BYRON SHIRE COUNCIL

                                                                                                                               13.5 - Attachment 1

 

Plan for 2014

NEW YEAR’S EVE IN BYRON BAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adopted by Resolution 14-300
Background

 

Byron Bay attracts large numbers of visitors, traditionally peaking in the summer school holidays. New Year’s Eve has a history of attracting large crowds, and along with the growing trend towards alcohol-related violence and anti-social behaviour, contributed to increasing negative impacts on the more respectful visitors and residential community.

Various strategies have been implemented over the years to minimise the negative impacts of these large crowds on the resident population. In 2012/13, crowd behaviour again showed signs of deteriorating and many in the community were affected. This prompted community debate about the problem of New Year’s Eve and how to attract the ‘right’ visitors to Byron Shire.

During 2013, Council established the Community Summer Safety and Cultural Activities Committee to work with the community on a different approach for 2013/14. Several strategies were implemented with great success.

This plan builds on the 2013 strategies, with some improvements and additions to work on the lessons learned for 2014.

 

Project Outcomes

 

The primary project outcome will be the development of a vibrant, inclusive and family orientated Byron Bay New Year’s Eve 2014 event for both residents and visitors.

The project objectives include:

1.   To provide a New Year’s Eve for locals and overnight visitors in town, by staging community inclusive cultural activities and events in the Byron Shire.

 

2.   To increase community involvement in New Year’s Eve activities to ‘reclaim’ the heart of Byron Bay by bringing locals back onto the streets through participation and by using locals to entertain locals and overnight visitors.

 

3.   To positively fill our public spaces with local cultural activity with the aim of keeping crowd levels manageable, reducing street drinking and alcohol-related crime (Cringe the Binge), anti-social behaviour and street camping (Don’t Spoil Us, We’ll Spoil You).

 

4.   To enhance the ‘Safe Summer in the Bay’ initiative by having New Year’s Eve as the highlight in a range of culturally inclusive events during the peak summer period.

 

5.   To manage a program of events operated by third parties which: contribute to ‘Safe Summer in the Bay’; provide an expression of the community core values; that grow the value of events, not the scale; and provide evaluation outcomes back to Council.

 

 

 

 

 


Project Management

Ten ‘Key Strategies’ have been identified under below to support a vibrant, inclusive and family orientated Byron Bay New Year’s Eve 2014 event. Following are the proposed management steps:

1.   Council approves the overall strategies and approach to New Year’s Eve 2014.

2.   A Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) is advertised calling for two types of submissions by 30 June 2014:

a.   Submissions to operate and manage the key events such as Soul Street NYE, First Sun NYD, a Youth Event, and a Greeter Guardians program.

b.   Submissions to have other events included in the ‘Safe Summer in the Bay’ program, which are operated and managed by third parties.

3.   Concurrently, establish the Safe Summer in the Bay Project Reference Group.

4.   The Safe Summer in the Bay PRG assesses the EOI’s.

5.   Staff manage the following aspects of the program:

a.   the event managers

b.   The Safe Summer in the Bay PRG

c.   Provide stakeholder liaison, including policing support

d.   Work with stakeholders on alcohol minimisation strategies

e.   Provide the services outlined in the Council support program

6.   Further update reports will be provided to the PRG and Council on 7 August, 18 September, 20 November and 11 December meetings.

 

Key Strategies

The following ten key strategies have been identified to support a vibrant, inclusive and family orientated Byron Bay New Year’s Eve 2014 event.

1.   A family friendly main street event

2.   A youth event

3.   An event for 18 – 40+ (outside the town centre)

4.   A new year’s morning event

5.   Policing support

6.   Alcohol minimisation campaign

7.   Team of volunteers

8.   Coordinated sponsorship/ fundraising program

9.   Establish a Project Reference Group (PRG)

10. Council NYE Program Support

a.   Provide a point of contact for event managers and other stakeholders

b.   Communications and media

c.   Traffic, compliance, waste and infrastructure services management

Each key strategy will be outlined below in further detail.

 

Strategy 1 – A family friendly main street event

 

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    A family friendly event that celebrates and enhances Byron’s identity as a vibrant and diverse community.

·    An event that embraces the creative talents of locals and showcases local artists and their innovative approach to placemaking.

·    An event that enables and enhances co-generational activity and provides an interactive theme to attract local residents to the Byron Town Centre.

