While Splendour will be hosted at North Byron Parklands in 2019, there has been no guarantee that this will remain the festival’s home beyond next year. Organisers have submitted an application for a permanent fixture at Byron Bay, although government deliberation over the decision has proved to be an arduous process.
Speaking to Parliament House, Secret Sounds’ Jessica Ducrou said that “If we don’t get approval this year, we can’t add the stages, add an extra day to the program – which is what we’d like to do – because we don’t have enough time to schedule the talent before we launch the show next year… We’re concerned with how slow the Department [Of Planning] are moving, and I guess I’m seeking some kind of support into trying to put pressure on the Department to process this application before the year is out,” she continued.
“The reason we need it approved before [next] year, is that it will allow us both the growth that we need to survive – if we don’t have it this year then we’re going to be sort of treading water for another 12 months. It’s been a very frustrating process,” she continued.
Earlier this year, a $42 million plan to redevelop North Byron Parklands into Splendour’s permanent home were revealed, which would increase the festival’s capacity to 50,000 attendees. Critics of the plan raised concerns about the impact of traffic, noise and waste to local Byron residents. However, Mat Morris, the General Manager of North Byron Parklands, believes that “NSW will lose two internationally renowned Australian festivals to Queensland” if the redevlopment plan is rejected.
“Hundreds of jobs and more than $100 million in economic benefits will leave a region with high youth unemployment and a range of businesses dependant on these events,” he continued.
Stay tuned for more about the future of Splendour In The Grass.