TRAFFIC: Parking was free at Bluesfest 2017 in Byron Bay.
TRAFFIC: Parking was free at Bluesfest 2017 in Byron Bay. Marc Stapelberg

Bluefest ditches paid parking

BLUESFEST has announced the cancellation of paid parking at the 2019 festival, advising that paid parking will now be introduced for the 2020 festival.

All 2019 ticketholders will be refunded by 12 April 2019. Bluesfest apologised for any confusion caused and inconvenience it may have caused ticket purchasers.

The decision comes after Bluesfest had appealed a decision by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) that deemed the festival to have engaged in "misleading and deceptive conduct" by releasing parking tickets for its 2019 festival after it released entry tickets for sale.

Last March 14, the NCAT ordered Bluesfest Services Pty to pay $1200 immediately to Burleigh Waters resident Anthony Donnellan.

A spokesperson for Bluesfest said although the festival had full approval from Byron Shire Council, the NSW Police and the Roads & Maritime Services to include paid parking in the 2019 festival, Bluesfest has decided to implement the introduction of this initiative when tickets go on sale for the 2020 festival.

"Paid parking is being introduced due to increased costs in multiple areas of the live music business including artist fees, production, logistics, grounds maintenance and security. As the last major live music event within the region to introduce a parking fee, Bluesfest understands that it imposes a further cost for patrons, however as a business, the company needs to ensure the future of the festival.

"Bluesfest encourages patrons travelling to the festival to consider the environment when making the trip to Byron Bay, and to car pool or use public transport where possible. Bluesfest is also asking patrons to bring re-usable water bottles to the site to eliminate plastic usage at the festival.