venue.

The latest flora and fauna monitoring program concluded in February 2015 and our ecologist and botanist have provided a summary of environmental performance to date covering fauna and flora.


Ecological Monitoring at North Byron Parklands Summary: February 2015

Results of fauna surveys at North Byron Parklands in August 2007 and February 2009 indicated that greater than 75% of fauna species were recorded in native forests. Event Impact Monitoring (EIM) during the first two years of operation has therefore focussed on birds, small mammals and micro-bats within forested habitats in Parklands and in the Billinudgel Nature Reserve.

Combined results of EIM include 13,000 records of 106 bird species and 5,700 records of approximately 20 microchiropteran bat species. Fauna species recorded include four threatened birds and nine threatened bats (8 micro-bats and the Greyheaded Flying-fox). The Osprey and Rose-crowned Fruit-dove were recorded in Parklands and all of the 9 threatened bat species were also recorded in Parklands.

No evidence of significant adverse impacts from the conduct of events was evident for any of the fauna groups monitored or for native vegetation. Instead, clear patterns are evident of resource abundance influencing the number of birds, particularly large-scale blossom events, but also fruiting of Camphor Laurel. Greatest recorded abundance of micro-bats during the first Falls festival close to event activities suggest that event processes did not adversely affect this faunal group.

Predicted adverse effects from events include: Grey-headed Flying-foxes avoiding blossom in illuminated tree canopies, but attending this tree canopy after lights were switched off. Changes to areas of non-native grassland within the event areas resulted in changes to the bird species present, as predicted.

The information in this summary was accurate and reliable at the time of writing. 5/2/15

Dr. Mark Fitzgerald
Ecological Consultant


Native Vegetation
Permanent Photo Point Assessment for Parklands: 2013 - 2015

Permanent photo point monitoring of (25) selected ‘event’ areas on the North Byron Parklands property commenced in 2013. The brief was to monitor those areas in relation to the potential impacts of events on the native forest and other vegetation.

Across the period of time monitored to date (2013-2015) there has been no discernible or measurable impacts on, or decline in, native forest habitats. The exclusion by fencing, and removal of cattle from remnant native vegetation areas has seen substantial easing of grazing pressure and damage to native vegetation, and the removal of the key source of trampling and soil compaction within forest areas.

Reforestation and restoration of native forest vegetation has seen significant improvement both in terms of area and quality of native forest in selected locations.

In preparing the site for events, fencing, extensive drainage, road construction, and expansion of hard surfaces was undertaken in close proximity to remnant forest vegetation. Despite those changes, no direct negative impacts of those actions or events on the existing forest vegetation have been observed or recorded during the monitoring period.

During the same period the large area of non-native pasture on the property has been released from grazing and subjected to more intensive tractor mowing and levelling. While some evidence of human-induced trampling of grassy areas following events has been observed, recovery to date has been rapid. Perhaps the biggest shifts in relation to grass cover are reduction in area by expansion of hardened surfaces, and the more intensive mowing. Together, those factors potentially simplify the structure of the grass sward across the property, and result in the loss of seasonal tall grass domination.

Overall, the permanent photo point record shows rapid recovery of grassed areas following events, no measurable disturbance of native forest vegetation to date, improvement of native vegetation in response to cattle removal and forest rehabilitation, and a reduction in area and shift in the grassed areas from rough pasture to lawn like open spaces.

Prepared by: Dr Robert M. Kooyman
Date: 30 January 2015

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The 660 acre site is 20 minutes south of the Gold Coast airport and 20 minutes

north of Byron Bay.

Coming from Byron (travelling North)

Travel north on Pacific Highway

Take off ramp for Murwillumbah - Tweed Valley Way Exit (past Billinudgel)

Turn left onto Tweed Valley Way and travel 1.2km

Turn right into Gate A at the North Byron Parklands stone column

Coming from Brisbane (travelling South)

Travel south on Pacific Highway

Continue past first Tweed Valley Way exit at Murwillumbah

Take Tweed Valley Way / Brunswick Valley Way Exit at Yelgun rest stop

Turn left onto Tweed Valley Way and travel 1.2km

Turn right into Gate A at the North Byron Parklands stone column.




Mat Morris, General Manager

North Byron Parklands

PO Box 517

Bangalow NSW 2479

02 6680 4049

Viv Fantin, Media Manager

@ Fantin Comes Alive
02 6687 1965





North Byron Parklands is now on Instagram

Connect with us at #northbyronparklands

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