Byron?s blues set to stay at Red Devil Park
By MEGAN KINNINMENT
MICHAEL Chugg is chuffed.
The newly-appointed East Coast Blues and Roots Festival director yesterday described the 16th annual festival as: 'Fantastic, absolutely wonderful and trouble-free'.
He also confirmed the Blues would stay at Byron Bay, at Red Devil Park, for another year.
The announcement follows speculation that the festival, and the accompanying 75,000 people who file through the gates over five days, would be moved to a more permanent site at a 162-hectare tea tree farm at Tyagarah by next Easter.
Mr Chugg confirmed the move was still being considered, but not in the immediate future.
"We've announced that we are staying at the Red Devils for now," he said.
"There's nothing solid worked out about the future yet.
"But, obviously with a sell-out event, I think we have to look for somewhere larger."
As well as keeping the same venue for next year's blues, and, after seeing out his first festival as a new director, Mr Chugg said there was little else he would change about his new project.
"We were blessed with great weather and the crowds have been absolutely trouble-free," he said.
"It's not very often you get crowds that well behaved.
"There will be a few changes I'll make next year, maybe to the site layout, that's about it."
As the big-tops were pulled down at Red Devil Park yesterday afternoon, thousands of bleary-eyed festival-goers migrated into town ? wandering off to the beach, the streets, or melding into queues for the coaches that will deliver them back home.
And the entertainment that kept them happy over Easter was also on the move. The ferris wheel that entertained 3000 giddy revellers is on its way to Toowoomba for the annual agricultural show, the Mojo stage that played host to the Dave Mathews Band is off to Lismore for the Big Top under the Stars, and Michael Chugg and his headline act, REM, set off for their next gig in Brisbane.