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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.

Parklands has now entered the final year of its five-year trial approval with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E), and we are now looking to the future.  To give certainty to the events that are held at Parklands, we are preparing our submission to the DP&E to make Parklands a permanent home for sustainable, world-class Arts and Cultural events in the Northern Rivers.
Please head to the NEWS SECTION for answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

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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.


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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The Shows Will Go On!

North Byron Parklands is thrilled to confirm that it has been granted a 20-month extension to its 5-year trial. The independent Planning Assessment Commission have today approved the extension to the trial that was issued to the venue back in 2012. The trial period for the venue was to end on December 31, 2017.

This approval now means that the Byron leg of the Falls Music and Arts Festival 2017/2018 (which had been sold ‘subject to regulatory approval’), Splendour in the Grass 2018, Falls 2018/2019 and Splendour 2019 will go ahead at North Byron Parklands.

Other than the extension of time, there were no additional changes sought in the application.

North Byron Parklands is now in the process of putting together its final application to become a permanent sustainable music, arts and community events venue.

North Byron Parklands General Manager Mat Morris said,, “I’m also very excited to announce that a substantial land swap has now been formalised as part of this modification approval. This will see approximately 25 hectares of ecologically significant land added to the Billinudgel Nature Reserve. We now look forward to finalising our plans to become a permanent, world class sustainable venue.”




Reduction in Event Days among changes

Earlier this year North Byron Parklands (Parklands) invited the community and a wide range of stakeholders to provide feedback on its Development Application to become a permanent venue for outdoor events.

Following on from that period of consultation and feedback, Parklands is now pleased to announce the revised scheme that it will submit as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to be lodged with the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E).

The new scheme comprises:

Permanent Approval for:

  • Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival Byron up to 35,000 patrons & a maximum of 5 days each;

  • 3 event days up to 25,000 patrons (event days can used for single day or multi day events); and

  • 5 community event days up to 5,000 patrons (event days can used for single day or multi day


    With a further component being:

  • subject to meeting KPIs for 35k event Splendour in the Grass increasing to 42,500 and

  • subject to meeting KPIs for 42.5k event Splendour in the Grass reaching 50,000

    This represents a significant reduction in event days and overall number of annual patrons compared with the preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment lodged earlier this year.*

    Parklands General Manager Mat Morris said, “This constructive feedback we received from our community consultation process proved invaluable in refining our application and preparing our revised Environmental Impact Statement. We listened to a wide range of ideas and concerns from the community and have factored these into the application. I want to thank those people who took the time to share their thoughts in writing and for attending the various information meetings held at the venue. Parklands feel that the reduced numbers of events and patrons now proposed have helped the project arrive at a landing point that is more sustainable for the community moving forward.”

    On Saturday 19 August, Parklands hosted a community information afternoon to share its latest plans and vision to become a permanent home for world-class arts and cultural events in the Northern Rivers. The information event was attended by approximately 60 members of the local community. Senior music students from Mullumbimby High School performed and its P&C Association catered for the event with a traditional sausage sizzle.

    The final EIS will be submitted to the Department of Planning & Environment shortly. Community members will then have a further opportunity to provide feedback.

    *Please note, this is separate to the issue of the 20-month extension to the North Byron Parklands trial which is currently being determined by the Planning Assessment Commission.




We all have the right to a good time, but not at the expense of others. Music should be a safe space. Today, and every day, we’re asking everyone to think about their behaviour at live music events and the lasting consequences it has on the people around them. Engage in the conversation, call out bad behaviour, report what you see and join us in demanding change. NorthByronParklands supports YOUR CHOICE. Please get on board.

Coming to Splendour this weekend or have friends that are? Get them to follow us here at @NorthByronParklands for info on how to win a Sunday backstage upgrade for them and a friend. Real deal! But you need to be over 18 and already coming to Splendour.
This could be you! Please read on for Terms and Conditions.


Splendour 2017 logo

Splendour in the Grass is proud to call Byron Shire home and is committed to supporting important local community initiatives through our Community Grants Fund.

Over the past 16 years, Splendour has provided more than $500,000 in cash and prize donations to local charities, schools and community organisations throughout the Byron Shire.

Some of the previous recipients include Waterlily Community Playscape, Ocean Shores Primary School, Brunswick Nippers Junior SLSC, Byron Community Centre Homeless and Community Breakfast, Shara Community Gardens, Mullumbimby High School, Brunswick Valley Meals on Wheels Inc, Brunswick Valley Rescue, Ocean Shores Soccer Club, Tidy Towns Ocean Shores, WIRES, Crabbes Creek Primary School and many more.

Splendour is thrilled to announce that the 2017 Community Grant Fund is now open for applications!

If you know of or are a part of an organisation within the Byron Shire that is making a difference within your community and in need of a helping hand, we would love to hear from you!

Please click the below link to fill out the application form: https://splendourinthegrass.com/community-grant-application

 You will need to submit your application before 5pm, Fri 7 July 2017.

Local Community Groups who benefited from 2016 Funding were:

  • Mullumbimby & District Neighbourhood Centre
  • Pottsville & District Men’s Shed
  • Mullumbimby Showground Trust
  • Brunswick Valley Meals on Wheels Service Inc.
  • Crabbes Creek Primary School P&C Association
  • Brunswick Nippers, Junior Surf Life Saving Club
  • Byron Youth Theatre
  • Ocean Shores Primary School


North Byron Parklands (Parklands), now in its final year of operation under the current approval with the Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E), is seeking an extension of its trial approval.

This modification seeks to extend the trial period dates by an additional 20 months to 31 August 2019. There are no other changes to the Concept Plan and Project Approval being sought.

The reason to seek extension to the trial approval is two-fold.

