IT WAS a win for the music, according to Falls Festival organisers and patrons, but a loss for locals and wildlife, said residents' groups.
On one hand were the phenomenal artists and performances, and what was universally described as a great vibe. On the other were noise, rubbish, traffic jams and communication difficulties.
Around 17,500 punters are estimated to have descended on the Falls site, the North Byron Parklands, near Yelgun, for the event.
Richard Whitling, president of Conservation of North Ocean Shores Inc, said: "It was the best crowd - the vibe was unreal. But we are in touch with the Department of Planning about ongoing concerns regarding noise on site and rubbish affecting waterways."
On their Facebook site, CONOS Inc also posted: "What a great bunch of people the attendees were...What a pity that the promoters brought them to a site that placed them unknowingly in the position of contributing to the impacts on this biological hotspot. Those that our (onsite) rep spoke to about the environmental and Aboriginal values of the site were very receptive and saddened by the situation. They invariably agreed that if the Festivals were held elsewhere, it would not bother them - they would still attend, and very happily leave the present site in peace."
Kathy Norley, president of the South Golden Beach Community Association, also said litter was a concern and that severe traffic jams meant older people especially were "locked in" during the festival.
Telecommunications failed in many areas, and locals reported illegal camping across the shire, she said.
Falls Festival organisers did not respond to questions from The Northern Star regarding residents' issues, a death on the site, or the success of the festival with regards to attendee numbers, popular performances, or the amount of food and alcohol sold. However, on their website they note that a "Green Team" is responsible for cleaning up the site during and after the festival, that many patrons choose to pay a $3.50 carbon offset charge, and that "phone coverage onsite is a little hit and miss ..."
Regarding the death of a Brisbane man in his 20s, whose body was found on December 31, they say: "At this stage police are not treating it as suspicious...A report is being prepared for the coroner and the festival cannot comment further as it is a police matter. Our thoughts are with his family and friends." US rapper Joey Bada$$, who allegedly assaulted a security guard at the Falls Festival, breaking his nose, has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The 19-year-old appeared in Lismore Bail Court on Saturday. He was granted bail ahead of another court appearance scheduled for March 19.