Paul McCarthy, Byron Bay
Over seventeen years ago Byron was overrun with buskers and there were not enough places to play, causing friction between Byron Shire Council rangers and buskers.
As buskers had no dedicated place to play I came up with with the idea of a mini-bandstand in Railway Park. I then approached the BluesFest people with the idea along with the idea of a busking competition – the winner was to receive a bag of 100 gold coins – good money.
Kevin Oxford and the Blues Festival people agreed that it was a great idea – so armed with plans etc I attended a council meeting to seek approval only to be told that the council had plans for a Railway Park upgrade.
I explained to council that this was needed now and that it would not cost them anything, only to be told ‘what if we go ahead with the upgrade; who will pay for its removal?’
Being a betting man I said that if Council went ahead with a park upgrade within two years I would pay the removal cost – a safe bet considering that now, over seventeen years later, the debate still rages.
The mini-bandstand started as a community space and should stay that way continuing to add a bit of colour to the Bay.
It was also around this time a Byron Bay saying started: ‘You need two ideas on everything in Byron Bay just in case somebody agrees with you’.