Hundreds of young music lovers will descend on Byron shire tomorrow (Wednesday) for the annual Splendour in the Grass festival at Yelgun, which is sold out.
And police will be out in force in a high-visibility operation, using drug-detection dogs, the riot squad as well as extra highway patrols.
They will be targeting illegal drug use and supply, underage drinking, alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour.
Festival fence jumpers will also be targeted and festival organisers have warned anyone caught trying to get into the festival without a ticket will be arrested and fined $350.
Traffic on local roads and the Pacific Highway is expected to swell throughout the festival as camping ticketholders arrive tomorrow, with the festival officially kicking off on Friday and ending on Sunday.
Tweed/Byron police command chief, acting superintendent Gary Cowan, said that anyone ‘planning to bring illegal drugs to the North Byron Parklands should expect to get caught – in addition to uniformed and plain-clothes police, drug detection dogs will again be patrolling the festival’.
‘We will take appropriate action against anyone who chooses to commit crime, breach Splendour’s terms and conditions, or behave in an offensive manner,’ acting superintendent Cowan said.
‘We do not want to see a repeat of last year: as a consequence of the 2014 drug-dog operation we detected 271 people in possession of prohibited drugs,’ he said.
‘It was disappointing to see so many people place themselves and other festival attendees in danger.
‘Our primary focus will be to stop people taking illegal drugs into the festival. We want to ensure everyone has fun and enjoys the event without being under the effect of drugs.
‘The drugs can have life-threatening effects, especially when they are combined with alcohol,’ he said.
Paramedics and doctors will be on hand to help anyone who is under the influence of drugs, drunk too much alcohol or who feels unwell.
‘If you suspect the health of another festival-goer may be impaired by drugs, alcohol, or any other factor, tell someone immediately and seek professional medical assistance’, acting/supt Cowan said.
Extra police in the shire for the festival will also target speeding, drink-and-drug-driving and other dangerous driving behaviour.
Event information can be found at: http://splendourinthegrass.com.
For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or contact the Traffic Information Line on 132 701.