July 22, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

The return of major music festival Splendour in the Grass, after a forced three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, has been marred by heavy rain in northern NSW, with the first day of the festival cancelled.

Organisers of the event posted the official cancellation news to its social media pages just before 2pm this afternoon. Major acts, including Australian Indigenous artist Baker Boy, were scheduled to start playing at 3pm.

“In the interest of patron safety and in consultation with all relevant emergency services, we have decided to err on the side of caution and cancel performances on the main stages today only,” the organisers said in their statement.

“Day patrons are asked not to attend to the festival today while we work on repairs.

“Please be assured that our event team is working very hard to provide the best experience possible under the current circumstances.

“We look forward to Saturday and Sunday programming moving ahead as planned.”

The Byron Bay area, where the festival is held, has received almost 19mm of rain today according to the Bureau of Metrology and festival organisers were forced to stop accepting campers into its planned camping area earlier today due to flooding.

Campers have been sent to another site nearby and will be able to take a shuttle bus to the main festival site.

The ABC is reporting that campers arriving yesterday waited up to 12 hours to enter the festival’s campground on account of the weather.

This is not the first hiccup for Splendour in the Grass in 2022, with an apparent late change to its liquor licence causing issues for up to 2,000 festival goers aged 16 and 17 who are now required to have a “responsible adult” attending the event to supervise them.

The music festival was expecting 40,000-50,0000 attendees at the event, with tickets selling out on the day they went on sale in December 2021.