A particularly vicious shark, which appeared to have previously devoured a cartoonist (First Dog on the Moon), savagely mauled Tony Abbott and then turned on his prize-winning Government at the Guardian’s Forum at this year’s Splendour in the Grass festival.
Last weekend the rain turned the music and arts festival site into a mudbath, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the thousands of mad keen fans.
It was the 15th annual event but only the third at Splendour’s new home at North Byron Parklands.
Some 30,000 people partied to the sounds of 100 different acts, including Florence and the Machine, Flight Facilities, The Grates, Mark Ronson, Azealea Banks, Johnny Mar, Ryan Adams and Blur.
Jeff Dawson’s photo gallery
As well as a craft alley and ‘adult’ games such as the giant inflatable ‘Nicholas Cage’ cage, many festival-goers added mud sliding to their list of must-do activities.
Festival organiser Jessica Ducrou admitted the festival’s final challenge would be today, as thousands of sodden campers attempted to strike their tents and depart the rain-drenched site.
She urged people to take their time and take advantage of the fact that food stalls would remain open throughout the day to keep the many remaining hungry mouths fed, while campers packed up and began the long trek home.
Echonetdaily has yet to receive any noise complaints from local residents about this year’s Splendour, which is a great improvement on the level of complaint about last year’s Splendour and New Year’s Falls Festival.
Prior to this year’s festival, organisers requested a variation to their approval that would allow them to increase some frequencies but decrease bass frequencies in the hope of minimising complaints and maximising impact on the site.
The NSW Department of Planning announced on Thursday that it would have a team monitoring the sound on site throughout the duration of the festival.
Paramedics and doctors on site treated a number of patients for a range of injuries, saying alcohol and drugs played a significant role in many of these incidents.
However, organisers said presentations at its emergency tent were mainly due to foot-related issues, adding that ‘the numbers were down on previous years’.
Police once again conducted their controversial drug-dog operation, which they say was responsible for the seizure of 468 grams of various substances. Police issued 75 cannabis cautions and charged 92 people with drug-related offences.
Tweed/Byron Local Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Gary Cowan, said he was pleased that the majority of festival-goers heeded police warnings and enjoyed a safe weekend.
‘Police work closely with Splendour organisers to ensure the festival is safe and fun, and we are pleased the overwhelming majority of revellers were well-behaved all weekend,’ Supt Cowan said.
‘I am disappointed there were still some people who ignored our advice and tried to bring illegal drugs past the drug-detection dogs and through the gates. We arrested a number of people with large amounts of drugs and, in court, we will allege these people were planning to sell the drugs inside the festival,’ he added.
On Thursday (23 July 2015) a police drug dog unit was patrolling the car park of the festival. One of the dogs indicated a scent around a blue Holden station wagon. Police conducted an extensive search of the car and located prohibited drugs in the air filter of the vehicle. In total, officers seized seven MDMA tablets, 3.4 grams of cannabis and 53 capsules containing magic mushrooms from the vehicle. A 19-year-old man was arrested. He will be charged in the coming weeks.
On Friday (24 July 2015) a 21-year-old woman was arrested after police found her to be in possession of 123 tablets of MDMA and a re-sealable bag of cocaine. She was charged with drug supply offences, before being granted conditional bail to appear at Byron Bay Local Court on September 11.
Also on Friday, a 19-year-old man was arrested with what police believe to be 92 MDMA tablets, 26 LSD tabs and 35 grams of cannabis. The man was charged with drug supply offences and will appear at Byron Bay Local Court on September 11.
On Sunday (26 July 2015) two 18-year-old men were stopped and searched at the front gates of the festival. Police allegedly located a tin with 398 cardboard squares in plastic bags, believed to be LSD tabs. The first man was charged with supply greater than indictable quantity of a prohibited drug (LSD), deal with the suspected proceeds of crime, possess prohibited drug (cannabis), trespass and breach of bail. The second man was charged with breach of bail and trespassing. They were both refused bail to appear before Tweed Heads Local Court today (27 July 2015).