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Byron Shire
March 7, 2021

Falls Festival comes to Byron

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The long parade from the northern rivers to Woodford could become a thing of the past thanks to the vision of promoter Brandon Saul.

Mr Saul has joined with his Splendour colleagues to tempt Victoria’s popular Falls Music & Arts Festival to Splendour’s North Byron Parklands home over summer.

And with bands like The Black Keys, Iggy Pop, Arctic Monkeys, Blondie, Jack Johnson, Angus and Julia Stone, Silverchair, Violent Femmes, Black Eyed Peas, The Flaming Lips, Paul Kelly, The Shins, Kings of Leon, Fleet Foxes, The Hives, John Butler Trio, Xavier Rudd, and many more on the doorstep, why would you bother hitching up the caravan?

(It should be pointed out this is a list of previous performers, not this coming festival’s line-up announcement!)

Originally planned for early January, the Byronian Falls will open on New Year’s Eve at the request of Byron mayor and music lover Simon Richardson, as a place for over-18s to party responsibly.

It will play a critical part in Byron’s campaign to stop the booze-fuelled violence in the town that has become a regular feature of recent New Years Eve celebrations.

As an established event on both the Victorian and Tasmanian calendars, The Falls Music & Arts Festival has been operating over the past 20 in Lorne and 10 years in Marion Bay.

‘The intimate size of each event allows for a relaxed community atmosphere onsite,’ according to promoters, ‘where days spent camping under the blanket of a stunning natural landscape are complimented by world class music and arts programming.’

Each event location has been selected with an emphasis on regional destinations with stunning scenic, coastal surrounds.

‘We’re really excited to be heading north and expanding this year, the Byron Bay location couldn’t be better suited to everything that has always encompassed Falls in Lorne and Marion Bay; coastal and picturesque natural settings,’ said Simon Daly, the festival’s founder.

Brandon, who is the festival director for Byron Bay said that when he first attended Falls Festival ‘I couldn’t help but feel I was actually in Byron. For those who are old enough to remember, its’ very much reminiscent of the original surf doco Morning of the Earth. It’s so laid back I’d actually suggest it’s a bit more like Byron as it was 20 years ago.’

Promoters say Falls has a history of contributing positive social outcomes to their locations. For the communities where the festivals are hosted, well-managed events provide a fun, safe and controlled avenue for people to celebrate, thus reducing the burdens to towns and emergency service personnel over the high-risk NYE period.

‘The presence of a controlled outlet of celebration during this period has significantly assisted the reduction of anti-social and harmful behavior occurring over New Year’s Eve [in Lorne],’ said Rod Goring, coast manager of the Great Ocean Road Committee.

‘The Festival organisers’ highly skilled approach to crowd management and emergency planning has instilled confidence in the local community and authorities.’

Sergeant William Matthews, of Victoria Police, concurs.

‘Since the inception of Falls, organisers have facilitated a unique event where attendees have demonstrated a sophisticated and safe approach to celebrating New Year’s Eve. Event organisers have adopted an excellent approach to alcohol and crowd management, resulting in minimal to none disruptive behavior attended to by Victoria Police’ he said.

‘Past experience has shown that without well-managed events, people will celebrate in a more harmful and anti-social manner, making it a risky environment for the community. The presence of the festival has seen a decline in the number of incidents and injuries occurring on the Lorne foreshore resulting in decreased pressure on services such as Victoria Police.’

The Byron Bay addition will kick off at the North Byron Parklands on December 31 2013, full information on all legs of The Falls Music & Arts Festival will be announced over the coming weeks.

 Also see our story in Local News.

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  1. Simon Richardson would like the ‘booze-fuelled violence in the town’ to move out of Byron Bay. So he’s dumping it on the north of the shire. How kind of him. So now the north has to deal with the vomit and the vandalism. Simon, if you hate booze-fuelled violence in town you have no business shunting it on to a community without the money, resources or Council support to fight it.


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