IT WAS a carnival atmosphere but the message was deadly serious.
Before an estimated crowd of 5000 at Lismore's Riverside Park, the Northern Rivers was on Saturday resolutely declared gasfield free and "protected by community".
The declaration has no legal weight but the ceremony provided plenty of symbolism, with a wide cross-section of the community there in support.
Speaker Annie Kia said the event was a "pivot point in our history".
"Genuine mass movements are rare in history but you know you've got one when fencing contractors tell Metgasco they don't want their money," she said.
Following the declaration, those gathered moved marched through the Lismore CBD.
Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Bill McKenna said the crowd was well behaved.