On Friday night, over a thousand Splendour in the Grass attendees were left stranded for several hours, when traffic gridlock and inadequate provisioning lead to a major shortage in shuttle buses. Buses to Byron Bay cost $10 one way, with prices varying to other areas depending on distance. Some patrons took to social media, stating they'd waited up to four hours in the chilly night air for a bus home.
That night, we left the festival 20 minutes before midnight, and were unable to get a bus to Mullumbimby until 1.45am. When the bus finally arrived, we remained stuck in traffic for almost another hour. One woman in the line told Time Out "I've been waiting here so long, I've forgotten all the good bands I saw."
Realising the situation was untenable, Splendour quickly re-worked its traffic management plan, and offered patrons free rides home on day two of the festival.
On Saturday night, the bus lines were more organised, with fencing to help control and arrange crowds, and more clued in staff – with megaphones – present to keep patrons informed. However, the long waits continued, as did the traffic gridlock as cars and buses waited to exit the festival grounds. Buses weren't clear of the festival site until well after 2am, and the waits for less popular lines like Brunswick and Mullumbimby were particularly long.
As the night wore on, the transport sped up. Overall, the situation was a significant improvement from the previous night.
An improvement does not, however, mean getting out of the site was a painless experience. Fearing the worst of the line, we walked two kilometres off site to get collected by car. Hundreds of others also made the trek off site. This year, it seems like non-campers are faced with two choices: leave the site early, or get home very late.