Police are urging festival-goers to plan their trip and enjoy the Splendour in the Grass festival safely this weekend.
Camping ticketholders are expected to start arriving in the Byron Shire for the music festival from tomorrow (Wednesday 22 July 2015), with the festival officially kicking off on Friday (24 July 2015) and concluding Sunday (26 July 2015).
In addition, there will be pre-festival entertainment on Thursday night for campers and three-day ticketholders.
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A high-visibility police operation will be in place, involving police from Tweed/Byron Local Area Command, assisted by officers from across Northern Region and the Dog Unit, including drug-detection dogs; Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.
Tweed/Byron Local Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Gary Cowan, said police have 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,” A/Supt Cowan said.
“Police will be targeting illegal drug use and supply, underage drinking, alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour.
“We will take appropriate action against anyone who chooses to commit crime, breach Splendour’s terms and conditions, or behave in an offensive manner.”
The event is sold out: if you do not have a ticket, do not come. Police will be working with the festival organisers to prevent fence jumpers.
Important event information – including items banned from the festival and campgrounds – can be found at: http://splendourinthegrass.com.
“Anyone planning to bring illegal drugs to the parklands should expect to get caught – in addition to uniformed and plain-clothes police, drug detection dogs will again be patrolling the festival,” A/Supt Cowan said.
“We do not want to see a repeat of last year: as a consequence of the 2014 drug-dog operation we detected 271 people in possession of prohibited drugs. It was disappointing to see so many people place themselves and other festival attendees in danger.
“Our primary focus will be to stop people taking illegal drugs into the festival. We want to ensure everyone has fun and enjoys the event without being under the effect of drugs. The drugs can have life-threatening effects, especially when they are combined with alcohol.”
Paramedics and doctors 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,” A/Supt Cowan said.
“We want Splendour to be an incident-free weekend and enjoyable for all including police and other emergency workers. If we do detect people committing offences we will take action.
“Additional officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will be deployed to target speeding, drink-and-drug-driving and other dangerous driver behaviour.
“We are expecting a significant increase in traffic throughout the Byron Shire, particularly on the Pacific Highway, and we won’t tolerate anyone putting themselves and other innocent road users at risk.
“Plan your trip ahead of time and if you’re travelling a long distance, factor in plenty of rest stops and obey the road rules,” A/Supt Cowan said.
For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or contact the Traffic Information Line on 132 701.