The Drop Fest organisers drop the ball ahead of concert
IT'S THE music festival on everyone's lips, but festival goers might be turned away at the gates unless Tweed Shire Council gives organisers the go-ahead for the event.
Council is holding an Extraordinary Meeting in Murwillumbah on Thursday to discuss a late Development Application submitted by the organisers of The Drop Fest, a touring music festival organised to coincide with the the Australian leg of the World Surf League Championship Tour.
Punters are currently able to purchase a third round of tickets at $95 each for the one-day, all-ages music festival at Ebenezer Park, adjacent to Duranbah Beach at Tweed Heads on Saturday, March 17, despite organisers not having council approval to use the site.
About 5000 people are expected to attend the festival, featuring popular musical acts SAFIA, Dune Rats, San Cisco, Holy Holy and Ruby Fields play from 4-10pm.
While council staff have recommended granting an approval for the festival, organisers will need to meet several conditions, including providing appropriate parking and environmental protections.
Staff have also advised that parking is not permitted on the Jack Evans Boat Harbour Park but will allow parking on Hill St parkland and a drop off area to be created within the Old Aquatic Centre Park on Coral St.
Councillor Warren Polglase said he would support the application on Thursday because the festival would draw a lot of attention to Tweed, especially as more than 50 per cent of festival-goers will be attending after watching the Quiky Pro at Snapper Rocks.
"Anything like these events are extremely important to the Tweed,” Cr Polglase said.
"We're getting international representatives in the surfing industry come to the area and these are people who can carry a lot of weight when they say that they had such a great time in the Tweed.
"It's a free marketing tool.”
While organisers have been contacted about why the application was only recently submitted, Cr Polgalse said it could be simply that they weren't aware of the different council regulations between Gold Coast City and Tweed Shire.
"It's such a big event that they might not have been aware of the processes involved because we're different to Queensland,” he said.
"It's a lack of awareness on both sides but it's part of our economic development plan to get these people across the line.
"Council needs to get smarter and teach people that they need to get in contact with us before planning anything.”
Cr Pryce Allsop said he could understand why the organisers may have been misguided about the appropriate requirements for planning an event.
"The word development (in Development Application) makes you think there's a building involved,” he said.
"I think we need a separate event application, not to make it easier or harder but simpler to understand (for applicants).
"I don't know how hard that process is, whether that comes under as a State or Federal issue but I think we should look at it.”
The extraorindary meeting will be held at Tweed Shire Council's Murwillumbah Chambers from 6pm tomorrow.