FAMOUS FACES: Well-known performers at past Byron Bay Bluesfests include Chris Isaak (above) and Paul Simon (right).
FAMOUS FACES: Well-known performers at past Byron Bay Bluesfests include Chris Isaak (above) and Paul Simon (right). The Northern Star

Bluesfest boss wants more events at festival site

AN application to substantially extend the number of events held at the Bluefest's Tyagarah site is currently being considered by Byron Shire Council.

It seeks consent to establish a Community Events Facility comprising use of the site for a wide range of events, with the availability of camping if required.

If approved, the application would allow for a maximum of 10 large event days a year - between 15,000 and 25,000 people; a maximum of 10 event days a year - between 2,000 and 15,000 people; and any number of small events - of no more than 2,000 people.

Byron Shire Council said the Bluesfest DA went on exhibition on January 6 and closes on February 2.

Council's executive manager of planning Ray Darney said the exhibition time frame was extended for an additional two weeks to allow for the holiday season and numerous requests from the community.

Mr Darney said it was a very detailed DA and some of the key issues to be considered included koalas and local amenity from potential impacts such as noise and traffic.

"A revised Koala Plan of Management for the site has been submitted and is currently being assessed by Council officers and will also need state government approval," he said.

"Staff have already received a number of phone calls from the community and about 30 submissions so far."

Bluesfest director Peter Noble told The Northern Star the Tyagarah venue was "not just another festival site" but had the potential to be a multi event venue.

"I have always said I'm looking to build a community facility," said Mr Noble.

He said florist, boat and home shows, basketball games and Scout jamborees could be held at the site. He also favoured a major use of the site as a wedding reception centre.

Additionally, the site could hold four or five concerts a year and continue with the Boomerang Indigenous Festival and Shakespearean Festival, he said.

"I see it as a great asset to the community. A place where people can go and do all the things people want to do."

He said a "sophisticated" community deserved such a venue and added that Bluesfest brought millions of dollars into the area and created jobs.

In a written objection to the council, Tyagarah resident and civil engineer Tony Baggio said: "We may need to apply to council for a name change from Tyagarah Reserve to Byron's Kings Cross Party fields.

"We totally object to the proposal of multiple large events, as we are constantly bombarded by sound that vibrates our walls… we resent the road and ramp closures … we do not appreciate having to drive in the Bluesfest queue in order to access our own driveways, we do not appreciate the trashing of our garbage bins, the defecating on our lane or the trespassing of venue patrons on our land," wrote Mr Baggio, who also expressed concerns about the impact on the koala population.

Geolink Environmental Management and Design, of Lennox Head, who prepared the application for Bluesfest, has submitted a Social Impact Assessment with the DA that it says included consultation with local residents and in-depth research into the nature of events. The assessment, conducted by Tricia Shantz of TS Consultants, states: "Consultation took place on the basis of having the subject site as a permanent events site with no identification of the number/type of events."

A total of 55 letters were sent out to adjoining residents, businesses, complainants of the existing event on site, community organizations, various government services and agencies.