Police are urging music fans to plan their trip ahead of time and party safely ahead of this weekend’s Splendour in the Grass festival.
A high-visibility police operation will be in place for the three-day Splendour in the Grass festival, involving police from Tweed Byron Local Area Command, assisted by General Duties officers from across the Northern Region. They will be targeting illegal drug use and supply, as well as alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour.
The Dog Unit, including drug-detection dogs will also be involved, as well as the Public Order and Riot Squad (PORS), Operations Support Group (OSG), and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command (THWPC).
Camping ticket holders are expected to start arriving in the Byron Shire for the music festival from 10am tomorrow (Wednesday 20 July 2016), with the Splendour in the Grass festival officially kicking off on Friday (22 July 2016) and concluding on Sunday (24 July 2016).
In addition, there will be pre-festival entertainment on Thursday night for campers and three-day ticket holders.
Tweed Byron Local Area Commander, Detective Superintendent Wayne Starling, said police have been working closely with event organisers and other stakeholders, and are prioritising the safety of all event staff, performers and music fans throughout the 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.
“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.”
Important event information, including items banned from the Splendour in the Grass festival and campgrounds can be found at the Splendour in the Grass website.
Medical staff will also be on hand at the festival to assist anyone who feels unwell.
“If you believe the health of another festival-goer may be affected by drugs, alcohol, or any other factor, please tell someone immediately and seek professional medical assistance,” Det Supt Starling said.
“We want Splendour to be an incident-free weekend – police aren’t there to spoil the fun; however, if you choose to break the law, disrupt other festival-goers or create issues for the local community – you will be dealt with swiftly.”
Additional THWPC officers will also be deployed to target speeding, drink-and-drug-driving and other dangerous driver behaviour.
“We are prepared for a considerable increase in traffic throughout the Byron Shire in the lead up to and during the festival – particularly on the Pacific Highway,” Det Supt Starling said.
“We will not tolerate anyone putting themselves or other innocent road users at risk so make sure you’re driving to the conditions, everyone in your vehicle is wearing their seat belt and stick to the speed limit,” Det Supt Starling said.
“Officers will be conducting regular roadside drug and alcohol testing so if you’re drinking make sure you have a plan B.
“Plan your trip ahead of time and if you’re travelling a long distance be sure to take advantage of regular rest areas so you’re not driving tired.”
For the latest traffic information, visit www.livetraffic.com or contact the Traffic Information Line on 132 701.