Entertainment

Splendid! Splendour is back

Byron Hire staff from front left, Billie Brady and Garrett Weir and from back left Craig McClements, Glen Wallis and Jack Robertson are practising their moves for Splendour in the Grass.
Byron Hire staff from front left, Billie Brady and Garrett Weir and from back left Craig McClements, Glen Wallis and Jack Robertson are practising their moves for Splendour in the Grass. Cathy Adams

BYRON Bay businesses hope the return of the Splendour in the Grass music festival will bring a welcome boost to their bottom lines.

The festival was held at Belongil Fields from 2001 to 2009 but for the past two years it was temporarily relocated to Woodfordia in Queensland.

This July the event will return to Belongil Fields and local businesses are hoping to cash in.

Northern Rivers Plant Hire owner David Penprase said his business will again provide everything from generators to cherry pickers to the festival.

Mr Penprase will need to increase his staffing in the weeks around the festival, which he expects to be "crazy busy".

"We provide everything from line markers to generators, but the road barriers and installations for road works are probably the biggest part of the deal," Mr Penprase said.

"It almost doubles our turn- over for that month so it's a massive injection of cash in a short space of time."

It is also expected that accommodation across the region will be booked out by the 17,000 festival-goers as there is no on-site camping at the Belongil Fields.

Mr Penprase said he believed the festival would also benefit food retailers and petrol stations around Byron Bay.

"I think there are a lot of people complaining about the tourist dollar being down and this is a quick cash injection into the local economy when we really need it," Mr Penprase said.

Ewingsdale fast-food outlet Ozigo Tucker is also hoping to sell lots of burgers, pies and sandwiches to the festival crowd.

But Owner Leon Vanrensburg said the economic benefit of Splendour in the Grass is about more than just "one weekend".

"It's not just the festival weekend, it's the week leading up to it and the week after when we provide a lot of extra meals," Mr Vanrensburg said.

"It has quite a big impact because for a start you have the workers here for a fortnight prior to the festival erecting stands and security fencing.

"Then that carries on for on for a week after the festival when they pack it all up and take it away."

Mr Vanrensburg said the return of Splendour in the grass should benefit lots of retail outlets around Byron Bay.

"We were very pleased (the festival is returning) because it should never have left," Mr Vanrensburg said.

Topics:  byron bay, music festival, splendour in the grass


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