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Byron Shire
February 28, 2021

Drum beats roll

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Jason van Tol, Myocum

Regarding Patricia Warren’s letter (27 January). I’m sympathetic to noise complaints – I too don’t enjoy listening to loud music throughout the night. The drumming often finishes a couple hours after nightfall and becomes quieter as it winds down.

Since it has moved to the surf club, and is even further from town, I doubt many people there can hear it at all. I could barely hear it from the ocean-side base of the footbridge; I’ve already explained why ‘the drum circle’ cannot apply for a licence.

But Ms Warren’s concerns do not exhaust ‘the issue’. Others have concerns too – that’s why it’s an issue, and I’d like her to focus on them. With regard to its continuity, The Echo ran a story (26 February, 2018) when Wawan Prahara died, who was a longtime icon of the drumming culture in Byron Bay. He told me it had been occurring in Byron for what is now at least 30 years. Other long-term residents attested to that, including Harsha Prabhu, sadly also no longer living in Byron, though his case was due to paucity of rentals and their skyrocketing cost.

The reason the drumming has migrated to Bruns is that Byron Bay has ceased to be a place of alternative culture, becoming instead a place primarily for the rich and tourists. So, ‘the issue’ resists a one-sided analysis; no doubt there are many more.


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