Splendour In The Grass gets greenlight for new Yelgun site

After six years of protracted negotiations as of 2013 Splendour In The Grass will have a new home at Yelgun, in the North Byron Parkland.

The Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) today gave approval for Splendour to move to the site which was purchased by organisers in 2006. The statement reads: “The Commission agrees with the Director-General of the Department of Planning’s assessment that the proposal will provide Byron Shire with a permanent cultural events site attracting visitors to the area and generating much needed employment, as well as providing environmental benefits arising from revegetation”.

The approval is part of a five-year trial process which gives permission for three events to take place on the site – located 25 kilometres north of Byron proper – until 2017. The final announcement echoes the report put forward by the NSW Planning & Infrastructure last year which recommended approval for three major events a year at Yelgun with maximum crowds of 30,000, 25,000 and 15,000 for the three events over a maximum of 10 days in the first year and “approval be given down the track for events for up to 50,000 people if all key performance indicators are met.”

Since purchasing the Yelgun site Splendour has faced serious opposition from the local council who want to enforce a LEP (Local Environmental Plan) amendment on major music events that have 6000 patrons and take place over two days.

When FL spoke to festival organiser Jess Ducrou before Splendour last year told us that “Yelgun has a little more flexibility in its layout to custom build the site to our festival which is appealing. We also have the opportunity to custom build the site for our festival rather Woodford which is built for the Woodford Folk Festival. I just think it will make for the ultimate experience… we’ll be smaller for our first year, smaller than Woodford, because we want to get it right and it’s important for people coming to the show that it’s a smooth experience. And it’s important for the community that it doesn’t feel overwhelming to them either. It really is a year by year thing, we’ll make sure we get it right and everyone’s happy. There’s more space so it’ll be a more relaxed feeling than the last few years where it’s been a little more crowded.”

Splendour In The Grass 2012 will take place from Friday 27th July – Sunday 29th July at Belongil Fields in Byron Bay. Tickets go on sale tomorrow