FLYING HIGH: The scene at this year’s Byron Bay Bluesfest which is to be transferred to Tyagarah next year following yesterday’s council decision.
FLYING HIGH: The scene at this year’s Byron Bay Bluesfest which is to be transferred to Tyagarah next year following yesterday’s council decision.

A new tune sets stage at Tyagarah

THE ORGANISER of Byron Bay's iconic Bluesfest threw his hands up in delight yesterday after Byron Shire councillors gave the go-ahead to holding his event at Tyagarah over the next three years.

“It's a victory for arts and culture in our region,” Bluesfest director Peter Noble said outside the Byron Shire Council chambers in Mullumbimby.

“We are Australia's favourite anti-pop festival,” he said. “I can't wait. We'll be working on that site tomorrow.”

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham used her casting vote at yesterday's council meeting to approve the Bluesfest application to hold the 2010 festival over the Easter long weekend at Tyagarah.

The move to Tyagarah from the Belongil Fields site has been a controversial one and Councillor Tom Tabart gained support for changes to the proposed consent conditions to keep planning control over the festival in local hands.

These included reducing the number of daily festival-goers from the 20,000 the organisers had asked for to 17,500 in line with previous years.

The consent period was also reduced from five to three years.

The entrance to Grays Lane east of Tanner Lane will be restricted to residents and their guests for the duration of the five-day event and strict noise restrictions will be enforced.

But four councillors voted against the proposal, even with the changes suggested by Cr Tabart.

Cr Patrick Morrisey said the grounds were simply too flood-prone for such a large number of people and public access to the beach would be unfairly restricted by the festival.

“I think everyone agrees that it's flood prone,” he said.

“However, the applicants think they can get 20,000 people there and manage their safety in any flood event.”

Cr Morrisey was joined by Crs Ross Tucker, Tony Heeson and Basil Cameron in voting against the application to transfer the festival.



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