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Byron Shire
May 14, 2021

Drumming circle

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Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads

Either deliberate or otherwise, the article ‘Bruns drumming circle outside capitalist logic’ ([ITAL]Echo 30.12.20) failed to capture what led to the signage the drummers are complaining about.

Drummers may have argued that they held a ‘spontaneous event’, ‘bumped into friends’, ‘have a clear unity based on rhythm’. Whatever the argument, it attracted hundreds of people to, either actively or passively, participate in a public open space and recreational area.

Their repetitive behaviour continued to encourage this in spite of any notion of social distancing etc. Where does the responsibility for that fall?

Then, there was the inescapable beat of the drummers.

It was heard as far south as Pilgrim Park in Brunswick Heads. Anyone on South Beach Road/Laneway would have had to endure the repetitive beat for hours.

Those holidaying in the Terrace would have been denied any sense of quiet enjoyment.

Along Banner Park, the drumming could be heard as a backdrop to the music from the pub.

But unlike the pub, which has spent considerable sums of money to truncate their noise impact, the drummers showed no such consideration.

Thus the signage and now the ‘cost’ to all who had previously enjoyed quiet enjoyment of Torakina Park!

Drumming may have been part of the Byron Bay scene, but not that of Brunswick Heads circa 1986 to recently.

If they have been moved on several times, then what are the signals being given here?

As for excusing the drumming on 27 December on the grounds that it wasn’t an ‘event’, I would encourage people to read the wide scope of the wording in the Crown Lands Management Regulation 2018.

It would give the police the right to interpret whether or not this was an ‘event’.

I’m disheartened by the claim that the drumming circle ‘defies capitalist logic’.

Those are ‘boo words’ for effect. They are not a defence for perpetuating an ‘event’ that knowingly attracts a crowd and reeks of no social compass, including its impact on the adjoining neighbours.

Personally, I would like to see the drummers using Durrumbal Hall, which I’m told was built for such purposes?


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