GALLERY: Safe and fun first day at Falls Festival Byron Bay
SAFE and easy-going, the first two days of Falls Festival 2016-17 in Byron Bay were only marked for good music, plus some hot and humid weather at North Byron Parklands.
The local version of the festival was marked by reports of a stampede that sent 19 people to hospital and left up to 80 injured in Lorne, Victoria.
Falls Festival will happen during the New Year week in Victoria, Tasmania and, for the first time, Fremantle in Western Australia, besides Byron Bay.
But the configuration of North Byron Parklands and the relatively smaller crowds at Falls compared to Splendour in the Grass (which also happens at that venue) meant that organisers and services were focused on helping festival goers to enjoy the day despite the high temperatures.
On the first day, New Year's Eve, the only stage open was Valley Stage, an open-air, natural amphitheatre with two accesses that made crowds easy to manage.
Today, with three stages open and more punters on site, things are still expected to stay under control in terms of crowd management.
Palm Springs, a new feature of this year's festival, was a hit among punters.
With 14 pools, natural sand, palms and beach chairs, Palm Springs was a cooling-down alternative to buses taking Falls crowds to some local beaches over the weekend.
Yesterday, Australian 1980s-inspired duo Client Liaison got crowds dancing and, after sunset, American urban music icon and DJ Grandmaster Flash keep the young audience moving.
Grandmaster Flash delivered a set that started by paying homage to recently deceased English artist George Michael, and then offered small samples of the best pop and disco music of the last forty years, featuring music by George Michael and Beyonce, among others.
After midnight, American actor and musician Childish Gambino welcomed 2017 with music from his latest album, Awaken My Love!
Today, Australian band The Jezabels will play played a very special show at the festival.
The band had to cancel their 2016 world tour shortly before their latest album, Synthia, was released, because keyboard player Heather Shannon needed immediate treatment for ovarian cancer.
Last July, the band announced that Shannon was "feeling strong again after her treatment" and that they would start touring again.
Vocalist Hayley Mary (born Hayley Frances McGlone) and Heather Shannon both went to Byron Bay High School and had performed together as a folk duo in Byron Bay.
The Avalanches, Violent Soho and Matt Corby are also part of today's line up.
Monday's line up includes Byron Shire resident Bernard Fanning, UK duo London Grammar, Australian DJ Alison Wonderland and Brisbane-based Ball Park Music, which includes one member from Lennox Head and two from Goonellabah.