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Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Don’t stop the music

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Apparently, the letter regarding the cartoon political statement accompanying the advertisement for the Rails gave some citizens the false impression that one is opposed to large-scale music festivals. Given the fact that my entire life has been a blur of gigs and music festivals, I cannot comprehend anyone forming the opinion that, if elected mayor, one would attempt to ‘stop the music’. The letter was merely one exercising my right to express the fact that I found the Rails cartoon offensively inaccurate – as the cartoon effectively implied that Byron Bay local residents (including myself) do not exist and that the village of Byron Bay is nothing more than a licensed venue.

This Byron Bay citizen did not benefit one iota from Splendour. In fact, as I have been barred from the Northern Hotel for three months for allegedly being ‘repeatedly quarrelsome’ (lodging three complaints in regard to being the victim of inappropriate behaviour), I was prohibited from seeing one of the Splendour acts, with whom I am acquainted, play in the back room of the Northern. This Byron Bay residential citizen tolerated a lot of Splendour-related crap – including driving around and around and around looking for a parking space (the barring from the Northern Hotel making the Rails carpark no longer an option did not help the situation) and a gang of males using my vehicle as a drum kit when I was obliged to stop driving from the Arts and Industry Estate into town because a large herd of Splendour youth was roaming over the road. I was prepared to tolerate the inconveniences associated with / for benefit of the kiddies having fun at Splendour in the mud – after all, I have invaded numerous country towns in order to attend various music festivals (Blues and Rockabilly Festival at Narooma is good). Being more of a blues/swamp rocker – and not wanting to wallow in the mud – I did not attend Splendour. The Splendour chaos coupled with having a sulk about not being able to see the bands at the Northern, inspired one to make the executive decision (too late to pick up a cheap airfare) that a four-day shopping fest in Melbourne would solve a few problems simultaneously – including being able to watch Melbourne bands play. I went to Melbourne – and will plan/book ahead next year.

Should one be elected the mayor of Byron Shire, I would like to ensure that the music continues – within the limits of realistic expectations in relation to the fact that Byron Bay is a small coastal country town and not all local residents are as addicted to music as I. Remembering my first ‘rock festival’ – which included Lobby Lloyd and the Coloured Balls, Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs (yes, I am that old), I would like to see a return to a more simple music festival setup with two stages angling slightly inward – band plays on one stage whilst the other stage is being set up for the next act; fewer acts – but the punters get to see every act on the bill (ie punters do not pay for acts they cannot see owing to there being too many stages and too many acts). I would suggest a Byronian Music Festival – each band/act must have at least one member who is a residential citizen of Byron Shire. Bigger is not necessarily better – as demonstrated by Mullum Music Festival.

Morgan – music lover and candidate for (Byron) mayor.

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