New Years Day festival for Ballina
Ballina has been chosen as the location for a proposed new music festival to be held on New Years Day, with promoters hoping to attract 7000 punters.
Sydney-based promoter Sam Speaight said Beats on the Beach would have both a national and international musical line-up as well as half-pipe and wake-boarding competitions with cash prizes. It will be staged at Kingsford Smith sports ground with the target demographic 15 to 30-year-olds.
Mr Speaight believed they could sell 12,500 tickets in the first year but were limiting numbers to 7000 to allow gradual growth. He predicted 2500 festival-goers would take advantage of on-site camping.
He said they were hoping to develop Beats on the Beach into an annual event, comparable to either the Blues Festival or Splendour in the Grass.
The event will have two stages and the aim was to have up to five international music acts as well as national and local acts. He said they had already been working on the event for around three months.
Its a shorter lead time than we would have liked, but its very manageable, he said. I believe its success is virtually guaranteed.
He said they had not considered Byron Bay as he believed it was over-patronised and a difficult place to do business these days.
At last weeks Ballina Shire Council meeting, councillors expressed support for the event and because of the short lead-in time, they voted to streamline the process and delegate authority to the general manager to approve the special event application.
Mayor Phillip Silver said councillors did not need to get bogged down in the nitty gritty.
He predicted the event could take some of the heat off New Years Eve activities.
Cr Keith Johnson said he was very comfortable once he realised it was a New Years Day event.
If hes got good security and liquor control then its got the potential to be an excellent event, he said.
Councils manager of open spaces and reserves, Jillian Pratten, said police were also supportive of the event.
Council has been looking for a large event, especially around that time of year, she said. We have all those visitors and we dont really have much on. The guys are looking to build the event, so this year will be a bit of a try it and see.