January 22, 2007
Bluesfest boss scouting for site Bluesfest boss scouting for site
According to the Northern Star, Peter Noble is on the hunt for a site for the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival again, "121 acres within 15 mins of Byron Bay". Hopefully he's learned from the flooding during last year's festival how unsuitable his previously chosen site in Tyagarah is. Gray's Lane was waste deep during the festival, which should have been enough to trigger an evacuation of the site!
You have to wonder ... if it was just for the Blue's festival, why the site that Splendour bought near Yelgun is unsuitable, but on the other hand if its for multiple events all year.....
Read on for the article from the Northern Star.
By HEATH GILMORE
New location has to be big and close to festival’s home base of Byron Bay
PETER NOBLE has big plans for the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival — a 121 hectare site only 15 minutes away from downtown Byron Bay.
The Bluesfest supremo is again scouting for a local site after passing up an opportunity to buy a Yelgun land holding, or possibly move even further north.
This opportunity was taken up by the Splendour in the Grass promoters, who lodged a development application for the Yelgun site this year.
Buoyed by the reaction to this year’s Bluesfest line-up, the promoter agreed to a wideranging interview about his dream for a 121-hectare site, love for his dead best friend’s wife and an unlikely business relationship with the late gangster rapper Tupac.
Mr Noble, who had mooted the possibility of moving Bluesfest outside the area, revealed for the first time that a heartfelt lunch with Byron mayor Jan Barham convinced him to stay put.
"We decided not to go ahead with the Yelgun site that the Splendour people bought. We pulled out of negotiations on it, and partially the reason is because I sat down and had a coffee with Jan Barham," he said.
"She said, ‘Peter, please don’t leave Byron, you are the iconic event here. You mean a lot to our town. We don’t mind you being 15 minutes away, just don’t be 30 minutes outside town. Then it’s not Byron any more.
"And her point was strong. And I said, ‘Gee, I hope you were not the only one to support that’."
Mr Noble said he wanted a big enough site for five stages, camping and increased comfort for patrons.
He said this area would be developed to minimise its carbon footprint in the region and maximise the use of solar power, recycled water and composting toilets.
"There is something else about the event for the town, the majority of the town, because there are detractors, they are proud of it. A little town, Byron Bay, is the centre of this huge music festival.
"My search for a site around Byron is pretty well documented. Once we get the right site we will turn it into a real festi- val. It’s got to be on a big enough site with all the questions answered for traffic management and sound levels.
"Who knows where it’s going to go. But I know we are going to be on our own site in five years."
Mayor Jan Barham said her lunch with Mr Noble after the 2006 event was a ‘post-mortem’ to follow up on new measures to control traffic, noise and crowd behaviour at Red Devil park.
She said the festival had become the icon for Byron Bay’s cultural identity, however, few viable sites remained that could be developed as proposed by Mr Noble
Posted at January 22, 2007 7:41 AM
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