After the approval of Splendour’s Yelgun site I chose to remain more or less out of the debate until the first festival was done.
I was genuinely hoping that it would not be as bad as we feared. It was worse. A whole lot worse.
From reports of the people renting our house the noise made it impossible for them to sleep for the duration of the festival.
The lake along Hardy Ave turned black and the fish disappeared, that happened during the earthworks and after rain. During the festival the delicate peat soil was eroded and exposed.
There were drunk teenagers loose and screaming inside the nature reserve at night.
There were countless complaints from festival goers about the unsanitary conditions, the lack of drinking water, the boggy camping areas.
Complaints that were removed from the Splendour website as fast as they went up. There have been complaints from people trying to drive their kids to school having to negotiate drug addled festival goers hitching and milling along the road.
I was contacted by an irate Byron Bay businessman who said that he had his worst takings ever for the week while Splendour was happening. It benefited only the beer pushers and the majority out of town stall owners.
Everything that we voiced would happen, happened. Only if it had rained it could have been a complete environmental disaster to boot.
And where is the critical voice of The Echo? Bought by advertising it would seem. And of the mayor? Bought by his political ambition of ‘representing’ the young it would seem.
This is what happens when you remain ‘open’ to the plans of big business. You get well and truly screwed. Every time.
Mac Nicolson, North Ocean Shores
Mandy Nolan’s front page story in the Echo last week canvassed many of the issues which concerned residents and festival-goers including the mayor’s criticisms. – Ed.