Splendour fans head to Woodford
SPLENDOUR In The Grass organisers have started welcoming expected record-breaking crowds to an already muddy Woodfordia site.
Up to 30,000 fans are expected to converge on the festival's new site at Woodford following the switch from its traditional home in Byron Bay.
Traffic delays in Woodford started Thursday at midday, accompanied by wet and humid weather conditions. More rain is expected on Friday.
Earlier in the week, organisers were quick to alleviate fears for patron safety in the wake of the deadly Love Parade dance party in Germany.
Despite the minor weather and traffic setbacks, there are no major hiccups. As well as doubling capacity, the live music event has been expanded to three days to make room for what fans are hailing the best Australian festival line-up in years.
The Strokes, Pixies, Florence And The Machine, Mumford & Sons, Empire Of The Sun and Scissor Sisters are just a few of more than 200 acts set to play over the weekend.
"This is the biggest event we've ever staged but it's just the beginning of the vision we have and there's certainly more room to grow," said Splendour In The Grass co-producer Jess Ducrou.
"We've been compared to Glastonbury in the UK, which is one of the best festivals in the world, so I'm more than happy with that comparison.
"We're now set on a beautiful new piece of land and there will be more of a village-style environment which is something we've always wanted to achieve.
Splendour In The Grass started in 2001 and has grown to become Australia's premier winter outdoor festival after hosting an impressive mix of international and local acts.
But last year organisers were forced to look for a new home after they failed to convince Byron Shire Council to approve their plans to expand the event.
This year's music program will be spread across 10 stages with a first full-sized outdoor stage located in a natural amphitheatre.
Australian act The Temper Trap will perform from there on Friday night, becoming the first band to be broadcast live from Splendour In The Grass via a Virgin Mobile webcast.
"The new outdoor stage is quite incredible and that aspect of the show people will really enjoy," said Ducrou.
Bands and DJs will finish at midnight each night but another festival-first the festival arena will stay open around the clock.
Open-air bonfires, all-night cafes, massage areas, boutique bars and chill-out zones will offer fans alternative entertainment.
Organisers also confirmed that more than two-thirds of festival goers will camp on site, as opposed to around 10 per cent at previous festivals in Byron Bay.
The weather forecast is for a mix of showers, cloud and sunshine with temperatures likely to drop after dark.
"Festival goers should make sure they bring warm clothes and things like torches and waterproof boots, just in case," said Ducrou.
Splendour In The Grass takes place this weekend from July 30 to August 1.
The event is completely sold out and people without tickets are advised to stay away.