SETUP: Organisers of the Omega Festival posted this photo on their Facebook page prior to the rave, which started on Saturday.
SETUP: Organisers of the Omega Festival posted this photo on their Facebook page prior to the rave, which started on Saturday. Facebook

UPDATE: Rave goers took turns using pit as toilet facility

UPDATE 4:45PM: ORGANISERS of the unauthorised Omega Festival never made an application or contacted the Tenterfield Shire Council about the covert and large-scale event planned for the long weekend.

Tenterfield Shire Council general manager Damien Connor said council staff only became aware of the planned festival through other avenues early last week.

He said staff undertook some preliminary investigations and confirmed that was the case and worked closely with police and neighbours to get an injunction at an emergency sitting of the land and environment court on Friday afternoon.

Safety criteria needed to be met

Mr Connor said anyone who holds a major event, which 3000-6000 people qualifies as, needs to get a development application from the relevant council demonstrating a range of safety and enmity criteria have been met.

This includes security, emergency medical response, bushfire safety plans, basic amenities like toilets and drinking water, noise impact, parking, local road impact, hygiene, sewerage management and environmental impacts to name a few.

Mr Connor said despite the requirements, lodging a development application was not an "onerous task".

"If you're going to bring 5000-6000 people into a place and charge them to do so, then I think it's the least you can expect that people will put in the work to be able to ensure their safety at the event and the comfort of the people who own properties next to and around it," he said,

Open pit as a toilet

It's understood that amenities at the last-minute Newton Boyd site were so poor, rave goers were taking turns to use an open pit as a toilet facility.

Mr Conner said it was first time in his decades of local government career that he had "seen something like this."


UPDATE 2.45pm: TRIBUTES have been posted on social media for 24-year-old Northern Rivers local David Gallagher, who died at an unauthorised rave on the weekend.

Elysia Piliero posted a picture of a sunset in Ballina and wrote: "This sunset is for you tonight David Gallagher.

"Today the world lost a beautiful soul and a soul that was far too young to be take.

"I know we hadn't seen each other or spoken in a long time but thanks for the good times and all the laughs.

"People will remember your love for life and living it to the full, and the way you could light up any room with that infectious laugh."

Kyaila Nolan wrote: "Rest well in the starts my brother.

"I will always remember some of my best childhood memories with you.

"You were the kid down the road who was so fun and adventurous. I could barely keep up with you.

"You made me laugh and my family smile and laugh. I will always remember you.

"You played a huge role in who we are."

Kylie Warner said: "Sorry my dear nephew I wish I had known you better."

"Another one lost too soon, my love goes out," Chris Peel said. "As you always said 'spin to win'.

Alex Key wrote: "R.I.P David Gallagher. You will be missed by all (and I) can't believe it's true, rest easy brother."


UPDATE 12.50pm: THE names of the organisers behind the 'illegal' Omega Festival at Tabulam have been revealed, after Tenterfield Shire Council's notice of motion to have the original event shut down was put online.

Alie Budd from Cairns is listed as the first respondent on the Land and Environment Court document, along with Jubullum Aboriginal Land Council and another company.

It's understood Zacharyoyo Mor and Chaice Bud were also involved in the organisation of the festival.

Zacharyoyo Mor, who went to SAE Institute at Byron Bay and lives on the Gold Coast, lists his work as Prog Stomp

Productions which actively promotes the Omega Festival as one of its events on social media.

Chaice Bud, who went to Innisfail State High School and now lives in Byron, says he is the owner-operator at Omega Festival. 

Attempts have been made to contact the organisers, however no response has been received.


10.15am: ORGANISERS of the unauthorised rave where David Gallagher lost his life stood to gain close to $1 million from ticket sales.

The Omega Festival website priced 'final round' ticket sales for $185.

Police from the Richmond Local Area Command estimated between 5000 and 6000 tickets had been sold for the three-day long weekend event by Friday.

The Omega Festival was originally planned to be held on Jubullum Aboriginal land at Tabulam.

However, Richmond police were able to shut down the festival after establishing the Aboriginal Land Council had not granted permission for the 'doof' to be held on their land, making it illegal.

Richmond LAC chief inspector Nicole Bruce told the Northern Star there would be a continued police presence at the Tabulam site to prevent the illegal doof going ahead, citing a number of safety and medical concerns.

But organisers ignored police warnings and covertly relocated the doof to a private property on Blacksmith Shop Road at Newton Boyd, west of Grafton, where an estimated 2500 people attended.

Coffs-Clarence LAC crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said the organisers of the festival only cared about the money and had no regard for human life.

"They only see kids with dollar signs on their foreheads," he said.

"They don't have appropriate security, they don't have appropriate medical staff and obviously being isolated means they are significantly heeded as far as emergency service access.

"It's devastating to now see that our warnings, in regards to these types of events run by backyard operators without the proper safety or compliance, has resulted in a young man losing his life."

Det Insp Jameson said the community should be "as outraged as I am" about the death.



TUESDAY 9.30am: The 24-year-old man who died at an unauthorised festival at the weekend was former Byron Bay High School student and Green Pigeon man David Gallagher.

Police are investigating whether or not a drug overdose was the cause of death after drug paraphernalia was found in the car near the deceased.

Despite the death, organisers refused to shut down the festival after police requests.


MONDAY 4.15pm: A 24-YEAR-OLD Green Pigeon man lay dead in his car for several hours in broad daylight while festival goers continued to dance 200m away.

The death occurred at an illegal "doof" party which sprung up on an isolated private property at Blacksmith Shop Rd at Newton Boyd, west of Grafton, after the original event, planned to be held at Tabulam, was shut down by Richmond Local Area Command police.

It was a tragedy police had been hoping to avoid after shutting down and maintaining a continued presence at the original Omega doof site at Jubullum Village, where an estimated 5000-6000 tickets had been sold.

But organisers ignored police warnings about safety, and relocated the three-day doof at the last minute.

Coffs-Clarence LAC crime manager Detective Inspector Darren Jameson said he had never seen such "disregard for human life" in his 26 years of policing.

"It concerns me greatly ... that not only will the organisers not cease the event but the people attending the event continued dancing around the area whilst a young man lost a life right in front of them," he said.

"Locally we're aware that these are drug-fuelled events where large quantities of drugs are openly consumed."

Det Insp Jameson said the main drugs were alcohol, cannabis and illicit substances.

"The real problem is polly-drugging where they mix alcohol and cannabis as well as other drugs and those cocktails of drugs create significant risk," he said.

An investigation has been launched into the man's death.

He had already been dead for several hours when emergency services were notified at 2pm on Sunday.

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