Parklands has submitted a Preliminary Environmental Assessment to the DP&E requesting approval for ongoing events after 2017.  The proposal is classified as a State Significant Development (SSD) and will be assessed under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.  On 18 January 2017, the Department issued Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements (SEARs) for the proposal.

The SEAR’s is a comprehensive list of environmental assessment requirements for the proposal. Parklands is committed to wholly responding to the SEARs requirements by undertaking detailed expert analysis and assessment of a wide range of technical matters, including consultation with key stakeholders and the broader community.  Due to the extensive nature of the SSD it is envisaged that the assessment and approval timelines for the permanent application will extend well beyond the expiration of the Parklands trial approval period.

“No other changes to either the Concept Plan or Project Approval are being sought.  Importantly, event days and patron numbers would remain the same as currently approved, as well as all other existing consent conditions.  The only change would be the trial period dates, essentially extending the trial period by an additional 20 months. With our current two events, this translates into 14 event days over the 20 month period” continued Mat Morris.

Under the current trial approval Falls Festival Byron 17/18 cannot operate. Negotiations with several international artists are also well advanced for Splendour in the Grass 2018 and negotiations covering Splendour in the Grass 2019 will commence towards the end of this year.

“This application seeks to ensure that both Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival Byron can operate while the State Significant application is processed by the DP&E.  The proposed modification would address all relevant environmental and amenity matters associated with the trial period extension, and allow the continued monitoring of the performance of the events over this period” said Parklands General Manager Mat Morris.

Parklands has been seeking community input into its future plans and will shortly release details of these plans for the venue moving forward. Parklands continues to welcome community feedback which can be made in writing at community@northbyronparklands.com or PO Box 517, Bangalow, NSW 2479.

To read the full submission to the Department of Planning and Environment, please click here

Looking to the future


Looking to the future

Parklands has now entered the final year of its five-year trial approval with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DP&E), and we are now looking to the future.

To give certainty to the events that are held at Parklands, we are preparing our submission to the DP&E to make Parklands a permanent home for sustainable, world-class Arts and Cultural events in the Northern Rivers.

Please visit http://www.northbyronparklands.com/PEA-ESTIMATE.pdf and take the time to view a summary of the Preliminary Environmental Assessment.  In the meantime, here the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.


20 festivals a year of 50,000 people! Is that true?

No, that’s not the case. As per the original approval submitted in 2010, Parklands is seeking approval for 12 event days between 25,000 and 50,000 patrons. The two existing events (Splendour in the Grass and Falls Byron Bay) currently take up 8 of these days, leaving the possibility of one additional large event.

The requested remaining 8 days would be for events under 25,000, For example, Parklands is now negotiating with a group to bring a running event for 2,000-3,000 participants.

In summary:

  • 12 event days per year with patron numbers between 25,000 and 50,000 noting that Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival Byron currently occupy 8 of these days;
  • 8 Event Days per year with patron numbers under 25,000.

It should be noted that under the existing trial approval Parklands has the ability to host a third event, however this has not occurred due to lack of interest, reflecting the current market realities of events in Australia.


Why does Parklands need ‘permanency’?

The venue has been operating in a trial capacity since our first event in July 2013. Over the years we have built a certain level of infrastructure to improve patron amenity (including award winning relocatable composting toilets and showers) however permanency will mean significant improvements to infrastructure that will better manage traffic, lighting, and sound. Permanency brings clear performance parameters around Parklands future operations.


Why is Parklands going to State Government for its permanent approval instead of Byron Shire Council?

Parklands has no choice in the matter. Like any development, Parklands must work within the requirements of the NSW planning law. Under the current planning framework, any regional development with a proposed capital value of more than $30million must be referred by Council to the Department of Planning and Environment.


Once approved as a permanent site, what’s stopping Parklands from applying for more festivals and even bigger crowds?

Three large events is the maximum number the venue can reasonably schedule. Given the bump in and bump out times associated with major events and the time needed to prepare the venue between the events, additional large events are not viable.

The patron capacity numbers requested as part of the state significant development application are the maximum numbers the venue can accommodate.


Where are all these people going to sleep?

Currently Splendour In The Grass, and Falls Festival each camp up to 20,000 patrons.

That means for Splendour 2016, approximately 12,500 patrons either sourced alternative accommodation north and south of the venue or lived locally (local ticket sales were over 3500 patrons).

For Falls Festival Byron 2016/17, approximately 3,000 patrons either sourced alternative accommodation north and south of the venue or lived locally (local ticket sales for Falls Byron Bay were 2489, meaning 511 sourced alternative accommodation).


Will Byron Shire Council have a role in overseeing events at Parklands?

Byron Shire Council will always play a role in regulating those compliance aspects that fall under the numerous planning and local government acts. Three Byron Shire Councillors (including Mayor Simon Richardson) are also members of the Parklands Regulatory Working Group (RWG). See below on the RWG.


What is the Regulatory Working Group (RWG) and who chooses the community representatives?

The RWG is a group set up to oversee the environmental performance of events at Parklands during the trial period. Byron Shire Council is required under the consent to nominate at least two (2) Community Representatives to sit on the RWG for a term of two (2) years. Parklands has no input over the nomination or selection process for the RWG Community Representatives. These are determined by Council (by Councillors casting their vote for preferred candidates sourced from the publicly advertised expression of interest). This year, Byron Shire Council advertised to fill two (2) Community Representative positions on the RWG and subsequently filled those 2 positions as per the nomination process.


Does Parklands pay rates to Byron Shire Council?

Parklands pays approximately $20,000 per annum in rates and charges to Byron Shire Council. It should be noted that Parklands does not have any connection to Council water and sewerage systems and receives no waste, recycling or organics bin services.