 

Description:

 

Name:             Soul Street NYE – family friendly activities provided to ‘reclaim the soul’ of Byron Bay – produced by locals for locals.

Location:         Jonson Street and Railway Park precinct

Timeframe:     4pm to 1am (Street closure 2pm), 31/12

 

Council investment: $15,000

 

This event is the focus of reclaiming the Byron Bay town centre for locals. Featuring family friendly activities produced by locals for locals bringing locals back onto the. The 2013 program was very successful and included stage performances, market stalls and many street performers and activities such as chalk art, wishing tree, yarn bombing, craft activities, Fun Maker Silent Disco, flash mob performances, waiters race, etc. The highlight of the evening was a Fire Performance at 9pm, with activities scaled down after that.

 

Recommendations for improvement from last year include:

·    Not closing Jonson Street so early in the day, a 2pm closure is recommended for consideration, with all parked cars cleared by 3pm (its only 1 hour parking in this area of Jonson St) and the event set up by 4 or 5pm.

·    Stop/ Go pedestrian control is recommended throughout town between the road closure time and 9pm.

·    Police recommend no parking in Bay St.

·    Stallholder placement needs to be well coordinated so that stalls are not set up selling goods similar to those in the surrounding shops.

·    Stall holder parking needs to be provided elsewhere – perhaps Butler Street Reserve.

·    Some sort of activity or controls are needed around Apex Park as that was the ‘trouble spot’ in 2013, particularly between 10pm and 2am.

·    Need to communicate that there are NO FIREWORKS at midnight.

·    St John’s Ambulance have been involved in previous years by providing volunteers on the night to treat minor injuries and ailments. In 2013 they did not participate due to the late planning of the final makeup of the event, however they have expressed disappointment over this and would prefer to be involved in future years.

 

 


Strategy 2 – An under 18’s youth event

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    A drug and alcohol free event for under 18’s that attracts local young people to celebrate New year’s Eve in a safe way.

·    A ticketed event that embraces the creative talents of local youth and showcases young local artists.

·    Provide an opportunity for young people studying event management to be involved in the organisation of the event.

·    Promote key messages around respect for the Shire and our environment and each other (educate for future years).

 

Description:

 

Name:             Suggestion – LiveYr (LiveWire) an under 18’s drug and alcohol free event produced by local young people for local youth.

Location:         Byron Youth Activities Centre or Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex

Timeframe:     8pm to 1am, 31/12

 

Council investment:  $5,000

 

Whilst planned, a youth event did not go ahead for NYE 2013.  There may be a partnership opportunity with Falls Festival in providing a ‘mini-falls’ to attract local youth to the event. This could be a ticketed event that includes a transport element.

 

Beneath the Surface was held in March at Byron Bay Community Centre – an event designed by local youth for local youth as follows:

 

“Our community is getting together to celebrate youth culture and music from the Byron Bay Shire. Art, film and photography works by talented local youth will be displayed in the foyer of the Community Centre from 6pm. Music and entertainment will begin from 7pm in the theatre. The artist line-up for ‘Beneath The Surface’ has been finalised and it includes Circus performers – Safety First, Cecelia, Bridget and Monica Brandolini in the Three Little Sisters, Choir group Kindred Singers and Alternative/electronica, indie/pop band Tora. Now that is only the beginning… We have THIRTY ACTS. Don’t miss out on a Youth Showcase like no other – come with us on a journey, ‘Beneath The Surface’.”

 

 

 


Strategy 3 – An event for 18 – 40+

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    An event targeting 18+ at a location outside of Byron Town Centre to draw crowds away on New Year’s Eve

·    An event that provides an exciting program of acts from across Australia and the world that has the capacity to contribute financially to the Shire and NYE community program elements.

·    An event that enhances Byron’s identity as a vibrant and diverse community.

 

Description:

 

Name:             Falls Music and Arts Festival - a party alternative for over 18’s

Location:         North Byron Parklands

Timeframe:     31/12 to 3/1

 

Council investment:  Nil, work with event organisers to negotiate financial support for other community events.

 

This event is organised by a private company on private land.

 

Falls Festival organisers were extremely supportive of Council’s initiatives for New Year’s Eve in 2013. From negotiating the dates of the festival to providing $25,000 in financial support for ‘Safe Summer in the Bay’ activities and in-kind event organisation assistance and advise.

 

The partnership with Falls Festival is a positive and important one.

