Bluefest's beating of drum has mixed tone

AS organiser of Byron Bay's Bluesfest Peter Noble jubilantly celebrated yesterday when Byron Shire councillors gave the nod on holding the iconic event at Tyagarah over the next three years, there would have been many jumping up and down in disgust.

It has been an issue that had been heavily debated in the region and one Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham obviously supported. So much so she used her casting vote to get it through.

The Easter long weekend at Tyagarah will never be the same again. Some positive concessions were gained. Councillor Tom Tabart won support to keep planning control over the festival in local hands. This should be applauded.

Another concession granted was ensuring the entrance to Grays Lane is restricted to residents and their guests for the duration of the five-day event. This will surely appease locals. And the agreement to enforce strict noise restrictions will be a boon to those who are opposing the move on these grounds.

Many will argue against this decision due to the facts the area is flood prone, and the social impact of holding the festival in this location has not been fully investigated.

But the 17,500 plus people coming from all over the world to attend Bluesfest won't care about any of this as they groove to the music and leave their indelible mark on our region.



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