Police to target drug use, supply at Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass festival

Festival goers are being urged to party safely as Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass festival officially kicks off today.

Police say a high-visibility police operation will be in place over the course of the festival, which runs from today through until Sunday.

Illegal drug use and supply will be the target of the operation, along with alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour.


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The Dog Unit, including drug-detection dogs will also be involved, as well as the Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.

Tweed Byron Local Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Starling, said police have been working closely with event organisers and are prioritising the safety of all event staff, performers and music fans across the three-day festival.

“Splendour in the Grass is a much-celebrated music festival and the biggest winter event of its kind in Australia, so we’re working together to ensure everyone involved can enjoy the experience,” Det Supt Starling said.

“We will be focused on targeting those involved with illegal drug use and supply, underage drinking, alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour.

“Festival-goers who choose to do the wrong thing, breach the event’s terms and conditions or risk the safety of other music fans, will be quickly identified and dealt with accordingly,” Det Supt Starling said.

“A warning to anyone planning on bringing illegal drugs into the festival – we will have both uniformed and plain-clothes police with drug-detection dogs patrolling the entire event footprint – so think again as you can expect to be caught and could face legal action,” Det Supt Starling said.

“Participants caught in possession of illegal drugs can also expect to be removed from the site by event organisers and anyone who attends the festival affected by drugs or alcohol may be refused entry,” Det Supt Starling said.

“Not only are recreational drugs illegal, they are dangerous and potentially life-threatening, especially when combined with alcohol.”