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North Byron Bay Parklands Report Details Splendour In The Grass Noise Limits

New measures will be implemented to the volume at next year’s Splendour In The Grass, according to an annual performance report.

North Byron Bay Parklands’ third annual performance report – which takes in Splendour 2015 as well as Falls’ 2014/2015 – recommends “more work… be done regarding management of noise for some residents”.

“The concern about noise impact is not only a concern about residential amenity but also the impacts on fauna and festival-goers”, the document states.

As The Music points out, since both festivals generally wrap up by around midnight, the proposed changes may not have too great an effect on how the events are run.

The Planning & Assessment Commission has also decreed that the following steps be taken by SITG organisers to scale back noise at the Parklands:

  • Between 11am and midnight, noise level measured at sensitive receivers must not exceed background +10dBA
  • Between midnight and 2am, noise level measured outside the bedroom window(s) at sensitive receivers must not exceed background +5dBA
  • All stages must be shut down at midnight
  • Amplified music from bars, cafés and dance floor, are permitted to remain until 2am, subject to the stricter noise limit
  • All amplified music must cease at 2am

Music Feeds has been notified that this criteria was set out in 2012 and the Parklands has been abiding by it since.

As the Northern Star reports, a local wildlife group is now calling for the festival to be evicted.

Conservation Of North Ocean Shores (CONOS) are up in arms because they reckon noise from the festival is impacting on local animals.

“We’re not against festivals… it’s just where this festival was given approval to operate is a joke,” griped spokesman Bob Oehlman to the paper.

“The State Government spends a lot of money investing in a nature reserve of very high value and then plonks a festival site in the middle of it, basically.

“Sure, Parklands have done some tree planting but… what’s the point of planting trees to attract wildlife when you’re blasting noise at them and frightening them off?”

He continued: “The people who run Falls and Splendour from day one have wanted the levels increased; fortunately the Department of Planning have resisted that.

“It’s the bass levels that are the major problem, hence the rattling of windows and such.

“We are not opposed to music festivals, we just don’t want to sacrifice a richly unique environment for the festivals.”

Peking Duk photo by Justin Ma Posted by Splendour in the Grass on Friday, July 24, 2015
However, in the face of this storm of noise complaints, there's also been some good news. The performance report also shows that both Falls and Splendour have given a massive financial boost to the local economy. Together, Splendour 2015 and Falls 2014/2015 generated more than $107 million for Byron Bay. Parklands general manager Mat Morris said of the figures: "The great news was that the Byron Shire accounted for $28.1 million of this output or 26%. "But the really important statistic for this Shire was the creation of 196 Equivalent Full Time (EFT) jobs in 2015 which is significant as it represents 1.79% of the Byron Shire workforce." Read the full report for yourself here. UPDATE 18/12/15: This story has been amended to point out that the the noise criteria in the report is the same criteria set by the PAC in April 2012. Music Feeds has also been advised that Splendour's Tipi Forest will not be adversely impacted as it concludes at 2am, in accordance with the PAC criteria. Gallery: Blur – Splendour in the Grass 2015, 26/07/15 / Photographed by Yael Stempler

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