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News

Falls Festival Learns From Splendour’s “Teething Problems” For Byron Launch


Date of News: 2013-08-13
Source: bigpondmusic

[Source: ToneDeaf.com.au] Now that the impressive Falls Festival 2013 lineup has been revealed, featuring international heavyweights like Vampire Weekend, The Roots, Grizzly Bear and MGMT along with a strong mix of local artists such as The Cat Empire, Chet Faker, Big Scary, Pond, and Hermitude, it falls to punters to decide which of the three legs to head to for the New Year’s arts and music festival.

Along with regular annual editions to be hosted at Lorne in Victoria and Tasmania’s Marion Bay, festival-goers also have the inaugural Byron Bay leg to choose from. Though some may have reservations about heading to the inaugural New South Wales edition, which uses the same North Byron Parklands site as Splendour In The Grass, after the teething issues and pitfalls of the Yelgun location for its debut at Splendour last month.

But festival organisers have assured punters that they will rectify some of the issues that plagued Splendour, including toilet queues, four/five-hour delays in transport, issues at VIP camping grounds, and other grumbles from punters over the Yelgun site; Splendour/Falls promoter Jessica Ducrou tells TheMusic they will learn from their mistakes for Falls but that some issues are unavoidable.

“Hindsight is everything,” says Ducrou of the Splendour backlash; “you can do all of the planning in the world and when everything comes down there will inevitably be teething problems, especially at a brand new site that has never been used for this style of event.”

Ducrou adds that the team “gathered a lot of information” from Splendour, “and will be implementing a number of changes to ensure the arrival experience is smoother” at the Yelgun site, which will host Falls Festival from 31st December through to 3rd January for the event’s first-ever Byron Bay leg.

Additionally, Falls will be held on a separate area on the 660-acre North Byron Parklands to that used for Splendour, which boasts “natural amphitheatres, lakes and tree coverage.” Unlike Splendour’s mammoth 25,000 attendees, the allocated Falls location will cater for 15,000 festival-goers – as per conditions of the five year trial approved by the local Byron Shire.

“Obviously less people means less traffic congestion, but the reality is that any event, sports, music or community, that plays host to thousands people will result in some kind of traffic delay, there is no real way to avoid that,” explains Ducrou.

“We encourage people to bring some food, make up a playlist, relax and enjoy the time hanging in the car with their mates. It is unrealistic to expect that there will be no wait when you are entering any kind of large scale event.”

It wasn’t just bottlenecked roads that punters bemoaned however. Splendour’s new RFID electronic wristbands – an Aussie festival first – which were designed to speed up queues with wireless ‘swiping’ proved difficult to first-timers, while others vented their frustration at Splendour organisers over changes made to the camping grounds, including having to lug equipment from a separate car park to the grounds, poor toilet and shower facilities, and problems with the VIP Country Club camping area.

“We hear you loud and clear and are in the midst of rectifying the issues as best we can,” read a statement issued by Splendour organisers over the day one issues. “It is our first year at our new home and we feel we laid the best plans, however they have not been executed to the standard Splendour has always prided itself on.”

Ducrou, along with Splendour partner Paul Piticco, who bought into a partnership with the Falls Festival, are confident that the teething issues will be ironed out for the New Year’s event.

“We’re really excited to be heading North and expanding this year,” enthused Falls Festival founder Simon Daly. “The Byron Bay location couldn’t be better suited to everything that has always encompassed Falls in Lorne and Marion Bay. Coastal and charming natural settings; a destination for our patrons to travel for.”

Falls Festival 2013 Dates

Marion Bay, TAS: December 29, 2013 – January 01, 2014 (All Ages)

Byron Bay, NSW: December 31, 2013 – January 03, 2014 (18+)

Lorne, VIC: December 28, 2013 – January 01, 2014 (18+)

Ticket ballot now open at http://fallsfestival.com.au/

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