POLICE are urging festival-goers to plan their trip carefully and enjoy Splendour in the Grass safely this weekend.
Camping ticketholders are expected to start arriving in the Byron Shire for the music festival from today with the festival officially kicking off on Friday.
Police will be in full force throughout the area, including drug-detection dogs, a Riot squad and Traffic and Highway Patrol.
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Tweed/Byron Local Area Commander, Superintendent Stuart Wilkins, said police had been working closely with event organisers to ensure everyone can enjoy the festival safely.
“Splendour in the Grass is the biggest winter music festival in Australia and the focus of the police operation is to make it memorable for the right reasons,” Supt Wilkins said.
“We will be targeting illegal drug use and supply, underage drinking, alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour.
“Anyone planning to bring illegal drugs to the Parklands should expect to get caught – there will be uniformed and plain-clothes police, and drug-detection dogs patrolling in and around the festival and campgrounds,” Supt Wilkins said.
“Not only are recreational drugs illegal, they are dangerous and potentially life threatening, especially when combined with alcohol.”
St John Ambulance volunteers will be on hand to assist anyone who is under the influence of drugs, consumed an excessive amount of 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,” Supt Wilkins said.
“We want Splendour to be an incident-free weekend – police aren’t there to spoil anyone’s fun, unless of course, they break the law, create issues for other festival-goers or disrupt the local community.
Additional officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be deployed to target speeding, drink-and-drug-driving and other dangerous driver behaviour.
“Plan your trip ahead of time and if you’re travelling a long distance, factor in plenty of rest stops so you’re not driving tired,” Supt Wilkins said.