Yours and Owls 2017 the 'best' festival yet with 14,000 ticket-holders over the weekend

The fourth instalment of Wollongong’s biggest music festival finally has organisers content, labelling this year as the “best” one yet.

A record number of 14,000 ticket holders marched through the gates at Stuart Park for Yours and Owls across Saturday and Sunday.

“It’s been fantastic - everyone knows what they’re doing, locked in and gone so well. The site feels great, everything about it has just been amazing,” co-organiser Ben Tillman said. 

“It feels incredible.”

He said this year was the smoothest running event, acknowledging problems from previous festivals (such as sound equipment not working) were a learning experience.

“The first three were kind of trialling things out .. some things worked something didn’t,” he said.

“Last year we got to a set up we were happy with but there were still a few little things that weren’t as tight as they could be. This year was about consolidating and refining.”

Read More: All the faces, fun and fashion from Yours and Owls

Most festival goers were well behaved but there were a small few who got into trouble like this man who got up on stage during Wavves' set . Picture: Georgia Matts

Most festival goers were well behaved but there were a small few who got into trouble like this man who got up on stage during Wavves' set . Picture: Georgia Matts

MISBEHAVIOUR

Wollongong police are yet to confirm any arrests though their presence was not as intense as 2016.

The vibe from patrons was considerably chilled and Mr Tillman put that down to their campaign for people to look out for each other.

He said the team had put a lot of effort into communicating with music fans to not to do anything “stupid”.

“It’s kind of worked, everyone is looking after themselves and looking after each other and … there hasn’t been anything disgusting,” Mr Tillman said.

Read More: New open mic night in Gwynneville

Allday performing at Yours and Owls on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts

Allday performing at Yours and Owls on Saturday. Picture: Georgia Matts

NOISE COMPLAINTS

The sound at this year’s event was loud and clear with some Illawarra residents as far as Balgownie and Fairy Meadow able to hear each word sung crisply, to the distaste of some.

However Mr Tillman said as concert operators they adhered to all requirements and had sound monitoring in place.

“It sucks that some people are affected by it but it’s sort of a tough position really, because you want the people at the festival to feel and hear the music the way they’re supposed to as well,” he said.

The fun may have be done and dusted within 48 hours but the preparation for a festival of this size goes on for months.

Organisers said the main stage had the same counterweight as that of Elton John’s used at WIN Stadium last week, but around half the amount of staff.

More than 60 musical artists performed across four stages at Yours and Owls, plus live screenings of both the NRL and AFL grand finals. Picture: Georgia Matts

More than 60 musical artists performed across four stages at Yours and Owls, plus live screenings of both the NRL and AFL grand finals. Picture: Georgia Matts

PUTTING IT TOGETHER

While of the 60-plus artists each would have anywhere from three road crew up to around 20 for the headline acts.

“There’s a lot of people involved on top of in-house festival guys of course,” Mr Tillman said.

Those concerned about the state of Stuart Park after thousands trampled around the grounds need not worry as turf matting was put down in high traffic areas.

“We have been working to ensure the least impact as possible. Due to low recent rainfall the ground is hard and grass is dry, so our impact should be less than if it were to be soaking wet (like last year),” Mr Tillman said.

Overall the hardest task of executing such a festival, he said, was putting all the elements together and making sure it worked functionally.

This story Noise issues addressed by Wollongong music festival organisers first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.