Parklands has always paid Council fees in relation to all compliance matters that fall under its jurisdiction such as food vendor inspections, waste water, etc.  In relation to the State Significant Development, Parklands will be required to pay a S94 development contribution.

In 2016, Parklands paid $150,000 to Byron Shire Council as a direct contribution that was negotiated between both parties to increase the Yelgun interchange from one to two lanes. Parklands has also paid for sections of local roads to be sealed for residential amenity purposes.


How else does Parklands contribute to the Byron Shire?

A $1 per ticket levy has been in place since the first event held at Parklands with 100% of these funds distributed to community and environmental groups predominantly located in the north of the Shire.

In the last 3 ½ years Parklands and its two events have distributed $194,500 to local groups. This significant funding supports a diverse range of initiatives in the community including; Shores United Soccer Club, local Public Schools, community and neighbourhood Centres, local Community Halls, Shara Community Gardens, Landcare groups, Byron Youth Services; and Byron Homeless and Community Breakfast.

The events held at Parklands also create direct employment opportunities. In 2015, Splendour In The Grass and Falls Byron created 196 EFT (equivalent full time) jobs in Byron Shire representing 1.79% of the Byron Shire workforce.


Will Parklands build a Sewage Treatment Plant onsite to deal with patron sewage?

Parklands is well down the path of implementing a sustainable composting toilet and greywater treatment system that results in 90% of all wastewater and sewage being managed on site. Parklands has plans to expand these systems as part of the permanent approval with the aim of achieving a 100% treatment capability.


Has Live Nation bought into Parklands?

No. Parklands is 100% owned by Australians (many of whom are locals).


How does the Live Nation 51% ownership of Splendour in the Grass and Falls affect Parklands?

It doesn’t affect Parklands, it is still operated by the same team who started the festivals and will continue to be the case.


Parklands Community Meeting Notice

Parklands Community Meeting Notice
Members of the community are invited to attend a meeting to hear Parklands’ plans for the future as we enter the final year of our 5-year trial.
RSVP Essential at: community@northbyronparklands.com
Date: Sunday 12 February
Time: 4:00pm
Where: North Byron Parklands
Enter at main gate 126 Tweed Valley Way and follow the signs.

Falls Post event clean up

“These shots of the venue taken on Friday 6th of January 2017 show what a brilliant effort the post-event clean-up team have done.

While the Falls Festival Byron 16/17 festival was a huge success, rainfall in the dying hours of the event contributed to many patrons leaving behind quite a bit of rubbish and camping equipment. Pleasingly, we had several not-for-profit organisations collect lots of usable items, however it is important that patrons take responsibility for taking home what they bring to the event.

While it is acknowledged that camping equipment can be purchased cheaply, leaving it behind is not a sustainable practice and doesn’t support the many fantastic environmental programs Parklands undertakes.

"So please, don’t be a tosser.”

Falls 2016-17 Amphitheartre post event
image © Kirra Pendergrass

Falls 2016-17 Campgrounds Post festival
image © Kirra Pendergrass

Falls 2016-17 view from Jones Rd post event
image © Kirra Pendergrass

Falls 2016-17 view from hilltop ridge post event
image © Kirra Pendergrass


2016 Splendour in the Grass logo


Eight Local Community Groups to Benefit from 2016 Funding

  • Mullumbimby & District Neighbourhood Centre - $8,000
  • Pottsville & District Men’s Shed - $5,000
  • Mullumbimby Showground Trust - $4,750
  • Brunswick Valley Meals on Wheels Service Inc. - $3,500
  • Crabbes Creek Primary School P&C Association - $2,500
  • Brunswick Nippers, Junior Surf Life Saving Club - $2,000
  • Byron Youth Theatre - $1,000
  • Ocean Shores Primary School - $5,000

Splendour in the Grass has proudly called the Byron Shire home for the past 16 years and is committed to supporting important local community initiatives.

Each year Splendour provides cash donations to worthy local community groups, totaling over $450,000 in grants throughout the Byron Shire since 2000. Some of the previous recipients have included Shara Community Gardens, Byron Community Centre, Billinudgel Pets For life Animal Shelter, Brunswick Valley Landcare, Brunswick Valley Rescue, Mullumbimy High School, Ocean Shores Soccer Club, Tidy Towns Ocean Shores, WIRES, Crabbes Creek Primary School, The Pocket Primary School and Brunswick Heads Primary School.

The response to the 2016 Splendour Community Grant call out was again very strong, with over 40 applications lodged. After careful review and much deliberation Splendour is thrilled to announce the beneficiaries of the 2016 Splendour in the Grass Community Grants!

Mullumbimby & District Neighbourhood Centre (Mullumbimby & Byron Shire) - $8,000

These funds will assist with purchasing grocery cards to distribute to those in need. Additionally, they will go towards items for the Shower program such as towels, toiletries and personal hygiene items.

Pottsville & District Men’s Shed (Pottsville) - $5,000

These funds will aid in the advancement of the health and well-being of men in the community, providing a safe and friendly environment in a workshop space.

Mullumbimby Showground Trust (Mullumbimby) - $4,750

These funds will allow for bush regeneration works in sections of the Showground Trusts’ rainforest zone.

Brunswick Valley Meals on Wheels Service Inc. (Byron Shire) - $3,500

To build on the current program of social activities and to help subsidise some of the costs for these activities.

Crabbes Creek Primary School P&C Association (Crabbes Creek) - $2,500

These funds will assist in an upgrade of the school canteen as well as food preparation areas.

Brunswick Nippers, Junior Surf Life Saving Club (Brunswick Heads) - $2,000

Three 8-inch foam boards will be purchased and used as a training tool for Nippers aged from 10 to 14.

