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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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