Organisers of the 12th annual Splendour in the Grass music festival which packed over 15,000 young music fans a day into the mud-affected Belongil Fields over three days last weekend have hailed it as ‘a spectacular return to Byron Bay’.
And despite over 400 people caught with drugs, police say it was a generally well-behaved crowd.
The festival returned this year to Byron Bay after two years at Woodfordia in south-east Queensland. Next year it will be permanently based at Yelgun.
Organiser said it was ‘three days of music, arts, discussion and discovery with a supersonic lineup’ of over 90 acts from around Australia and across the globe that played to a sold out crowd each day.
On Friday, a freak midday hail storm was enough to make site a bit of a muddy bog, but that failed to dampen spirits.
More than 100 extra police, including mounted, dog and riot units, were brought in from around the state for the festival crowds.
Tweed-Byron police say 413 people were caught with drugs after sniffer dogs were used throughout the weekend, along with random drug and alcohol testing. Of those, 136 were issued with court attendance notices for more serious offences and 150 people caught with small amounts of cannabis were cautioned.
The township in the early hours after the festival was relatively free of assaults or brawling with a heavy police presence ensuring people behaved.
Some of the big acts over the weekend included Hilltop Hoods, Smashing Pumpkins, Jack White, Bloc Party and Kimbra.
Festival co-producers Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco said they were looking forward to ‘bringing you another awesome show next year at our permanent home at North Byron Parklands’.