The Samba Blisstas face being drummed out of their weekly practise sessions in the Bangalow Showgrounds because of a single complaint.
The Samba Blisstas face being drummed out of their weekly practise sessions in the Bangalow Showgrounds because of a single complaint. The Northern Star

Samba Blisstas to pack up their sticks and move

A BANGALOW-based percussion group may have to take their 'rhythms from the streets of Brazil' to a new rehearsal venue after a local resident complained about the noise made by their weekly rehearsals.

The Samba Blisstas have been rehearsing in the Moller Pavilion at Bangalow Showgrounds for four-and-a-half years, sending drum beats echoing across the village most Tuesday evenings.

But the percussion group have angered one nearby resident, who has lodged a noise complaint with Byron Shire Council.

"We're offended that they're offended," Samba Blisstas founder and musical director Paul Barrett said.

"There has been one complainant who sees us as 'offensive noise'.

"We have a solicitor within the Samba Blisstas who said we could argue a case that we're not offensive noise because we've had people telling us they feel guilty for not paying to be entertained every Tuesday night," he said.

Mr Barrett said the Bangalow Park Trust, who manages the showgrounds, had received a direction from Byron Shire Council to stop the percussion group rehearsing there.

"There was no negotiation or dialogue. The council officer didn't measure sound levels so it's just opinion."

The Northern Star contacted Byron Shire Council but they were unable able to respond yesterday.



Mr Barrett said Bangalow was centrally located for the 40 to 60 members of the group, and if they were kicked out they would need to find another home.

"This will have a big influence on people's lives. We have everyone from teachers and midwives to farmers and fisherman. It's a celebration and a social gathering," he said.

One of the Samba Blisstas who drives from Meerschaum Vale every week is retired business woman Josephine Saunders.

Ms Saunders said the showgrounds had been a part of the culture in Bangalow for 107 years and residents moving to the area should accept its cultural heritage.

"It's a real shame. If someone has moved in they must know they are near a showground where there will be racing cars and kids making noises. Should that be changed by one person coming in?"


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