Splendour in the Grass just copped a $100k fine

Splendour in the Grass organisers have been left stuck in the mud as the Department of Planning has issued the festival an order to pay $100k.  

The parent company behind Splendour in the Grass has been ordered to pay $100, 000, after failing to comply with its traffic management plan at this year’s music festival. The 2022 event was held over four days in late-July and was riddled with parking, camping and car-related challenges as the festival’s capacity increased to 50,000 attendees. Complaints of hours-long traffic queues emerged before the festival had even begun, with reports of festival-goers forced to sleep in their cars in muddy lots. 

Now, the full extent of the festival’s traffic management has been revealed, with flow-on effects causing significant disruptions to both local traffic and nearby school communities. As a result, The Department of Planning of Environment has ordered Splendour’s parent company, Billinudgel Property, to split an enforceable payment of $100k among ten primary and secondary schools within a 10km radius of the venue, which was located within North Byron Parklands in New South Wales.

splendour cancelled
Credit: Sarah Ward

The funding will be used at the discretion of each schooling recipient, with a Department of Planning spokesperson saying that Splendour’s best course correction is to improve the local community. “We place strict conditions on events such as Splendour in the Grass for a reason, and organisers need to abide by them,” the spokesperson said. The Department also enforced that Splendour conduct its triannual audit a year early.

The independent audit will determine whether other breaches were at play at this year’s event, which could result in additional fines and penalties. In response, Splendour spokesperson Jessica Ducrou touted the festival’s local economy boost and said “an unprecedented weather event” worsened traffic conditions across the site. “Residents and school children were frustrated by unusually long queues, made worse by the weather.

Ducrou continued: “[We have] taken all these learnings on board to enhance and improve future festivals.” Organisers went on to say that they’d “gladly comply” with the $100k payout. The fine comes some five months after the festival’s 2022 outing, which saw the cancellation of main stage performers due to challenging weather conditions. Gorillaz, The Strokes and Tyler, The Creator were among this year’s headliners. Head here for Happy‘s guide on the 13 things to prepare for ahead of Splendour in the Grass (traffic and weather plans included).