Festival-goers urged to celebrate New Year safely at Falls Festival 2020

Police are reminding festival-goers to plan their trip ahead of time as thousands of people make their way to the state’s Far North Coast for the Falls Music Festival over the New Year.

Attendees will start arriving from tomorrow (Monday 30 December 2019), with the festival officially kicking off on Tuesday (31 December 2019) and concluding on Thursday (2 January 2020).

Throughout the three-day festival, a police operation will be in force, targeting illegal drug supply, alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour.

The operation will involve officers from Tweed/Byron Police District, Northern Region general duties officers, the Dog Unit and other specialist command support.

Tweed/Byron Police District Commander, Superintendent Dave Roptell, said police want to ensure attendees have a safe and enjoyable festival experience.

“As we have done so previously, NSW Police have been working closely with event organisers and stakeholders to ensure Falls is safe for all event staff, performers and music fans,” Supt Roptell said.

“NSW Police will continue to proactively target illicit drug supply; those who choose to bring illegal drugs into the festival can expect to be caught and dealt with accordingly. Festival-goers who choose to do the wrong thing not only put their own safety at risk, but also the safety of those around them.

“Prohibited drugs are illegal and potentially life-threatening, especially when combined with alcohol. We’re expecting hot weather conditions for the duration of the festival, so I urge everyone to behave responsibly.

“Drink plenty of water, have appropriate sun protection including sunscreen and a hat, and keep an eye on your mates – anyone under the influence, anyone who suspects a friend may be unwell, or who feels unwell themselves, is urged to seek professional medical attention immediately.

“Police will be there to uphold the law and ensure the safety of everyone at the event. We want this to be an incident-free celebration as we enter 2020 – remember the New Year for all the right reasons,” Supt Roptell said.

Officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will also be deployed to target speeding, drink-and-drug-driving and other dangerous driver behaviour to ensure everyone gets to and from the event safely.

“This is an extremely busy period for Northern NSW, with tens of thousands of additional road users driving along our major highways and through holiday towns.

“Officers will be conducting roadside drug and alcohol testing, as well as patrolling for any unsafe driving behaviours – we will not accept any excuses for reckless driving.

“Some routes to and from the Far North Coast remain impacted by bushfire activity – so please plan your trip well ahead of time and check the Live Traffic website for all the latest road closures,” Supt Roptell said.

For traffic information, including road closures or diversions, visit: www.livetraffic.com.

Important event information, including items banned from the festival and campgrounds can be found at: www.fallsfestival.com/byronbay/

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