a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Scenes from the 2015 Byron Bay Bluesfest.© Phil Bacon
Scenes from the 2015 Byron Bay Bluesfest.

The Red Tea Detox

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has responded to a risk from the director of the award-winning Byron Bay Bluesfest to maneuver the occasion interstate, insisting pricey new pointers geared toward “excessive threat” music festivals don’t apply to it.

The competition’s director Peter Noble issued an open letter to the NSW authorities on Monday, declaring that if new pointers go forward, Bluesfest would don’t have any alternative however to depart the state.

“Bluesfest could be celebrating our final competition in NSW ought to the sitting NSW authorities proceed with its plans,” he wrote within the letter.

“Despite the fact that we’re Australia’s most highly-awarded competition each nationally and internationally, having gained Greatest Main Occasion on the NSW Tourism Awards three years in a row … and in representing NSW we got here in second within the Australian Tourism Awards … Beating Victoria’s F1 Grand Prix … we’ve got been designated a ‘high-risk occasion’.

“This can value us a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars} to adjust to a coverage the place we and each different occasion on this state have had zero alternative to have any session or enter.”

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Talking with the Herald on Tuesday, Mr Noble mentioned his cellphone had been operating sizzling all day, and that he was nonetheless contemplating transferring the occasion to Queensland or Victoria.

“Each the states of Queensland and Victoria do not need these pointers or something even approaching them. In truth, they spend money on music and the stay arts. NSW wants to return an terrible means alongside to start out doing the identical factor to the degrees of the states surrounding them are doing. They’re falling behind, and but they’re patting themselves on the again on the similar time,” he mentioned.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Premier insisted Bluesfest was not the goal of the brand new interim pointers created in response to a sequence of drug-related deaths at music festivals within the state, and that organisers of the “implausible competition” had nothing to fret about.

“That competition has been going for 29 years, it’s a implausible competition, it’s low threat in order that they don’t have something to fret about, and I wish to make that clear,” Ms Berejiklian mentioned.

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“The modifications that are available in from March are to do with these high-risk occasions the place we’ve seen loss of life, or critical harm and that’s the place we count on folks to lift their requirements.

“I don’t need anybody who’s been holding a competition for a very long time to be apprehensive, this isn’t geared toward you, that is geared toward these folks at high-risk festivals that previously haven’t finished the suitable factor.”

a man smiling for the camera: Byron Bay Bluesfest director Peter Noble.© Sahlan Hayes
Byron Bay Bluesfest director Peter Noble.

Nevertheless, the federal government’s personal doc outlining the brand new threat evaluation pointers by way of a factors system (whereby 70 factors signifies “excessive threat” and 110 factors and above signifies “excessive threat”) suggests in any other case.

Bluesfest chief working officer Steve Romer mentioned in line with the factors offered by the federal government, after including up the chance factors from simply 4 classes – out of a complete of 18 – the competition had already hit the variety of factors indicating “excessive threat”.

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The competition’s measurement (greater than 50,000 patrons), the truth that it’s a music competition, that it takes place over a number of days, and that it has on-site tenting, instantly locations Bluesfest over 110 factors.

The Premier’s declaration that Bluesfest is “low threat” raises questions on how the federal government’s threat evaluation pointers apply to different festivals.

Mr Romer mentioned he was “thrilled” that the Premier had back-tracked and indicated Bluesfest wouldn’t be caught up within the new guidelines that he mentioned have been the results of a “rushed assessment”.

“I believe the federal government simply wanted to press pause, seek the advice of with leaders of the trade. The session actually wasn’t there. That is why we have landed the place we are actually.

“I am happy we’re right here, that we’re being listened to. We’re leaders and professionals in our trade, and it is a very helpful trade to the state economic system in addition to the Australian economic system.”

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