15.4 C
Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Businesses support Byron NYE ‘lockdown’

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Come and try basketball in Byron

The next generation of female basketball players, with coordinator Karen Irwin, turned up to a ‘come and try day’...

Dreaming about a bucket-list surfing and wellness holiday?

Have you always dreamt about traveling to exotic ‘bucket-list’ beach destinations like Bali or Vanuatu… or are your dreams...

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Houses without smoke detectors very alarming

Fire & Rescue NSW is always busy and the nation-wide fires in recent years have highlighted the importance and value of our firefighters.

Byron Bay wins season opener against Mullum Giants

  Ross Kendall The local league derby is always  and the Byron Bay Red Devils have won the first game of...

Thanks for Bob

Jo Faith, Newtown I wish to thank The Echo for printing the article by Bob Morgan, First Nations academic. This...

Staff reporters

The Byron Bay Liquor Accord and chamber of commerce (Byron United) have come out in tentative support of the shire council’s decision to close the town to traffic on New Years Eve, despite not attending last week’s committee meeting where the plan was hatched.

But an Ocean Shores residents’ group is critical of the simultaneous announcement of a new festival for the North Byron Parklands site over the New Year period.

Hannah Spalding from the Byron Bay Liquor Accord says her organisation is behind the mayor’s suggestion to close the streets on NYE.

‘It’s a great way to encourage coming here for the right reasons,’ she told Echonetdaily.

Byron United president Paul Waters says that though he’s not a ‘big fan of this sort of action’, he says he can ‘see the merits and if it’s done well and only for one night I can’t see a problem’.

‘I think we all understand that after last year’s problems we need to do something to stop the gatecrashers and if a lockdown is the answer then that’s what has to be done.

‘There are also other initiatives that I have put forward at the summer safety committee meetings that I have attended so far this year that should be considered… one important one is to enforce capacity limits at camping areas like Red Devil and Belongil Fields etc, as we know they were overrun last year, causing great concern to police and operators.’

And to help pay for it all, director of Falls Festival Byron Bay, Brandon Saul, says his festival will contribute cash to Byron’s NYE event to the tune of around $25,000.

‘Apart from locals’ involvement in the festival itself through programming local acts, arts activities, staffing and locals’ tickets, Falls Festival Byron Bay will contribute funds and expertise to assist with the running of Council events and activities planned for Byron Bay township over the New Year period.

‘We’ll also be running a youth skills program that will give local youth hands-on experience and mentoring in carpentry, construction, bush regeneration and event management,’ Mr Saul said.

But some residents that neighbour the North Byron Parklands site are less than impressed. Conservation of North Ocean Shores (CONOS) president Bob Oehlman told Echonetdaily, ‘You would have to be a fool to think that by bringing the Falls Festival to Yelgun this would make a difference to NYE in Byron Bay’.

‘Byron Bay is the destination that people want to come to. Contrary to what the Green (?) mayor says, the NSW planning department and the RMS will have the final say. To bring in an extra 20,000 people into Byron Shire in peak holiday time is a joke. Like what happened in Lorne, you would be simply transferring the problem from Byron Bay to the north. It is obvious that the promoters have no consideration for the local community and no consideration for the wildlife. The residents of Lorne didn’t want it and neither do we.’

When North Byron Parklands received planning approval for test events by the Planning Assessment Commission last year, it included permission for three events per year. As far as Echonetdaily is aware, additional permission is not required to hold the Falls Festival.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. As a mother of an 18 year old daughter I’d much prefer my daughter be at a festival with friends, enjoying music she likes in a managed environment than looking for something to do in Byron. There’s nothing for people her age to do over New Years in the Northern Rivers and a festival like Falls provides a great safe place for them. Once in the festival they wouldn’t be travelling into Byron but would stay within the festival grounds. My daughter and her friends were extrememly excited about the announcement that Falls would be at the Splendour site.

  2. I think a festival close to home at this time of year is a great idea ! It gives young people something entertaining & fun to do in a contained & one would hope, safer environment than roaming around the streets of Byron where there is often violence amongst both locas & tourists. It could be an alternative option for people of all ages & with buses taking them to & fro, very doable.

  3. To propose a festival in the Brunswick area at a time that we would already be running at peak occupancy is absolute lunacy. The Xmas and New Years period is the lifeblood of many Brunswick businesses and I simply cannot see how any of them will benefit from another festival. It could only decrease the number of actual visitors that choose to spend their holidays in this little town. By actual visitors I mean the people who have been coming here for many years and keep all the small businesses afloat.

    Having Splendor over a quiet weekend is one thing, but now we to have to take the overflow of Blues Fest in Easter, and Falls Fest over NYE. I thought that the idea of these festivals sites was to increase revenue to the area, not decrease it? Once again Brunswick Heads, and the surrounding communities are footing the bill for Byron Bay’s inability to organise a coherent and workable entertainment policy. We have not even had the Splendor festival yet, and we have had this announcement with zero community consultation, on the basis that it will fix the problems for the “Bay”.

    With all due respect to the parents who find this a suitable alternative to a Byron Bay NYE, the idea is to fix the Bay’s shortcomings, not divert them to a smaller area further away, with even less capabilities to deal with these issues. Brunswick Heads is traditionally a family holiday area, the exact opposite of Byron Bay. Our guests rarely cause any trouble, and I would like to know who will be responsible to ensure that this continues. Will Falls also go until 2am? Is any of this in line with the family holiday atmosphere that Brunswick Heads has developed for itself?

    If Falls Festvial wants to be here for NYE, then make it 100% camping and let them sort out all the issues associated with having all those extra people in a capacity area, they are the ones who are profiting from this. Note, I am not a business owner in any capacity.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.