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« Report on 2005 Blues Festival | Main | Blues fest: letter in the Northern Star »

August 12, 2005

Blues Festival rears its head again

Just when you thought that a meter of water over the site last month would have put an end to this crazy plan.

Peter Noble has an article in the Northern Star today, which appears below

There is also a section in the editorial, that calls for comments. Please could everyone who gets this pop off a short email to the Northern Star, you know the issues by now - noise, traffic, flooding, qld party goers etc etc

Send them to opinions@northernstar.com.au or call the feedback-line on 6624-3266

Bluesfest boss warns event could be lost

12.08.2005

By HANNAH ROSS

BLUES Festival boss Peter Noble wants the people of the Northern Rivers to get behind his vision for a local arts-based economy or risk losing the event to South-East Queensland.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Noble made no secret of the fact he had scouted South-East Queensland for a new site for the festival as it outgrows its current home at Red Devils Park at Byron Bay.

"We could instantly move up there and be successful, but that would be a sad day for Byron. If our festival couldn�t be accommodated here, what that says about Byron is a tragedy," he said.

While self-interest is a motivating factor in Mr Noble�s push to establish a permanent live arts site in Byron Shire, he said the idea was part of a bigger picture.

"Arts are our future. We are recognised as Australia�s regional centre for the arts. The only trail left behind arts events is a trail of dollars from low-impact arts tourism," he said.

Consultants are currently preparing reports on the suitability for live arts of a site at Tyagarah, north of Byron Bay.

Mr Noble said by January he hoped to host a public forum where people from the local arts community, music lovers, councillors and residents could discuss the matter.

"It�s time to have an open debate that involves the whole community. It�s time we had a place for live arts. I�m not trying to do anything bad. I have a vision and it�s a good one," Mr Noble said.

Side column:

The Grand arts plan
A noble vision for Byron Arts Venue
* The East Coast Blues and Roots Festival, sell-out daily crowds of 15,000
* Splendour in The Grass, sell-out daily crowds of 16,000
* Byron Arts festival, an event propsed by Peter Noble that would showcase the work of local musicians, performance artists, film-makers and visual-artists.
* One-off concerts by big-name touring artists.

What do you thin
Phone the Star Feedback line on 6624-3266 or email opinions@northernstar.com.au

EDITORIAL OPINION
Noble vision for area's arts site.

East Coast Blues and Roots Festival director Peter Noble is a canny operator

Mr Noble has a vision to establish a permanent live arts site in Byron Shire. He said the ideas was part of a bigger picture.

Consultants are preparing reports on the suitability for live arts of a site off the Pacific Hightway at Tyagarah, north of Byron Bay.

This could provide a home for the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival (sell-out daily crowds of 15,000), Splendour in the Grass (sell-out daily crowds of 16,000), a Byron arts festival and one-off concerts by big-name touring artists.

Mr Noble has also introduced into the debate the possibility that the Bluesfest would move to the Gold Coast or elsewhere if others failed to support his vision.

"Its time to have an open debate that involves the whole community. Its time we had a place for live arts. I'm not trying to do anything bad. I have a vision and it's a good one," Mr Noble said.

Visions can be a terrible things; they can turn into mere apparitions. However the Bluesfest has been a magnificent success story for this region. Mr Noble has set up a long lead-in time for the whole of the community to discuss his plan for a new site. His suggestion of an open debate should be supported.

The public should be able to talk about the pros and cons of the Tyagarah site without hysteria. Not enough is known about the site or what is proposed. One factor, however, must override all others: Does the site server the community as a whole? If Mr Noble benefits, that's great. But any large-scale outcome must serve the greater needs of the community.

Posted at August 12, 2005 12:00 AM

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