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Grinspoon guitarist attacks policy

Grinspoon guitarist and Bangalow local Pat Davern.
Grinspoon guitarist and Bangalow local Pat Davern.

GRINSPOON guitarist and Bangalow local Pat Davern said he believed a new policy to restrict music festivals in Byron Shire could hurt the local music industry.

When Grinspoon was unearthed in Lismore in 1995, there were more opportunities for artists to break into the music industry.

"In 1995 people used to buy records but people don't buy records anymore and thank God people can't download a concert ticket because if they could I wouldn't have a career," Mr Davern said.

He said an amendment to Byron Shire's Local Environment Plan could restrict other musicians who are trying to start out in the Byron Shire.

The council amendment means only two major music events, such as Bluesfest and Splendour in the Grass, could be held within the shire each year.

"It's a huge part of a musician's income to be able to play festivals," Mr Davern said.

"But it seems like they don't want these big events to be held here anymore."

Byron Shire Council's executive manager of planning, Ray Darney, said the proposed amendment should not affect the growth of new festivals.

"It will not be difficult for smaller music events and council is open to receiving applications for smaller events in line with the current policy and the LEP amendment now under consideration," Mr Darney said.

But Mr Davern said music festivals need to be encouraged to bring more tourism to the region as well as supporting the local music industry.

"From a punters point of view the more options to see music and a wider diversity of festivals in the area can only be a good thing."

Topics:  bangalow bluesfest byron shire council grinspoon



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