 

Recommendations for improvement from last year include:

·    Requesting event organisers to make the distinction between the event location and the Town Centre to avoid conflict with desired outcomes of the whole NYE strategy

·    Address the influx of Falls festival-goers into town on NYE

·    Traffic management issues


 

Strategy 4 – A new year’s morning event

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    An event that is innovative and engaging and is a good reflection of the brand of ‘Byron’ and celebrates our identity.

·    An event that showcases the health and wellness sector, and promotes the strengths of the Byron Shire.

·    An event that enables and enhances a ‘chilled-out’ theme with an increasing focus on New Year’s Day instead of New Year’s Eve

 

Description:

 

Name:             First Sun NYD – a very ‘Byron’ event showcasing what Byron’s famous for – the health and wellbeing arts.

Location:         Apex and Denning Park areas near Main Beach

Timeframe:     5 – 11am, 1/1

 

Council investment:  $5,000

 

 

This event has excellent potential to grow (attract grant funding) and become a showcase for Byron Shire. The intention is to create more of a focus on New Year’s Day, welcoming the first sun of the new year as a fresh new start, with meditation, yoga, qi gong and a healthy food event. The event has the potential to showcase what Byron is famous for – the health and wellbeing arts.

 

The food event in 2013 did not attract large enough numbers to keep stall holders happy. Recommendations are around either changing the format (eg BBQ style), the time of day or perhaps increased advertising for 2014.


Strategy 5 – Policing support

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    Provide a safe environment for community to participate in the NYE program.

·    Demonstrate a zero tolerance for antisocial behaviour and alcohol consumption in prohibited areas.

·    Support, partner and collaborate with our police representatives and other key services to establish an emergency services command centre at Apex Park and promote the ‘no’ messages.

 

Description:

 

Name:             Emergency Services Command Centre, and Alcohol Confiscation Points around event zones and at Shirley St Railway Crossing.

Location:         Apex and Denning Parks (around the Surf Club)

Timeframe:     2pm 31/12 to 4am 1/1

 

Council investment:  provision of infrastructure and support services (refer Strategy 10)

 

In 2013, some members of the Police Public Order and Riot Squad were deployed to Byron Bay from Sydney, the first time this has happened in NSW outside of Sydney. Council can work to support this effort with:

·    improved lighting in Denning Park east of the Surf club,

·    volunteer program to support police work

·    alcohol confiscation points and waste management

·    improved collaboration about event liquor licences issued for NYE

 

Recommendations for improvement from last year include:

·    Police could also be more involved in a ‘joint’ risk assessment for the event, as they identified this required improvement on 2013.

·    Working with Police on the location of the alcohol confiscation points – a few different points were trialled in 2013 and this is an area for improvement.

·    Close Bay St to parking to minimise car boot bars and hiding places.

 

 


Strategy 6 – An alcohol minimisation campaign

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    Deter alcohol pre-fuelling and resulting impacts on antisocial behaviour with a clear zero tolerance message.

·    Support for Police with improved communication around Alcohol prohibition areas on New Year’s Eve.

·    Partnerships with the accommodation sector, such as backpackers and real estate agents to communicate alcohol free areas.

·    Effective media (including social media) program implemented early to deter external audiences.

 

Description:

 

Council investment:  $5,000

·    An education campaign to minimise the impacts of alcohol on the NYE program of events.

·    Work with partners to promote messages – back of bathroom doors, in public places, accommodation providers.

·    Target day-trip visitors – book accommodation or a ticket to an event is required is you are coming to Byron Bay

·    Request non-alcohol businesses stay open later to provide light and colour to the evening.

·    Good signage for Alcohol Prohibition zones and Alcohol Free Areas.

·    Provision of infrastructure to assist with alcohol confiscation by Police.

 

Council can work with stakeholders to provide a united response to keeping New Year’s Eve safe. For example, Byron Bay Liquor Accord, Tweed-Byron Local Area Command of NSW Police, with accommodation providers and the visitor industry to educate visitors and to work with surrounding LGAs on education for their residents.

 


Strategy 7 – Team of Volunteers

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    Provide information and key messages to residents and visitors in the lead up and during the NYE program.

·    Provide volunteer support to event managers, police, etc

·    Enhance the presence of ‘residential elders’ promoting responsible behaviour and positive interaction.