Byron Youth Theatre (Ewingsdale) - $1,000

These funds will contribute towards a new production focusing on domestic violence and the impact this has on young people.

Ocean Shores Primary School (Ocean Shores) - $5,000

Year three of a five-year commitment to Ocean Shores Public School Music Program, which will see the school receive $25,000 over five years, providing long-term support for students at the school. The partnership is focusing on music in our community, targeting instrumental, percussion and choral education for students in Kindergarten to Year 2. 

This year Splendour is donating $1 from every Event ticket sold to local groups and services, ensuring that those from all corners of the community can benefit from the annual event.

Pottsville & District Men’s Shed President Michael Ryan said “The members of the Pottsville and District Men's Shed are very pleased that the Splendour Community Grants Committee have granted our shed $5,000, as we are about to start the construction of our new shed on Black Rocks Sports Field, Pottsville. The grant is very timely. These funds will go a long way to help with the cost of fitting out the shed's meeting / socializing areas. A lot of our members just want to come along and socialize with other men in a friendly supportive environment. A men's shed needs to provide quiet areas where men can just have a good yarn, as well as providing work areas.”

“We are so happy to be able to give back to the place Splendour has called home for the past 16 years. Assisting with these local initiatives is very important to us, and we hope this contribution will play a part in enriching the lives of those in this community” said Splendour co-producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco.



It’s that time again! Splendour in the Grass is thrilled to announce that the 2016 Community Grant Fund is now open for applications.

Each year, Splendour in the Grass donates a portion of the event’s ticket sales to some of Byron Shire’s valuable local community groups. To date, throughout Splendour’s 15-year history, more than $450,000 has been distributed around our amazing host community. Previous grant recipients include Ocean Shores Tidy Town, Shara Community Gardens, Brunswick Valley Rescue, Pets For Life Animal Shelter (Billinudgel), Mullumbimby High School, Ocean Shores Public School (music program), Brunswick Heads Public School, The Pocket and Crabbes Creek Public Schools, Byron Youth Service and the Byron Homeless and Community Breakfast.

If you know of, or are a part of a community organisation within the Byron Shire that is in need of a monetary helping hand, you can download a copy of the application from here: https://splendourinthegrass.com/event-info/community-grants/

Alternatively, you can email us at community@splendourinthegrass.com to receive a copy of the application form. You’ll need to complete and return your application before 5:00pm, Friday 15 July, 2016 It’s as easy as that!

Parklands ready to shine for the community

The Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has yesterday determined that North Byron Parklands (Parklands) be allowed to host small non-music focused community events on the site.

Parklands has always been viewed as a huge potential asset by community groups. With the venue currently operating for only 8 event days a year, this fantastic purpose built site now has been granted the opportunity to host non-music focused community events by groups such as local schools and not-for-profit organisations.

"We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to host small community events at Parklands. Over the past few years we’ve been approached by numerous schools and community groups all wanting to use our home to stage small, low-impact events. We truly believe Parklands will be a brilliant asset for the community, filling a current void for such facilities in the north of the Shire. We welcome the PAC's decision and we look forward to opening up our beautiful venue to these local groups,” said Parklands General Manager Mat Morris.
The PAC have also modified the existing sound limits so that lower-end frequencies are more clearly regulated. In making this determination they have stated:

"The modification seeks an increase of the permitted noise limits, not the actual noise generated. This is contrary to the perception that the Proponent requests to increase the actual noise emanating from the outdoor events…..The new restriction will not allow the Proponent to increase the actual noise emanating from the events. Overall, it would assist the Proponent to provide better noise management and to ensure that all necessary mitigation and management measures are in place across the two noise zones.” (Planning Assessment Commission, April 26, 2016)

These changes bring Parklands noise limits into line with other outdoor venues in NSW and across Australia. Setting absolute noise goals rather than “background plus limits” allows a much more precise level of monitoring and management of sound at this venue.

“We are pleased that the PAC have recognised that Parklands' previous operating conditions in relation to sound limits were not on a level playing field with other venues of its kind in Australia.  We feel the PAC determination strikes the balance of preserving patron expectations and community amenity. There are now clear parameters around ‘bottom-end’ sound which had been previously unregulated. As previously communicated to the community, we are confident that these new limits will improve the amenity for certain residents affected by bass or lower frequency sound from events,” Mat Morris continued.

Falls Festival 2015-16     "The Green Team"

Parklands’ 3rd Annual Performance Report Released

Parklands' Annual Report good for Local Jobs and the Environment

Each year North Byron Parklands (Parklands) publicly issues a Performance Report covering events held at the venue over the previous year. The Performance Report is compiled in consultation with Government agencies including Byron Shire Council, Roads and Maritime Services and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. The community representatives from the Parklands Regulatory Working Group also provided further input.

General Manager of Parklands Mat Morris said,“One of the really positive key findings from the Performance Report is that the total economic output generated from the last two events held at Parklands was more than $107 million. The great news was that the Byron Shire accounted for $28.1 million of this output or 26%. But the really important statistic for this Shire was the creation of 196 Equivalent Full Time (EFT) jobs in 2015 which is significant as it represents 1.79% of the Byron Shire workforce”.

This year’s Performance Report (at just over 700 pages) includes 16 appendices highlighting the following key findings:

  • No significant impacts on any flora during the reporting period (as documented by leading botanist Dr Robert Kooyman)
  • No significant impacts on any fauna during the period (as reported by leading local ecologist Dr Mark Fitzgerald)
  • Completion of the Yelgun Creek restoration program;
  • 3,725 trees, shrubs and understory seedlings planted in new areas;
  • Continuous improvement in traffic management; and
  • More work to be done regarding management of noise for some residents.

