Organizers of Splendor in the Grass have canceled all major opening night acts of the music festival after appalling wet weather flooded the Byron Bay venue.
In a statement, event organizers said the decision was made to close all four main stages on Friday due to a “significant weather system” which is currently off the east coast and could reach land. later in the day, bringing even more wet weather.
“In the interest of customer safety and in consultation with all relevant emergency services, we have decided to err on the side of caution and cancel performances on the main stages today only – Amphitheater Stages, Mix Up, GW McLeannan and Park (lands),” the statement read.
All destination spaces, such as Global Village, Tipi Forest, Forum, Comedy, and Science Tents will remain open today for guests who are already there, as well as people from the Bryon Events Farm Satellite Campground.
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“Please relax and enjoy what is open. Daily patrons are asked not to attend the festival today while we work on repairs,” event organizers said. .
“In the coming week, Moshtix will be contacting affected ticket holders directly, via the email address used to purchase their ticket, for further information on refunds.
“We ask for patience as we work through the refund process. Rest assured that our event team is working very hard to provide the best possible experience under the current circumstances.
For the time being, the Saturday and Sunday programming should proceed “as planned”.
All main stage musical acts have been canceled for Friday, although smaller acts are expected to play and all activations – including the Red Bull nightclub and the Smirnoff tent – will remain open.
News.com.au has been told by third-party sources involved with the festival that the amphitheater – the main stage at the ground – has been canceled due to its hillside location.
They said organizers are now considering moving some of tonight’s top titles – including Gorillaz and The Avalanches – to some of the site’s smaller stages.
The Gorillaz were scheduled to headline Splendor on Friday night with a 90-minute set starting at 10:30 p.m.
Australian rock band DMA’s and electronic band The Avalanches were also scheduled to play on the main stage.
American rap star Jack Harlow and American rock band The Strokes are set to headline Saturday, while Grinspoon, Liam Gallagher and Tyler, The Creator are penciled in for Sunday.
The decision to close the main stages comes after several people called for the festival to be canceled due to wild weather which left the campsite awash in water and people waited hours to even enter the site.
People heading to the festival today were left baffled, with many stranded at various bus stops after being told of the cancellation.
A Twitter user uploaded a video of a person wearing a high-vis vest telling a group of attendees that he had learned that a number of performances had been cancelled.
“The information that has just reached me is not yet official, but it is probably due to the unforeseen weather conditions at the site that all performances will be canceled today,” he said.
“They are going to fire people from the site. So you would get on a bus and they would kick you out anyway.
Earlier this morning festival organizers announced that they were no longer accepting campers or vehicles at North Byron Parklands due to the current weather situation.
People arriving for the four-day festival faced 12-hour queues just to enter the campsite yesterday, with organizers forced to extend entry times to try to get people into the festival.
Attendees were instead redirected to Byron Events Farm in Tyagara with free shuttle buses between venues available.
“We thank you for your patience here and a big shout out to our staff who are working around Mother Nature to get you here safely,” read a message from organizers.
“Please be kind and patient.”
Wild scenes at the festival campsite
While the event is normally blessed with sunshine and clear skies, the current climate has created chaos for those attending the festival.
Some have even called the three-day festival “Splendour in the Lake” and “Survival of the Fittest”.
Twitter user Steve Strickland described the situation as “potentially life threatening due to horrific weather conditions and traffic jams.
“People will catch pneumonia and expose themselves. The festival should be canceled and everyone evacuated,” he said.
One festival-goer, Kate O’Hagan, said she hoped event organizers would cancel the festival so she could go home.
“We’re parked by thousands of cars and tents that we literally can’t leave,” she said.
Another attendee took to Twitter last night after queuing to enter the festival for 11 hours, criticizing organizers for the ‘inhumane’ situation.
“We’ve been in this queue for HOURS – for 4 p.m. We have been driving since 6am. Cars out of gas. Stuck cars. It is dangerous and inhumane,” she wrote.
“Update: 2:30am we decided to give up and sleep in the back of the car while staying in our queue which hasn’t moved for 2-3 hours. There’s nothing we can do do. No entry, no exit.”
The SES was called in to assess the situation, with a spokesperson telling The Daily Telegraph they would support a decision to evacuate the festival if that were to happen.
“There’s a lot of rain in the campgrounds, but it’s not flooded. It’s just standing water and heavy mud,” the spokesperson said.
“If (the festival) takes the decision to evacuate, we will support it. We have a team of about five or six members on the festival grounds and 30 to 40 in all.
Shocking footage shared on TikTok shows the site absolutely saturated with large muddy puddles as the rain falls, with desperate attendees in plastic ponchos forced to huddle against covered benches in a desperate attempt to stay warm.
In a clip shared by TikTok user @montanakennedy, she captioned the dark scenes: “We have progressed to splendor in the lake.”
In the comments, people shared their horror.
“Total Fyre Festival Vibes,” wrote one user.
“I will swing in a canoe if I have one too I will be there,” another shared.
“I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t been canceled at this point.”
The campsites weren’t much better. In another video, tents were pelted with rain, while pitches were soaked in mud.
And there’s still bad weather en route, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting 100 per cent chance of rain on Friday and a high chance of showers on Saturday in the Byron Bay area.
2022 is the first year that Splendor in the Grass has returned to being an in-person event at Byron Bay parks, after the pandemic limited high-capacity in-person events.
The 2020 festival was originally postponed to October before being canceled. The 2021 event followed a similar trajectory, however, music organizers moved to an online Splendor XR format, which was made in conjunction with virtual live event platform Sansar.
The weather gets worse before it gets better
Unfortunately for festival-goers, they are expected to experience another day of wet weather on Friday, which will no doubt add to the already swampy conditions.
A spokesperson for the Bureau of Meteorology told news.com.au that Friday is expected to be the “wettest day” in forecasts for the region, although the situation will start to improve as the weekend approaches. .
“We could see up to 30mm of rain over Byron by the end of the day,” he said.
“There will still be a few showers tomorrow, but not a lot of rain is expected.”
On Sunday, conditions are expected to be mostly dry, with around 1mm of rain forecast.
A high of 17 degrees is forecast for Friday with nearly a 100% chance of rain.
The temperature is expected to range from 14°C to 18°C on Saturday before the rains hopefully subside on Sunday, with the BOM predicting mostly sunny conditions and a temperature range of 13°C to 19°C.
As it stands, sunny conditions are predicted for Monday, with highs of 19C and lows of 13C.
There is currently also a severe weather warning for the Northern Rivers areas of NSW, which includes Byron Bay. The Bureau of Meteorology issued the warning for damaging waves on Friday morning.
A low off the east coast near southern Queensland is expected to produce ‘significant waves’ of up to 5m, with the Bureau warning people to stay away from beaches, surf and surf in exposed areas.