New Years Eve
Safe community celebrations
The Project Brief
Byron Bay Experience is engaged by primary stakeholders: Byron Shire Council and Byron Community Centre to curate Byron Bay’s NYE festival ‘Soul Street’.
The event is part of a community services initiative to create a safe and community friendly drug and alcohol free atmosphere for NYE. The event must be a family-friendly, main street event incorporating activities specifically targeting young people. Each year there is an estimated 10,000 people of all ages in attendance. The main street is to be closed at 6am to begin set up, the length of the street must be transformed into a festival site by 3pm. The event runs from 4pm until 12.30am. Fire works are not permitted.
Byron Bay Experience is responsible for the festival site design, across-site styling, sound and lighting production, stages, artist selection & contracting, marketing & media, graphic design, signage design & placement, programming, on the day artist liaison and stage management.
1yr-100yrs local families, toddlers, teenage party goers, parents, middle aged party goers, elders.
We need interactive activities to keep all ages entertained for the entirety of the event. It needs to be so engaging that the typical behaviour of excessive drinking and being destructive is superseded. We need to create a magical Byron Bay wonderland where people of all ages dance and play together in the streets.
We need to facilitate the retention of that energy as the sun goes down and not allow the mood to change after dark.
We need to infuse the heart of the town with good vibes and laughter as the whole community, in unison, rings in the new year with a sense of togetherness and joy.
We need to work closely with operations to ensure things are safe for 10,000 pedestrians, prams, wheelchairs, skateboards etc without compromising the aesthetic or goals.
The Roll Out
Six months were spent in planning and preparation. We programmed an exhilarating assortment of 60 performance artists across 3 beautifully designed stages. Roving performers and carefully selected food and merchandise stalls created a dynamic streetscape for adults and children to enjoy as they flowed through the site. Stalls and activities were selected on the basis of their interactive nature and were spread evenly across the target demographic.
Careful consideration was put into designing the site lighting and performance schedule to create an engaging and enchanting mood that transitioned from day to night and didn’t lag in energy at any time.
The site styling was ‘tropical boho’ to give an excitable sense of holiday to the locals. We added aspects of a ‘village fair’ feel to foster the sense of good old fashioned fun and community set amidst Byron Bay’s dreamy bohemian culture.
We have now been Creatively Directing this event for 2 years with feedback from Byron Shire Council and the police that there has been 0% crime rate for both NYE events.
Watch the film to see how it rolled out. Did we nail the brief?
soul street festival
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