Since the publication of this Performance Report, Parklands has been fined by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for breaching set noise criteria at some residential locations. Parklands are continuing to work with the Department and those affected in the community to improve performance in this area.

Mat Morris said, “Having now hosted 5 events at Parklands, the amount of data gathered across a range of aspects is substantial. Our annual Performance Reports are an important way of sharing our track record with community members and other interested parties. All of our Performance Reports are published on the Parklands website and we encourage anyone who would like to learn more about Parklands to download and read these reports”.

To read the complete Parklands 3rd Annual Performance Report please go to:



Five Local Community Groups To Benefit From 2015 Funding

Waterlily Community Playscape Group (Ocean Shores) – $15,000

Mullumbimby High School (Mullumbimby) - $6,250

Ocean Shores Public School Music Program (Ocean Shores) - $5,000

Byron Homeless and Community Breakfast (Byron Bay) - $4,450

Pets for Life Animal Shelter (Billinudgel) - $2,500

Splendour In The Grass loves its home in Byron Shire and is committed to supporting local community initiatives.

Each year Splendour provides cash donations to worthy local community groups, totaling over $400,000 in grants throughout the Byron Shire over the past 15 years. Some of the previous recipients have included Ocean Shores Public School, Brunswick Valley Landcare, Brunswick Valley Rescue, Shara Community Gardens, Ocean Shores Soccer Club, Tidy Towns Ocean Shores, WIRES, Crabbes Creek Primary School, The Pocket Primary School and Brunswick Heads Primary School.

This year Splendour received an unprecedented number of applications. After careful review and much deliberation Splendour is thrilled to announce the beneficiaries of the 2015 Splendour In The Grass Community Grants!

Waterlily Community Playscape Group (Ocean Shores) – $15,000

To design and build a playground for the children of Ocean Shores and the wider community at Waterlily Park. Public playgrounds require specialist design and need to meet Australian standards for safety requirements.

Mullumbimby High School (Mullumbimby) - $6,250

These funds will be used as a contribution towards the costs to upgrade the sound and lighting system in the school hall.

The school’s current PA system is not suitable for the staging of music and drama productions. The upgrade will allow the school to stage more productions, showcase the students providing them with performance and production experience, offer the hall as a venue for hire and increase the community’s options for venues.

“The students and staff at Mullumbimby High are extremely excited and appreciative of the Community grant we have just received from Splendour in the Grass. It will allow our entertainment and music students the opportunity to work with some state of the art equipment in the fields of production and performing. It’s great to see a large event, such as Splendour, working with and giving back to the community. We have some very talented artists and production crew here at the school and are looking forward to seeing them in the future gracing the stages at Splendour.” Cameron Johnson, Deputy Principal, Mullumbimby High.

Ocean Shores Public School Music Program (Ocean Shores) - $5,000

Year two of a five-year commitment to Ocean Shores Public School Music Program.

Ocean Shores Public School, which will receive $25,000 over five years, providing long-term support for students at the school. The partnership is focusing on music in our community, targeting instrumental, percussion and choral education for students in Kindergarten to Year 2. 

Byron Homeless and Community Breakfast (Byron Bay) - $4,450

Under the auspice of the Byron Bay Community Association, Byron Homeless and Community Breakfast provides free breakfasts each Thursday for local homeless and needy people. BBCA is serviced by 300 volunteers. The funds will be used to supplement the produce donated by local businesses and to engage a social worker to provide support at the Byron Homeless Breakfast.

Pets for Life Animal Shelter (Billinudgel) - $2,500

These funds will go towards insulating the roof of the shelter.

Pets for Life Animal Shelter Inc. (PFLAS) rescues cats and kittens from the Byron Shire Pound and other local area Pounds; some are dumped in the bush and not micro-chipped or de-sexed; some are from domestic violence, marriage break-ups, unable to rent situations, ill and elderly people who have to go into nursing facilities, etc. PFLAS re-homes on average one cat or kitten every 3 days.

This year Splendour is donating a total of $33,200 to local community groups, exceeding the proposed $30,000 allocation, in addition to providing cash prizes for the recent BYS Pocket Rocket band competition.

“We’re so happy to be able to assist these very worthwhile local initiatives we hope that will enhance the lives of many members of our community. Byron is a very special place that Splendour is proud to call home and we love this opportunity to spread the love around and give back to our local hood!” said Splendour co-producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco.


Our fifth event to date, Splendour In the Grass 2015 has come and gone and once again the feedback regarding the festival and the venue was very positive. Now in its third year at Parklands, we feel like the venue, the event is continuing to improve its performance across a range of measures. Both parklands and the event in conjunction with key stakeholders are constantly refining various systems and learning new ways to improve patron and community amenity along the way.

The Splendour event presents significant logistics and it literally takes a small army of paid and volunteer staff to prepare the venue for the long weekend. The pre-festival bump in went really smoothly and a huge shout out must go out to the fantastic team of contractors, staff and volunteers who worked tirelessly to help create this nationally acclaimed mid-winter festival.

Many Splendour campers arrived on the Wednesday, which made for a smooth Thursday bump in for the balance of campers. Obviously the rain that fell on the Thursday and Friday generated some logistical challenges however contingency planning overcame all such issues.. The resilient crowd at Splendour took it all in their stride and were very good-natured about the mud and Friday night rain.

gum boots to be sorted cleaned and donated

The composting toilets worked well and the best news is that many Splendour punters listened to venue and event advice and bagged their rubbish in the thousands of waste & recycling bags provided which help speed up the campgrounds’ cleanup.

aluminium cans recycled

Patron feedback from the event has been overwhelmingly positive and the feedback from the Rural Fire Service, NSW Police Force and NSW Ambulance and the event’s medical service providers reflected an extremely well-behaved crowd.

