QLD Govt wasted no time, they've already contacted Bluesfest
BLUESFEST Director Peter Noble confirmed Queensland Government officials have contacted him about taking Bluesfest out of Byron Bay.
Speaking from Los Angeles where he is attending a music conference, Mr Noble confirmed his phone has been ringing non-stop after he penned a open letter to the NSW Government saying he may need to move Bluesfest out of the state after this year's 30th event if new regulations on music events is not discussed with the industry.
"Since that statement was made by me yesterday, the Queensland Minister for Tourism as well as the head of Major Events have said 'come talk to us'," Mr Noble said.
"This shows how we are viewed and valued.
"We have been applying for funding from Destination NSW for ten years, and you know what they say to us? They say 'we love your event (and) we understand you are an award-winning event, but your application won't get any money.
"All the money goes to Vivid Festival in Sydney that gets $30 million. However, we operate on our own money at the highest level we can; we have a full strict liquor licence and the support of police in our area, why should all that be taken away from us?"
Noble said departing from Byron Bay would be a very hard decision to make, but he cannot discard it at this stage.
"I don't want to leave Byron, I have built my life around Byron," he said.
"But I'll do whatever I have to do in the medium to long term to act in the best interest of Bluesfest. That's my job."
In 30 years operating, Bluesfest has recorded two deaths of patrons within the event, both due to natural causes.
Mr Noble is open to discussing with NSW Government all issues regarding protecting people's lives at Bluesfest, but he disagrees that Bluesfest can be labelled a 'high danger' event because of the number of people it holds.
"I acknowledge and I praise people in emergency services that help keeping people alive, but the average age at our festival is 30 so why are they trying to take our liquor licence from us?" he said.
"We've never had any violations in 30 years! We all need to take a breath and work on what matter here: that we have wonderful events in NSW and across Australia and we don't want to put events out of business while keeping people safe and entertained"