Noble vision for new-look festival

By MEGAN KINNINMENT

PETER Noble has promised the Byron Bay Blues Festival will never be the same again after splitting with his former partner Keven Oxford.

"If it's the same it stagnates," Mr Noble said.

"I wish Keven all the best, but I'm not satisfied with a pure Blues festival. I can't listen to the blues all the time. Who can?"

With Australian music industry heavyweights Michael Chugg and Glenn Wheatley backing him, Mr Noble yesterday said the 2005 festival could be the last at the Red Devils football field.

He outlined a vision to build a multipurpose entertainment facility at an undisclosed site in the Byron Shire which would host a number of other events as well.

"Chugg and I have been talking about this for years," Mr Noble said.

"We've got the land and we've talked to the RTA.

"If ever a place needed a site like this it's Byron Bay."

Michael Chugg backs him all the way.

"It's long overdue in this shire," Mr Chugg said. "There's always going to be a Bob Dylan trying to play here."

While he admits some of his acts, R.E.M and Coldplay, would fit into the Blues Festival, for now, Michael Chugg is content to just add his business expertise with a new e-ticketing system and travel packages providing accommodation for festival goers.

"Keven and Peter have created a great event. I see no reason to divert from that," Mr Chugg said.

Looking at the 2005 event poster, Mr Noble said he felt responsible for the break-up with Oxford.

"Blame me. I'm the one who brought in the new partners and I'm the one who wanted to see the festival grow, while Peter wanted to see it stay at the Red Devils and downsize it," he said. "I'm sure I'll be booking acts from Keven in the future."



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