 

Description:

 

Name:             Greeter Guardians

Location:         Byron Town Centre

Timeframe:     30/12 through to 1/1, with a focus on 10am to 10pm 31/12

 

Council investment:  $5,000

 

Evidence is available that in towns where community members have ‘ownership’ or ‘guardianship’ over public spaces, there is less crime. This program will offer an opportunity to all those community members that walk around town cleaning up following New Year’s Eve, a chance to be proactive in providing community leadership to visitors about appropriate behaviour around care, respect and environmental values.

 

Recommendations for improvement from last year include:

·    A volunteer program needs to be designed early and recruitment for volunteers to start no later than November 2014.

 


Strategy 8 – Coordinated sponsorship/ fundraising program

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    A coordinated effort to attract financial contributions and support to the range of NYE Program activities.

·    A proactive approach to fundraising, including applying for grant opportunities and holding fundraising activities.

·    Reach a target of $50,000 in additional revenue.

 

Description:

·    A comprehensive sponsorship document will be developed to ‘sell’ the opportunities available to potential partners.

·    Grants will be applied for where appropriate.

·    Stakeholder liaison and media and advertising support.

·    Consider a ‘sponsors function’ on NYE, possibly at the Byron Bay Pool as a high-end reward for their support.

·    Sponsorship and fundraising support needs to start early in the year for NYE 2014. Some thought needs to go into a sponsorship program that will enable a fund to be available not only for event organisers to draw from, but also for Council to recoup some expenses for infrastructure support.

 


Strategy 9 – Establish a Project Reference Group (PRG)

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    Enable key stakeholders to liaise and work together, keeping communications as open as possible

·    Present a coordinated effort to the broader community as a town-wide initiative

·    Engage a productive and effective group of people and sub-groups as required.

 

 

Description:

 

Name:             Safe Summer in the Bay PRG

Timeframe:     Meetings monthly from June 2014 to January 2015

 

Council investment:  nil

The PRG would begin by assessing the Expressions of Interest from potential event managers, and then provide support, trouble shooting and solutions throughout the planning phase.

 


Strategy 10 – Council NYE Program Support

a.   Provide a point of contact for event managers and other stakeholders

b.   Communications and media

c.   Traffic, compliance, waste and infrastructure services management

 

Strategy Outcomes:

 

·    Ensure the 2014 NYE program is a collaborative event supported through good community partnerships.

·    Provide infrastructure and support for New Year’s Eve activities and events in terms of lights, extra toilets, surf life saving, security, road closures, traffic, pedestrian and parking management (SEPA), alcohol prohibition.

·    Provide direction for Event Managers and the New year’s Eve PRG and key stakeholder liaison.

·    Manage communications around New Year’s Eve with marketing, advertising and media support.

 

Description:

 

Timeframe:     April to December 2014.

 

Council investment:    $15,000 media/ marketing/ communications

$30,000 infrastructure such as waste, extra toilets, clean up

$16,000 lighting, road closures, traffic, pedestrian & parking management

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$61,000 TOTAL

 

Refer to Strategies 5, 6 and 8 about the media, advertising and communications support. Refer to Strategy 9 re stakeholder liaison support.

Council provided extra lights, toilets, toilet cleaning, and surf life saving services in 2013 which appear to have been adequate for the crowd numbers (approx. 5,000).

 

Through the Park and Ride trial, the Park and Ride bus operated from BRSCC and the Byron Bay High School car park from 10am through to 2am 1/1/14. This was successful and has the potential to grow in terms of passenger usage.

 

The Special Event Parking Area restrictions also had a positive impact on assisting Rangers and Police to control camping in the streets and car parking issues.

 

Recommendations for improvement from last year include:

1.   Providing security at Park and Ride points, especially the Byron Bay High School. In 2013, many campers (intoxicated already), boarded the bus to go to Apex Park and join the aimless crowds. Either the park and ride point needs to move further south (Suffolk Park) or extra security be provided.

2.   Depending on the road closure/ Park and Ride plans, an alternative northern site for Park and Ride suggested was the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm.

3.   Some businesses suggested that traffic management is needed the few days before and after New Year’s Eve – perhaps the pedestrian management stop/go is needed on the streets during this busy period.

4.   Lighting the pedestrian railway crossing between Butler and Jonson Streets, the crossing is very dark and it could be an alcohol confiscation point (subject to Police agreement)

5.   Extra waste collections during the New Year’s Eve evening are needed as bins fill up quickly.