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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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