The number of calls to the community hotline were down on the previous Splendour event and with new technology in place to record each call, we now have a great opportunity to go back and review the calls and improve on our system and responses. This year a large portion of calls and emails came from neighbours wanting to provide information and advice regarding how aspects of the event could be improved to better assist the local community and that information was gratefully received.

A very sincere thanks must go to the team who manage our community hotline and our team out in the field (namely our community manager Neil) who work hard to address legitimate concerns within the local community.

Due to conditions on site over the weekend, not all planned trees were planted by Splendour punters who braved the mud. The balance of the one thousand plants purchased by Splendour was planted after the event by the Parklands bush regen team. These native plants were sourced locally by Splendour and forms part of their annual commitment to support the Parklands Habitat Restoration  program.

The Planeteers by David Andreas

Image courtesy of David Andreas

Tree planters by David Andreas

Image courtesy of David Andreas

Eco Cops by David Andreas

Image courtesy of David Andreas

Last but definitely not least; I’d like to personally thank the wider community for their patience across the weekend. While most people I spoke to felt that the festival had continued to improve from event to event I do understand and acknowledge the continuing concerns of some residents.

Happy Faces by David Andreas

Image courtesy of David Andreas

Mat Morris

Parklands site five days after Splendour in the Grass 2015.

Stay tuned for Managers Blog

5 days after Splendour 2015

Splendour Clean up

Splendour clean p Southern Car Park

Splendour Clean up Camp Ground

Splendour Clean up Camp Ground


The fifteenth annual Splendour In The Grass Music and Arts Festival took place at North Byron Parklands this weekend, delivering three massive days of music, art, craft, food, discussion and….yes, a fair bit of mud.

Splendour 2015’s epic line-up of over 100 acts played to a capacity 30 000 audience across four main stages, The Amphitheatre, Mix Up Stage, GW McLennan Stage and new addition Tiny Dancer.
On Friday evening Tkay Maidza drew a huge crowd to the Mix Up tent and they stayed on for the night, taking in Everything Everything, Porter Robinson and a monster set by Peking Duk complete with a video intro by The Hoff. Meanwhile over at the GW McLennan Stage Johnny Marr, Spiritualized and Ryan Adams played to a tent full of die hard and new fans. And in the Amphitheatre the rain didn’t stop a huge crowd taking in a hit after hit set by Mr Uptown Funk himself Mark Ronson and friends including Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker.

On Saturday the sun came out again and The Grates made a triumphant return to the stage with a killer late afternoon set on the Amphitheatre Stage. Other highlights on Saturday included massively popular sets by Flight Facilities, Azealia Banks, Pond and The Wombats. Then Florence and The Machine capped off the day with an incredible soaring set, played to a packed and totally captivated Amphitheatre.
On Sunday Splendour’s resilient and (wood) chipper patrons embraced the muddy conditions and the return of the sunshine to take in some cracking sets by Aussie artists Vallis Alps, Holy Holy, Alpine, Last Dinosaurs, Thundamentals and Tame Impala as well as international artists The Districts, Wolf Alice, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, MS MR, Royal Blood and the mighty Blur, returning to Australia after 18 years.
Alongside the music, Splendour punters explored the many destination spaces at the show. They did workshops and got their glitter on at Splendour In The Craft; foraged at the many food and market stalls; practiced yoga, did dance workshops and meditation at The Global Village; danced their hearts out at the Tipi Forest; interacted with visual and performance artists and listened to lively discussion and debate at the Splendour Forum.
The sporadic inclement weather over the week of the show did damage the venue grounds. Splendour implemented a significant amount of ground works to make the event as comfortable and safe as possible for patrons. This work included spreading bark chips and gravel over problem areas across the site and hessian in the Amphitheatre to aid in the prevention of slipping.
For the 8th year Emergency Medics first aid services was appointed to provide around the clock care for patrons. The 80 strong health team included specialist emergency doctors and nurses who were supported by the team of paramedics and Crowd Care Services. The medical facilities operated 24 hours per day during the festival period. Although presentations were mainly due to foot related issues, we were pleased to see that the numbers were down on previous years. Thanks to everyone for listening to our messages and wearing appropriate footwear.

Co-producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco said “What a weekend! So much great music, art, craft, food and fun! Our thanks and love to all of our amazing patrons for their resilience, patience, and for making it a weekend to remember despite the weather. You guys are awesome. See you next year!”

Splendour organisers ask patrons to be patient and expect delays when leaving the site tomorrow morning. There will be food stalls open in the campgrounds so please take your time and be tolerant.

Ground Work

In response to the sporadic inclement weather of the past week , and the subsequent damage it has caused to venue, Splendour has been implementing a significant amount of ground works to make the event as comfortable and safe as possible for our patrons. This work includes spreading bark chips and gravel over problem areas across the site and hessian in the Amphitheatre to help prevent slipping. We will continue this work until the close of the show. We can't control the weather but we are doing everything possible to address problem areas across the site. Thanks and love to all of our amazing patrons for their resilience and patience!!


As part of the current modification before the DP&E, NBP is seeking the ability to host small scale community events on site at Parklands. This will hopefully include Ocean Shores Primary School’s annual cross-country running event with children from running their race course at Parklands. These children are currently running their cross country event on the surrounding streets of Ocean Shores which means having to cross driveways and roads. 

