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To preserve and enhance the cultural environmental and social sustainability of the Tyagarah Area and its inhabitants

« Echo Letters: Bluesfest changes | Main | Echo Letters: No to big events »

March 8, 2005

Echo Letters: Pros and cons of relocating the Blues Fest

It is hard to imagine that
anyone with an interest in the
social environment of Byron
Bay could support the
recently revealed plan to
locate a permanent venue for
outdoor rock concerts at

What could be more
destructive to the environment
than 30,000 people
converging on a small area
with no infrastructure,
10,000 of them camping?

How can the effect of noise
pollution from such an event
on animals in the immediately
adjacent national park, let
alone nearby residents, be
brushed aside?

Proposals like this warrant
the same dispassionate evaluation,
whether the applicant
is a multi-millionaire in a
suit, a multi-millionaire in a
pair of jeans, or anyone else.

The social fabric of Byron
Bay is fast being destroyed by
the constant infl ux of people
with no real motivation
behind their visit than a
desire for a good time. Mayor
Jan Barham is correct in
pointing to the need for
Byron Bay to shake off its
‘party town’ image and
attract more families and
people respectful of Byron’s
unique environment.
Outdoor ‘musicfests’ do not
go far down this path.

This proposal appears to
involve far more than an
alternative site for the Blues
& Roots Festival. The underlying
goal appears to be to
establish an outdoor venue
for international and major
local acts where the promoter
gets the revenue from all
aspects of the event down to
but not including the sale of
drugs. With a licence to print
money, you can bet there’ll
be regular pressure for an
increased frequency of events.
Council has more pressing
matters to deal with than to
ad dress this every six

Byron Shire does not need
the kind of notoriety these
events will bring, or the low
revenue, high impact tourism
that comes with it. Let the
promoters move to the Gold
Coast or to a struggling town
that needs it.

Stephen Huntsman,
Byron Bay

Posted at March 8, 2005 12:00 AM

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