Double celebration for Bluesfest
It was a major double-celebration for Bluesfest director Peter Noble last Thursday.
Byron Council gave its approval for the festival to be held at its Tyagarah site for the next 11 years, and this year’s festival was named Australian Event of the Year and also Cultural Event of the Year.
The awards were announced at the 2010 Australian Events Awards ceremony in Sydney.
A very delighted Mr Noble said the awards were a culmination of a lifetime’s work and a dream come true.
“Imagine our surprise when little old Bluesfest from sleepy Byron Bay won the nation’s Best Cultural or Arts event, let alone the Australian Event of the Year,” he said.
“I’m told this major win is an acknowledgement of what Bluesfest does year in and year out in sticking to our guns, retaining the integrity of our event and for what we provide back to Australian culture.
“And for that we are truly honoured and grateful.”
Some of the events Bluesfest triumphed over include the 2009 World Masters Games, Sydney Royal Easter Show, Microsoft Tec Ed 2009, the Australian Open Tennis and Sydney International FIFA Fan Fest.
The good news for the festival came after Mr Noble told councillors during a public access session at last Thursday’s council meeting that he needed a long-term consent for the festival to secure its future.
He said it had cost ‘millions’ to develop the Tyagarah site for the festival and if he couldn’t get security of tenure, his bankers could sell the site and bankrupt him.
After 21 years operating at ‘world’s best standard in our area’, surely it was time for the council to show its support and give him long-term development consent, he said.
Under the council’s approval, the festival will be allowed a maximum of 17,500 patrons a day for the next two years and 20,000 a day for festivals up to the year 2021.
Festival organisers will also have to complete an off-ramp to the festival site for southbound Pacific Highway traffic before the 2013 festival.
This year’s festival – the first at Tyagarah – was widely praised.