Wheatley?s got the blues

By MEGAN KINNINMENT

GLENN Wheatley, one of the biggest names in the mainstream Australian music industry, has been confirmed as one of three new partners to take over the Byron Bay Blues festival.

The Northern Star can exclusively reveal Wheatley will join Micheal Chugg and Daryl Herbert, of Definitive Entertainment, as festival partners with Peter Noble, after Blues Festival founder and director, Keven Oxford, last week announced he was leaving the company.

Wheatley, Delta Goodrem's former manager and mentor, also manages Australian rocker Jimmy Barnes and top-selling singer John Farnham.

He has been also tipped as a judge for the 2005 Australian Idol series.

Michael Chugg Entertainment also promotes some heavyweight names in the music industry, including the tours of The Who, Tina Arena, Bob Dylan and Australian Idol winner Guy Sebastion.

Also involved will be music promoter Daryl Herbert, of Definitive Events, which manages the Melbourne Music and Blues Festivals.

The change of ownership heralds an entirely new direction for the Byron Blues festival, which Keven Oxford began as a laid-back, four-day event in 1990 at the Arts Factory.

While that event drew an audience of 6000, after moving outdoors to the Red Devil's football park in 1993 the festival has grown into an internationally recog- nised music festival, which now draws capacity crowds of 14,000 a day.

The 2004 event has been recently nominated for the prestigious Pollstar Concert Industry Awards, to be held in Los Angeles in February.

Keven Oxford has cited personal and professional reasons for his departure from the festival, and will announce his future plans soon.



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