Music fans rejoice as festival heads north for new years
As if being the home to Bluesfest and Splendour in the Grass wasn’t already enough, Byron Bay on the New South Wales Far North Coast is now set to play host to Falls Music and Arts Festival at the end of this year.
For the past 20 years the festival has been held in Lorne, Victoria and in 2003 branched out to include Marion Bay in Tasmania. Now in 2013, organisers are bringing the festival to a third location – Byron Parklands in Yelgun, Byron Bay where it will take place from New Years Eve to January 3.
The festival itself showcases some of the finest artists and musicians of our time. Unlike many other annual music festivals, Falls doesn’t restrict itself to any one genre with trailblazers and icons of punk, hip hop and electronica happily playing alongside indie, country and rock acts. It’s this smorgasbord of talent combined with the great atmosphere that makes Falls Festival a fan favourite.
While this year’s lineup is yet to be unveiled, rumour has it New York hipster darlings Vampire Weekend and Grizzly Bear are very likely possibilities. In previous years the festival has seen a colourful mix of performers including Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse, Pennywise, The Black Eyed Peas, Coolio and Iggy Pop gracing the stage to name just a few.
So what is it about Byron Bay that makes it such a perfect location for music festivals?
The appeal of Byron is well known; the natural beauty of the coast and surrounding hinterland create the perfect backdrop for your holiday or sea change. With great surf, gorgeous parks and no shortage of cafes and markets it’s still an incredible place to visit even without the allure of your favourite band playing. The town is also a comfortable distance from the Gold Coast and Brisbane, so Queenslanders who have often found the journey to Victoria a bit too far for New Years Eve will be relishing in the fact that Falls is now basically at their doorstep.
Visitors flock to experience the cool and relaxed Byron lifestyle and during peak tourism season or festivals, accommodation is often hard to come by unless booked well in advance. If you’re hoping to stay in the area for the duration of the festival your best bet is to book now. Surrounding towns such as Ballina are also good for a place to stay if you have your own transport.
Check out this sweet video the Falls Fest crew put together for further proof of Byron’s suitability …
Any excuse for a good old fashioned road trip
A huge part of the music festival culture is your journey there. The tales of your annual pilgrimage to your favourite festival are often going to be filled with fond memories you acquired on the road. In years to come you will reminisce about the ironic mixtapes and even more ironic singalongs you had on the trip, that one friend who always gets car sick at inconvenient times or momentarily misplacing your tickets and having a panic attack. You’ll probably need a new SD card to put in your camera long before you get your wristband and head to the main stage.
Byron Bay is just under 3 hours from the Sunshine Coast, making for the perfect one day road trip. Travelers heading up from Newcastle might consider breaking up the 7 hour journey with a night at somewhere like Coffs Harbour. Interstate festival goers flying in to either the Gold Coast Airport or the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport should organise and book their transport to and from Byron well ahead of time, whether that be shuttle bus or car hire.
If you’re planning on heading to Falls Festival in Byron Bay over the new year period, the Skedaddle team hope you have safe trip and an incredible time!