Locals fume as Byron Bay celebrations get out of hand

Brooke Rolfe
·News Reporter
·3-min read

Masses of revellers have left behind a trail of destruction in Byron Bay after wild holiday celebrations got out of control.

Thousands flooded the NSW north coast holiday spot on Wednesday night and were filmed partying shoulder-to-shoulder into the early hours of the morning at the town’s waterfront Apex Park area.

Raucous antics were captured and shared to social media, with one huge crowd filmed dancing on the roof of local fish and chip shop, Fishheads, located next to Apex Park.

Some speculated the crowd were taking part in the filming of a music video for American rapper Necro, but owner Ralph Mamone said that rumour was false.

Mr Mamone told Yahoo News Australia the video was taken in the early hour of New Year’s Eve and those involved “unfortunately took it a little bit too far”.

Thousands gathered at Apex Park in Byron Bay to celebrate the new year. Source: Instagram
Thousands gathered at Apex Park in Byron Bay to celebrate the new year. Source: Instagram

“They were taking shelter under the awning [from the rain], then they decided to take shelter above the awning and it turned into a bit of a party,” he said.

“The awnings are concrete and they didn’t really do any damage,” Mr Mamone said.

“They made a bit of a mess, but we cleaned it up pretty quick the next morning. No one was hurt, that’s the important thing, and there wasn’t any real damage done.”

Byron Bay residents described the partying of tourists over the holiday week, including New Year’s Eve night, as “out of control” and “an absolute disgrace”.

Many locals were outraged over the scale of the mess left behind for others to clean up.

One was mortified after seeing a video of the party, and recalled seeing smashed glass throughout a playground in the town’s centre.

“I’m all for having a good time but just blatantly f****** up people’s business etc is pathetic. Go home or have some respect. Some of us actually have to live and function here,” he wrote to a Facebook group.

“Today on my walk into town I picked up 45 bottles and cans. Many of them smashed!! They could not care less!! It's very sad,” another local wrote on Friday morning.

“This is unbelievable. I’m so scared for our businesses... they will all go ‘home’ and we will be in lockdown,” another wrote.

Sydneysiders holidaying in Byron Bay

Others said a huge number of revellers had travelled to Byron Bay from Sydney, where two separate clusters of coronavirus cases have continued to grow.

“Byron Bay is currently full of Sydneysiders,” one wrote to Twitter.

“I live in Byron bay and every second person here is on holidays from Sydney. So annoying,” another said.

Several called on tourists to be banned from visiting based on how many issues they created for the area,

Piles of broken glass and rubbish collected from Apex Park at Byron Bay. Source: Facebook
Piles of broken glass and rubbish after the December 30 party at Byron Bay. Source: Facebook

Some expressed concern coronavirus case would skyrocket in coming weeks, with crowded scenes of chaos being reported not only in NSW, but in Victoria and Queensland as well.

“I wonder how this is going to turn out.... no social distancing, no masks, not enough police. I already don't want to see the numbers in a fortnight,” one said.

Crowds appeared in blatant breach of coronavirus rules dictating a 100-person limit on outdoor gatherings in regional NSW.

There were also chaotic scenes in Melbourne’s CBD last night as partygoers flocked to Federation Square and St Kilda Beach despite an emerging cluster of coronavirus.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.