“There are about 360 kids enrolled at OSPS, including the kids in our support unit, who would benefit from Cross country being held at Parklands. The school cross country course is currently run through the surrounding streets and involves kids crossing driveways and roads. The current course is not ideal and it also puts our kids at a disadvantage in terms of competition. When our kids make it through to District carnivals many are knocked out of the competition simply because they have not been exposed to true cross country terrain. The ability to host cross country at Parklands would create an even playing field for our kids competitively speaking and it would also make a great day out for the entire school community. The grounds are really fantastic.'  

Jeff Robinson, Acting Principal Ocean Shores Public School.

Group Photo

l to r: Mat Morris, General Manager Parklands, Finley Neylan (11), Charlie Ormiston (10), Jeff Robinson, Acting Principal Ocean Shores Public School Excited about the future for the school's cross country events at North Byron Parklands.


Now more than half way through its 5-year trial approval, Parklands can advise that its application to better manage
sound emissions and to host small scale community events at the venue will open for public exhibition today. As part
of the trial approval process Parklands has identified certain aspects of sound that could be modified to improve
community amenity.

In addition to improving the management of sound, Parklands is seeking the ability to host small community oriented
events, local school cross-country and sporting events along with more community tree plantings. This is in response
to direct requests from community groups looking to stage these events in a unique setting.

Included in the application is a proposal to set criteria to better manage lower frequency sound emissions from
events held at the venue. Analysis of noise data from past monitoring programs and from Parkland’s community
hotline reveals that bass frequencies can be intrusive if not properly managed especially if wind and other weather
factors come into play.

North Byron Parklands General Manager Mat Morris said, “To date, Parklands has successfully managed a broad
range of performance indicators but we acknowledge that noise still requires some fine-tuning. We’ve listened to
members of our community and by setting clear sound limits we hope that event operators can better manage the
intrusive component. Ultimately we are seeking clear criteria for our sound levels so that we can deliver events that
provide positive outcomes for both our local community and event patrons.”

He continues, “Managing sound is a very technical issue. People interested in the scientific aspect of noise and the
management arrangements both existing and proposed should read our modification. This document goes on public
exhibition today and will be found at the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s website or at

Concludes Mat Morris, “We encourage supporters of Parklands to write a personal letter showing support for these
changes which we strongly believe will deliver a win-win for the community and our patrons.”

To send your letters of support please go to:



Each year, Splendour In The Grass donates a portion of the event’s ticket sales to some of the shire’s valuable local community groups. To date, throughout Splendour’s 14-year history, $375,000 has been distributed throughout our amazing host community.

It’s that time again! Splendour is thrilled to announce that the 2015 Community Grants Fund is now open for applications. If you know of, or are a part of, an organisation within the Byron Shire Community that is in need of a monetary helping hand, then log onto the website for more info and a copy of the downloadable application form. Or you can email us at community@splendourinthegrass.com to receive a copy of the application form. You’ll need to complete and return your application before Friday 17 July 2015... It’s as easy as that!

In 2014, one of the major beneficiaries was Shara Community Gardens. Located at South Golden Beach, Shara Community Gardens brings people together to grow food, promote sustainable living and share knowledge, creativity and culture. The Splendour Community Grant was utilised for improvements that has assisted with facilitating the “play” aspect of the group’s tagline “Meet – Grow – Play”.

In recent years some of the funds other recipients include:

The Mullum Music Festivals Youth Training Station

Brunswick Valley Landcare

Brunswick Valley Rescue

Ocean Shores United Soccer Club

Ocean Shores Tidy Town

Brunswick Heads Public School


The Pocket Public School

Crabbes Creek Public School.  

For more information please contact us at community@splendourinthegrass.com Applications close Friday 17 July 2015.



Those patrons at Falls Festival 2014 / 2015 operating on the Telstra mobile network experienced superior connectivity due to the permanent fibre cabling now in place at North Byron Parklands. This direct cable connection into the Telstra network allowed for the provision of 2 x mobile COW (Cell on Wheels) towers running for the duration of the event, and guaranteed that event patrons and workers as well as local residents using Telstra, had access to high quality mobile voice and 3G/4G data services.

Discussions with Optus and Vodafone are continuing but there is an early indication that connectivity for both of these networks will be in place for the upcoming Splendour In The Grass event. We’ll keep you updated as soon as there are further developments.

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.

Composting Toilets

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Venue Blog

Parklands first ever community event

With so much going on, it’s been a while since I put pen to paper.

After a long process, in late April the NSW Department of Planning along with the Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) gave Parklands the green light to to host small, non music focused community events at our beautiful site.

We had many local residents, local businesses and arts organisations speak and write letters of support in favour of Parklands hosting these events and we’d like to publicly acknowledge their support. We truly believe that hosting these community events will provide great opportunities to the broader community, especially in the north of Byron Shire.

On that note, I’m thrilled to say that Parklands has finally hosted its first ever community event.

Last Friday (3 June) approximately 320 children and their cheering parents came to Parklands, many experiencing the venue for the very first time.

The inaugural community event at Parklands was the the Far North Coast Zone PSSA (Primary Schools Sports Association) Cross Country Championships.

There were 4 districts represented (Ballina, Brunswick Valley, Murwillumbah and Tweed). These are children who attend schools all along the coastal strip from Evans Head in the south, north to Tweed Heads and out to Coraki. Needless to say it was a spirited event.

Pssa Cros Country Championships

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from all those in attendance. The weather held out and most of the meet was staged in sunshine. The best thing we saw? A tongue in cheek sign by an exuberant parent that read ‘no ribbon, no dinner!’

Parents encouraging their children run

I’d like to warmly congratulate the teachers involved (especially Tracey Barnes, Mark Whitney and their President, Bryan Lyndon) for organising such a well-run event and thank them for putting their faith in Parklands as a venue. And we’d like to give a shout out to the children who completed a course that would challenge many adults!

