Organizers Splendor in the Grass have canceled all major performances on the music festival’s opening night after terrible wet weather flooded the venue in Byron Bay.
The event organizers said in a statement that the decision was made to close all four major stages on Friday due to a “significant weather system” currently off the east coast that could reach land today, bringing even wetter weather.
“In the interest of the safety of attendees and after consultation with all relevant emergency services, we have decided to err on the side of caution and cancel performances today only at the main stages – Amphitheater, Mix Up, GW McLeannan and Park(lands),” the statement said. .
All destinations, such as the Global Village, Tipi Forest, Forum, Comedy and Science tents, will remain open today for visitors already on site as well as people at the satellite campsite at Bryon Events Farm.
Stream more live and on-demand entertainment with Flash. 25+ news channels in 1 place. New to Flash? Try 1 month for free. Offer valid until October 31, 2022 >
“Please relax and enjoy what is open. Regulars of the day are asked not to come to the festival today while repairs are underway, ”the organizers of the event said.
“In the next week, Moshtix will contact affected ticket holders directly via the email address used to purchase the ticket for more information on refunds.
“We ask for your patience as we work through the return process. We assure you that our events team is working very hard to ensure the best possible experience under the current circumstances.”
For now, the programs for Saturday and Sunday are expected to proceed “as planned”.
All musical performances on the main stage were canceled on Friday, although small groups are expected to perform and all events, including the Red Bull Nightclub and the Smirnoff Tent, will remain open.
Third-party sources connected to the festival told News.com.au that the Amphitheater – the site’s main stage – was closed due to its location on a hill.
They said the organizers are now considering moving some of today’s headlines, including Gorillaz and The Avalanches, to some of the smaller venues on site.
Gorillaz were due to play Splendor on Friday night with a 90-minute set from 10:30 pm.
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 will headline on Saturday, with Grinspoon, Liam Gallagher and Tyler, the Creator on Sunday.
The decision to close the main stages came after several people called for the festival to be canceled due to bad weather that caused the camp area to flood with water and people waiting hours to even get on the set.
People heading to the festival today were confused, with many stranded at various bus stops after being informed of the cancellation.
One Twitter user uploaded a video of a man wearing a reflective vest informing a group of attendees that he has received word that a number of performances have been cancelled.
“The information that just came to me is that it is not yet official, but probably due to unforeseen weather conditions on the site, all performances today will be canceled,” he said.
“They are going to turn people away from the site. So you got on the bus and then they sent you back anyway.”
Earlier this morning, festival organizers announced that they were no longer accepting campers or cars in North Byron Parklands due to the ongoing weather situation.
People arriving yesterday for the four-day festival faced 12-hour lines just to get into the campsite, and organizers have been forced to extend entry hours to try and get people to the festival.
Instead, attendees were redirected to Byron Events Farm in Tjagar, where free shuttle buses ran between venues.
“We thank you for your patience here and a big thank you to our staff who are working around Mother Nature to get you here safely,” the organizers said in a statement.
“Please be kind and patient.”
Wild scenes at the festival camp
While the event is usually blessed with sunshine and clear skies, the current inclement weather has created havoc for people at the festival.
Some have even called the three-day festival “Splendor of the Lake” and “Survival of the Fittest”.
Twitter user Steve Strickland described the situation as “potentially life-threatening due to terrible weather conditions and traffic jams.”
“People will get pneumonia and infection. The festival needs to be canceled and everyone evacuated,” he said.
One festival attendee, Kate O’Hagan, said she hoped event organizers would cancel the festival so she could return home.
“We are parked with thousands of cars and tents that we literally cannot leave,” she said.
Another visitor took to Twitter last night after waiting 11 hours in line to enter the festival, criticizing the organizers for the “inhumane” situation.
“We have been standing in this queue for HOURS – from 16:00. We have been driving since 6 in the morning. The cars are running out of gas. The cars have stalled. This is unsafe and inhuman,” she wrote.
“Update: At 2:30 AM we decided to give up and sleep in the back seat of the car while staying in our queue that hadn’t moved for the last 2-3 hours. We can’t do anything. No entry, no exit.”
To assess the situation, the Emergencies Ministry was called, her spokesman said. Daily Telegraph they would support the decision to evacuate the festival if it comes to that.
“There is a lot of rain on the campsites, but they are not flooded. It’s just standing water and heavy mud,” the spokesman said.
“If (the festival) decides to evacuate, we will support it. We have a team of five or six people in the festival area and 30 to 40 people in general.”
Shocking footage posted to TikTok shows the site completely filled with large puddles of muddy water as it rains, with desperate visitors in plastic ponchos forced to huddle together on awning benches in a desperate attempt to keep warm.
In one clip shared by TikTok user @montanakennedy, she captioned the macabre scenes, “We have achieved splendor in the lake.”
In the comments, people shared their horror.
“Total Fyre Festival Vibes,” a user wrote.
“I’ll go canoeing if I’m there too,” shared another.
“I’m genuinely surprised it hasn’t been canceled at this point.”
The campsites weren’t much better. In another video, the tents were covered in rain and the ground covered in mud.
And more bad weather ahead, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting a 100 percent 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 once again become an in-person event in Byron Bay’s parkland since the pandemic restricted mass in-person events.
The 2020 festival was initially postponed until October and then cancelled. The 2021 event followed a similar trajectory, however, the music organizers switched to an online format, Splendor XR, in collaboration with virtual live event platform Sansar.
The weather will get worse before it gets better
Unfortunately for festival-goers, on Friday they will have to endure another day of rainy weather, which will no doubt exacerbate the already swampy weather.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman told news.com.au that Friday will be the “wettest day” in the forecast for the area, though things will start to improve towards the weekend.
“Up to 30mm of rain could fall in Byron by the end of today,” he said.
“There will still be some showers tomorrow, but no heavy rain is expected.”
Sunday is expected to be mostly dry with about 1mm of rain forecast.
On Friday, a maximum temperature of 17 degrees is predicted, the probability of rain is almost 100%.
Temperatures will hover between 14°C and 18°C on Saturday before the rains hopefully end on Sunday, with BOM predicting mostly sunny conditions and a temperature range of 13°C to 19°C.
Sunny conditions are currently forecast for Monday with a high of 19C and a low of 13C.
A severe weather warning is also currently in place for the North Rivers areas of New South Wales, which encompass Byron Bay. The Bureau of Meteorology issued a surf damage warning Friday morning.
The low east coast near south Queensland is expected to generate “significant waves” up to 5 meters high, with the Bureau warning people to stay away from beaches, surf and be exposed to surf.
Originally published as Splendor in the Grass main dates canceled due to wet weather