Police from the Tweed/Byron LAC today urged the crowds heading into Byron Bay for the annual Blues and Roots Music Festival to act responsibly and avoid coming under the notice of police, who will be at the festival and in the surrounding townships over Easter.

With up to 18,000 people per day attending the five-day event at a tea tree farm in Tyagarah — about 11km out of Byron Bay – local police will begin their operation to ensure the event is safe for everyone.

There will be drug-detection dogs at the entrance to the event as well as a drug testing van, RBT stops and extra General Duties patrols in the townships of Byron and Brunswick Heads.

While police have described the event as ‘very successful and well-managed’ by organisers in the past, they urged festival goers to act responsibly when it came to drinking alcohol and warned them not to bring in any illicit drugs.

“We will be targeting anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence at this event, which is no different to any others around the State. Our response is the same – to make it a safe and enjoyable event for everyone by targeting bad and illegal behaviour,” said Detective Inspector Shane Diehm, Crime Manager Tweed/Byron LAC.

“There will be drug-detection dogs at the entrance to the festival, so those who think they can get in carrying illicit substances can forget it.

“There’s a good chance you will get caught and your day will be ruined.

“And the police presence extends to the townships around Tyagarah. Anyone who gets drunk, violent or is a nuisance to others will be dealt with quickly by police.

“The festival and Easter is a very busy time in Byron and while we are experienced in dealing with the increased population and the traffic issues that come with it, we won’t tolerate people coming into the area and spoiling it for the locals who live here all year round.”

Detective Inspector Diehm also warned there would be significant traffic congestion throughout the whole of Easter due to the influx of festival goers and those in the area for the holidays.

“We just ask people to be patient. There are limited roads in and out of Byron and the traffic can be very slow during this time of year,” he said.