Children completing the cross country course

Meanwhile we’ve been quietly working away preparing the site for the upcoming 2016 Splendour in the Grass event on 22, 23 and 24 of July.

As always we are committed to improving the ecological value of our beautiful venue and this year we’ve teamed up again with Splendour for another tree planting initiative.

In 2015, with the help of Splendour patrons, over 1000 native trees were planted which has made an existing bush block even bigger.  This year, we’re again calling on Splendour’s green thumbs to plant another 1,000 native species on site at Parklands.

Developed in partnership with Parkland’s local ecological restoration experts and Splendour’s enviro department, this year we will be focusing on a great location which will join up a number of fragmented forest blocks.

For any interested Splendour event ticket holders, the planting will take place between 10:00am and 1:00pm on Sat 23 July and Sun 24 July. Please email enviro@splendourinthegrass.com for planting location info and map.

We’ll check in again closer to Splendour time.

Until then.

Mat Morris

General Manager – North Byron Parklands

Falls Festival 2015-16

The weather gods smiled on Parklands over the New Year’s period and delivered perfect festival conditions for the Byron Bay leg of Falls. The event has received praise from punters, emergency services, staff, volunteers and of course a huge number of community members who attended the event for its relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

The Falls crowd was very responsive to creating a community and looking after each other and our beautiful venue.  A special thank you must go out to the Waste and Recycling team who did an outstanding job. The new four-bin system (cans, plastic bottles, organics, general) worked incredibly well. We saw record levels of recycling which resulted in Parklands looking spotless during and directly after the event.

Falls Byron cleanup takes place Jan 4th

Sound was extremely well managed and traffic management was also outstanding with no delays during the event bump-in, bump-out and across the event days.

The planting (adjacent to the Billinudgel Nature Reserve) of over 1000 native trees, which took place directly before the event has continued to expand Parklands Habitat Restoration works. This program is something we remain committed to. We would sincerely like to thank the Minjungbal Elders Uncles Magpie, Athol and Derek for conducting a beautiful smoking ceremony at the tree planting.

Pre Festival Smoking Ceremony by Elders _Credit David Andreas

Photo: David Andras

Pre Festival Smoking Ceremony by Elders _Credit David Andreas

Photo: David Andras

As always, it takes a small army of people who come together to stage an event like Falls. A huge amount of effort went into creating this festival and Parklands would like to thank all the staff, service personnel and a dedicated team of over 500 volunteers who pulled together to deliver an excellent event.

In particular a very big thanks must go to the Parklands team out in the field (our community manager Neil and auditors Daisy and Hannah) who work so hard across the event period.

The festival patrons themselves should also be congratulated – everyone commented on how friendly, polite and cooperative the patrons were and that it made this year’s Falls Music and Arts Festival at Parklands a great experience.

Finally I’d like to thank our neighbours and members of the Byron Shire, Tweed Shire and broader communities for their ongoing support of Parklands. We are now 6 events into our trial period and we’re very proud of our continuous improvements.

Falls Byron cleanup Jan 4th


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.

Sound Weighting Networks

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.

Forecast Meteorological Condition:

Many meteorological factors are considered before each event held at North Byron Parklands (NBP) which feed into the comprehensive noise mitigation measures that are put in place. Unpredictable weather patterns can affect the distribution of noise, which can carry some noise to the surrounding community.
As such, weather patterns will continue to be examined leading up to an event.

Forecast for Falls Festival 2016 -17 is warmer than average days & nights.
The El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, but continues to show some weak La Nina-like patterns, including warmer than average waters to the northwest of Australia.
A northerly shift in the average position of westerly winds and high pressure systems (also know as the "Southern Annular Mode", or "SAM") is forecast in January. When this northward shift (a negative SAM phase) occurs in summer, weather systems are further north than usual, meaning Australia experiences higher pressures than usual. This is typically associated with below average rainfall and higher temperatures.
January to March rainfall is likely to be below average across large parts of the eastern Australia and maximum temperates are likely to be warmer than average.


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 April 07 -2017 here

  • The minutes from September 28 -2016 here

  • The minutes from May 04 -2016 here

  • The minutes from November 04 -2015 here

  • The minutes from April 01 -2015 meeting here

  • The minutes from September 24  -2014 meeting here

  • The minutes from May 07 -2014 meeting here

  • The minutes from March 25 -2014 meeting here

  • The minutes from October 16 -2013 meeting here

  • The minutes from August 26 -2013 meeting here

  • The minutes from May 01 -2013 meeting here

  • The minutes from February 27 -2013 meeting here

The objective of the RWG is to oversee the environmental performance and community relations for events held at Parklands covering the following defined aspects:

  • the habitat restoration program;

  • the Marshalls Ridge wildlife corridor;

  • impacts on threatened species and endangered ecological communities;

  • monitoring protocols for preconstruction ecological surveying;

  • illegal camping;

  • litter;

  • provision of security services;

  • noise;

  • event traffic and car parking;

  • flooding;

  • bushfires; and

  • evacuation procedures.

The RWG will also review community concerns or complaints with respect to environmental management and community relations. To guide members of the RWG the agreed Terms of Reference are employed and can be found at the following link

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.
  • Our third performance report covering  Falls Festival 2014/15 and Splendour in the Grass 2015 can be found at the following link.
  • Our fourth performance report covering  Falls Festival 2015/16 and Splendour in the Grass 2016 can be found at the following link.


Community Representatives:

Ms Laurel Cohn.
Mr Ray Darney.
Mr Derek Harper.

If you would like to make contact with the Community Representatives who sit on the Parklands Regulatory Working Group to raise any concerns, issues or suggestions please email communityrwg@gmail.com

You can also contact Parklands directly at community@northbyronparklands.com

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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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