21.4 C
Byron Shire
August 3, 2021

Are we the regional arts and festival capital?

Latest News

BB FC women close in on points championship

Ross Kendall The Byron Bay FC premier league women’s team have maintained their dominant position on the ladder after a...

Other News

Break and Enter at Cinemas in Byron Bay

Police say that shortly after 4.20am, yesterday, Sunday August 1 a youth forced open one of the steel gates of the Palace Cinemas Byron Bay.

Unnecessary divisions

Louise Andrews, Lennox Head Dear Mandy, an excellent article in The Echo (Soapbox, 21 July). It saddens me too to witness...

Northern Rivers responds to cal for COVID-19 testing

Following the flight of a COVID positive traveller from Sydney to Ballina and the detection of COVID fragments in the Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) both locals and visitors have responded to calls for more testing in the region.

Why the rush?

Jason Beaumont, Suffolk Park I wanted to respond the brain aneurysm-causing letter by one Sara Rath (21 July). The letter writer...

Cyclist dies in collision after refusing police request to stop – Casino

A cyclist has died following a collision with a vehicle after police asked him to stop.

Vehicle access to Unicorn Falls to close

President of the recently formed Byron Hikers Club says a ‘controversy is brewing’ around National Parks’ recently announced plans to close vehicle access to Unicorn Falls, located on South Chowan Road behind Upper Main Arm.

Bluesfest director Peter Noble. Photo Eve Jeffery
Bluesfest director Peter Noble. Photo Eve Jeffery

Mandy Nolan

Byron Shire should be the regional arts and festival capital of Australia: that’s the mantra of Bluesfest festival director Peter Noble, who recently took out the Best Regional Event at the Australian Event Awards for the second time.

‘People talk about the Byron brand,’ says Mr Noble, ‘and we, the creative industries, are also a big part of the Byron brand. I think we should recognise who we are to bring even greater wealth and prosperity to the region, and that is why I keep saying this and have done for 10 years. We need to adopt the slogan: “Byron, the Regional Arts and Festival Capital of Australia”.’

Peter believes that in doing so, we would be creating an even more hospitable climate for wealth, art and culture creation.

The way to do it, says Peter, is to get our local council to lobby state and federal members.

After his second win, Peter is a little despondent that in the last decade that this hasn’t already happened.

‘I have put the idea to them repetitively for 10 years, but now we have a progressive Green council and mayor, things might be different.

‘I think people would agree that we are the festival and arts capital of Australia, so naming us as such would just be saying who we are – this rap isn’t about blues festival; the fact I have won this regional event puts the spotlight on our region, and in my experience, you use these opportunities to advance these causes.’

Challenge to tourism

Peter believes that the tourism industry is slow to recognise the important role of arts and festivals in the region and is consequently slow to include operators in many of the conversations that might drive them forward towards a more unified income.

‘My business alone produces more income than the entire agricultural business of Byron Shire… that’s just my arts business alone. If you put the other arts businesses in with us, we would be up there challenging tourism.

‘They recently had a Byron Tourism Symposium here and not one event manager was invited!’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Great article, very well said Peter Noble! Lets hope things change for the better for Arts & Festivals in the future. Regards, Sky Blue, Director, Byron Latin Fiesta

  2. Good article Peter, I am in the United Kingdom where in effect we bring a piece of Byron Bay to Europe through our network which distributes “Byron Bay Skincare” . People perception of Byron Bay is one of natural beauty and relaxation. Yet there is a lot more to Byron Bay which is very attractive to people and they would find very attractive, so much so they would wish to go there.

    We could work together on this where there would be great benefit to Byron Bay.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Westerly winds challenge Tweed Valley sailors

Matt Andrews The experience of John Haywood and the other crew members of Capers triumphed in the winter westerlies and run out tide that greeted...

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 4 August, 2021

It's time to get out and see our wonderful performers whilst you can.

Interview with Ross Wilson, composer and Daddy Cool frontman

When the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Michael Gudinski and Sir Elton John call out a song as ‘one of the great Australian rock ‘n’ roll songs’, ‘one of the greatest songs of all time’, and ‘one of my favourite tracks’, then you know it was and still is, a hit.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: A Sobering Tale

Like most people I know alcoholism is in my genes. My father was an alcoholic. He drove drunk into another car, killed himself and an innocent man. He was 30. I’m 53.