North Byron Parklands has been approved for a permanent license, meaning the future of live music at the grounds has been secured after almost nine years in the NSW planning system.
The parklands, which is just outside of Byron Bay, is the home of Splendour In The Grass and Falls music festivals.
The site submitted the application to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment in December 2017. Now approved, the site will host the premier music events, as well as a limited number of one-day concerts and community events.
“It’s been a journey," shares North Byron Parklands general manager Mat Morris. "While the planning process has been a lengthy yet robust process, it’s great to finally receive approval to operate for up to 20 days per year.
"We’d like to thank the thousands of people that have supported North Byron Parklands along the way; the local residents and businesses and the wider community. These people have all played a vital role in making sure that this important outdoor cultural arts and music venue remains in Byron Shire.
"We look forward to bringing the Shire and the wider region some of the finest local and international artists to the venue as well as being able to host a range of smaller community-based events."
Splendour In The Grass co-director Jessica Ducrou revealed in August last year that the major Australian festival was at risk of losing its home in 2019 during the NSW parliamentary inquiry into the music industry in Sydney, with Ducrou telling the panel that it was vital the NSW Department Of Planning make a decision by year's end.
Ducrou, who is also a board member of the Australian Festival Association, described the permanent license approval as “bittersweet”, with the NSW festival scene still under attack from the State Government.
“Premier Berejiklian’s policy on the run is not in the interest of public safety but a crude tool to control the future of any music festival,” Ducrou said.
“By politicizing the tragic deaths of five young people to illicit drugs at festivals she has in fact managed to avoid a very serious and greater health issue.
“As lovers of music, we hope you consider the future of your favourite festivals in NSW when you vote. Without support from a government that is genuinely interested in improving our industry with all its complexities, the future of our music festivals and live music is unknown.”
Yesterday, the AHA and a number of other music industry bodies launched a new campaign calling on NSW residents to #VoteMusic for this month’s upcoming state election.