It will be Splendour in the Fields

This business immediately advertised that Splendour in the Grass was returning to Byron Bay.
This business immediately advertised that Splendour in the Grass was returning to Byron Bay. Jay Cronan

LOCALS, loyal fans and businesses are celebrating the homecoming of Splendour in the Grass, which will return to its old stomping ground at Belongil Fields this year.

The excitement was felt outside one Byron Bay business yesterday, where a blackboard inscribed with "Welcome back to Byron Splendour in the Grass" was set up within hours of the announcement.

"It's a godsend," Byron United president Paul Waters said.

"It's been a hard two years with Splendour away."

Belongil Fields will host Splendour in the Grass on July 27-29.

The festival was relocated to Woodford in Queensland two years ago after the future home of Splendour in the Grass, North Byron Park- lands, failed to get a determination on a proposal to host the festival and others at its Yelgun site.

While the festival will downsize its crowd capacity from 30,000 to 17,500 so it can operate at Belongil Fields, Splendour in the Grass co-producer Jessica Ducrou said it was just great to have the festival home.

"Byron is our home, the festival was born here and we want it back here," she said.

"The capacity is reduced to what it used to operate at in 2009. It's not very profitable for us but that's okay, we are okay with that."

There will be no on-site camping this year but Splendour is looking into an off-site camping location for festival-goers.

Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham also welcomed the festival home.

"Splendour's home is Byron Bay and there is defined benefit that the festival delivers to the area, especially in winter, so it is a welcome return," she said.

The announcement comes a week after emotional meetings over the North Byron Parklands proposal.

The NSW Planning Assessment Commission organised the public meetings in Ocean Shores and Byron Bay to hear community concerns before they make the final decision on the Parklands project.

North Byron Parklands general manager Mat Morris said they were "very confident" that the Planning and Assessment Committee would reach a decision for approval.

Even if Parklands gets the final approval soon, Mrs Ducrou said Splendour would still be at Belongil Fields this year.

Mrs Ducrou said the first line-up announcement would be released in April.

And while she would not be drawn on headliner hints, she did rule out Radiohead and Stone Roses.

Topics:  belongil byron bay byron shire council music festival splendour in the grass

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