Between Wednesday 30 December and Sunday 4 January, 15 volunteers worked around Brunswick Heads to ensure that the town was clean, tidy and friendly during the Falls Festival.
We were delighted by the number of locals who thanked our volunteers and commented on how clean the town was during this period.
The team checked for litter every day starting their first run at 7.30am, and finishing at 4pm. The volunteers all reported that they enjoyed helping visitors with advice or information, and took great pride in getting every last cigarette butt and ring pull from the parks and dunes.
I found that the partnership between the Brunswick Heads Visitor Information Centre and The Falls Arts and Music Festival worked very well.
We noticed that in the evenings the bins in Banner Park were overflowing and although this rubbish was not generated by Falls patrons, a quick call to Shane Porter, manager of waste services at the festival saw a team come down to Brunswick Heads early in the morning the next day to empty those bins.
Festival goers arriving in Brunswick Heads by Falls shuttle buses were counted as they alighted, and the number was far less than some correspondents to local papers claimed it would be.
The busiest day was the Saturday where an average of 33 people per bus came to Brunswick Heads from the festival between 7.30am and 3pm.
Local businesses reported great figures for this period but were pleased that it was a steady manageable stream of visitors rather than huge crowds arriving all at once. Most festival patrons headed for the river and the beach.
Volunteers received VIP passes to the festival for their efforts, and all have asked to be on the team should another project like this take place. Many of them were parents who gave the VIP passes to their children for Christmas.
I will be running a ‘Listening Post’ on Wednesday, 20 January, at The Memorial Hall from 4pm-8pm, for any residents that want to come along and discuss how the Falls Festival affected Brunswick Heads.
Anyone with a grievance or concern should come along so that plans can be made to mitigate those issues for future festivals.
Ollie Heathwood, Brunswick Heads Visitor Information Centre