Bluesfest director Peter Noble says he has close to 10,000 signatures on a petition against the current Byron Council events policy, that will be tabled in state parliament.
Mr Noble claims that ‘the best part of 2,000 of the signatures’ are Byron Shire residents.
It comes in the week that Fairfax media reported that promoter Michael Chugg’s plans for an Elton John concert at Noble’s Tyagarah property was shelved because of the contentious policy.
The issue arose after the North Byron Parklands event site, which plans to host next year’s Splendour In The Grass, was granted a five-year trial period from the state government. That decision effectively excludes North Byron Parklands from operating under Council policy, unlike Mr Noble’s Tyagarah tea tree farm.
‘I believe that the ability to attend a one-day concert by artists such as Elton John, which is enjoyed at outdoor venues all over Australia, such as wineries, racetracks, dedicated venues and parks and gardens is something the council must address. There are issues of discrimination against live music in the current policy, and social justice issues of access to culture that are being ignored by a number of our councillors.’
The policy will be voted on again at the upcoming Council meeting this Thursday. Council staff have recommended ending the current restriction on the number of major music events to two per year.
Mr Noble has flagged he will consider going to the state government if the council decision goes against him.
‘The message Thursday, if the vote places my company in a significantly disadvantaged situation to our aspirations, will be clear: and it is that we should also have gone to the state government in the first place. And based on what occurs, that is exactly what we will be making a decision on doing regarding our right to trade responsibly in the arts in Byron Shire,’ he said in a media release this morning.