Splendour In The Grass’ liquor licence regulations to be enforced by police

Organisers called the new rule "heavy-handed"

The Splendour In The Grass liquor licence regulations will be strictly enforced by police at its return event this weekend, as people aged under 18 are required to be accompanied by an adult.

The condition enforced by the Liquor and Gaming Authority (LGA) stipulates that minors be accompanied by an adult throughout the entire weekend as part of the festival’s liquor licence. As reported by ABC News, Commander of Tweed/Byron Police District, Superintendent Dave Roptell, said: “If anyone’s breaking the law, we’re there to enforce it.”

Roptell said that people caught in breach of these rules could be issued a fine. He added that 100 police officers from across the state would be dispersed throughout the festival to ensure people were complying with the rules through “high-visibility policing, being proactive, engaging with and stopping people”.

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Splendour In The Grass co-founders Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco were reportedly “shocked” by the LGA’s decision and unsuccessfully appealed it. “It’s unfortunate that such conditions were put in place so close to the event,” Ducrou said. “Historically we’ve not had any issues with the 16 and 17-year-olds. They’ve been very respectful of being at Splendour.

“I do think it’s very heavy-handed conditions, so we will be discussing that after the event.”

Having previously only applied to ticketholders under the age of 16, an estimated 2,000 minors are expected to be affected by these changes.

Refunds have been offered to people unable to attend the festival without an adult to accompany them, and organisers will not be releasing extra tickets for minors to bring an adult in accordance with the new rules. “I’m concerned for the 16 and 17-year-olds who were looking forward to an experience that has now changed for them,” Ducrou said. “We’ll do our best to make sure that everyone is having a good time, is safe and is smooth.”

Pitacco echoed the sentiment, adding: “We’ve gone through a lot as a community and as a music industry.

“We’ve had fires, we’ve had floods and of course the pandemic, so we’re very exited to put on a show on and see people enjoy themselves.”

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For the first time in three years, Splendour In The Grass kicks off tomorrow (July 22) until Sunday (July 24) with 50,000 people expected to attend the event headlined by Gorillaz, The Strokes and Tyler, The Creator.

Splendour has been postponed four times in the last two years, its 2020 instalment moved to October of that year, then July 2021, moved again to November 2021, and finally to its usual July event for 2022.

The line-up for this year’s event – expected to be impacted by near-constant rainfall – has experienced several line-up changes in the lead up to this weekend.

On Tuesday (July 19) it was announced that Cosmo’s Midnight and Noah Dillon had been added to the bill as Tom Misch and Hinds pulled out. Additionally, Adrian Eagle announced his withdrawal earlier this month, with Tasman Keith and Pond stepping in.

Citing “health issues” as the reason for the cancellation of their festival and sideshow appearances, Yeah Yeah Yeahs are no longer on the Splendour bill, replaced with The Avalanches.

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