Noble: Bluesfest remains 'a great bargain'
BLUESFEST may only last five days, but for the festival supremo Peter Noble, is currently in New Zealand touring with some of the event's artists, because the festival may only last five days in the Byron Shire but, for him, the touring and festival can last weeks.
It's been 30 years since the first event was headlined by Charlie Musselwhite and his band.
In three decades, the festival has changed layout and location but remains a place to see quality music stars and discover stars of tomorrow. those who will be at the top tomorrow and are ready to be discovered by Australian audiences.
Still, Noble said Bluesfest remains "a great bargain”.
"Not everybody can jump on a plane and buy accommodation and come to Byron Bay every year, but still the festival offers the best value for money, when you look at all the artists playing across all the stages.
"I think a day ticket to Bluesfest is about $200. You pay more than double to get a good seat for John Mayer. People just don't get the incredible value that they are getting for money at Bluesfest.”
The Bluesfest organiser said the music industry has changed, and Bluesfest has to change with it, and that's the reason for new fees and extra charges that have appeared not only at Bluesfest, but across the music industry.
"We charge what we feel is a fair fee or ticket price, however it's gonna keep climbing.
"People may not like that, but we are in a situation where artists are wanting more money every year. Otherwise we just can't present the headliners, the Jack Johnsons and the Iggy Pops.”
Don't expect Bluesfest to move away from its quintessential music core offer. Noble said the music will continue being at the centre of what they do.
"Bluesfest is a music festival, we are not trying to be anything else. We focus on the music, on what's going on onstage,” he said.
"But after every Bluesfest we look at what we are doing. We've had a similar set up in our site for almost a decade.
"We added stages and we moved some around, but we may just sit down and review what the future of that site is going to be, and everybody knows I've made statements about where the future of Bluesfest is going.
"We will always be taking the best outcome as we see it for the future of our festival.”
We asked Peter Noble how he gets such high number of music stars to converge in Byron Bay every year.
"To put it simply, there are two festivals in Australia that really rank overseas, and that is Splendour and Bluesfest. Splendour, of course, is a more contemporary festival. Bluesfest books everybody, we book contemporary and we book the other artists.
"Through hard work, we have been fortunate enough to have gotten to a position where so many artists are asking us if I would have an interest to bring them.”
Noble said those conversations happen a year or two years before the artists even goes on stage, and a lot can happen between that conversation and Bluesfest.
"I'm currently in conversations with an artist wanting to play not only the 2020 festival but the 2021 event. I have a bunch of offers for Bluesfest 2020 that I have been able to get in the last couple of weeks,” he said.
It's a two speed job, he said: There is a festival this week, but at the same time Bluesfest is also a touring company.
"We are now booking the third and fourth quarter of 2019 for our touring company, so for us it's full on and never ending,” he said.
Bluesfest Byron Bay is at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, from today to Monday.