Peter Noble on Bluesfest: “The industry needs us to come back”
While festival promoters are emboldened by the Government’s promises of loans and a roadmap to when their events can be held again, Bluesfest Byron Bay takes a major step today.
It’s put early bird tickets on sale for a week, with plans for a first artist announce on July 8.
“Bluesfest is fully committed to presenting an outstanding event in accordance with government regulations,” organisers said in a statement.
Current rules mean only 7,500 seated patrons are allowed onsite although that, of course, would rise when more restrictions are lifted between now and April 2021.
Traditionally Bluesfest draws over 100,000 punters, making it one of the biggest in the world, according to Pollstar calculations and reports.
“Right now the only constant is change, and we are ready for it”, festival director Peter Noble said.
“We believe in music and we are coming back for Bluesfest 2021, not just for us, but because the industry needs us to come back.
“Our industry, the music business has its back against the wall. COVID has shut us down. Since the middle of March, almost everyone in our industry has received no income.
“As the festival director of Bluesfest and a music industry veteran I strongly feel that we must make positive steps to move forward and show the thousands of people that depend on us that there is a future coming – our industry and events will come back.”
Noble also acknowledges there will be more challenges ahead, and is confident Bluesfest will meet each of them, and that the live sector will be resilient enough to bounce back.
“We call on our industry to get behind us at this time because we are leading the charge,” he said.
“If we find that the internationals can’t come, we will add more Aussies. If we find the internationals can come, we might add more internationals.
“What our team is dedicated to doing is everything it takes to present Bluesfest Easter 2021 in a manner where it will be our most legendary festival yet.”
He emphasised there is no risk in patrons buying tickets for his event because “all monies will be securely held in a locked account should the unlikely need to refund becomes a necessity”.
“When purchasing tickets you can feel proud that not only are you supporting Bluesfest, you are supporting the greater music industry get back up on its feet and that’s something to sing about.”
As for the Federal Government’s $250 million arts and entertainment package, Noble has a forthright comment.
“This funding is desperately required by independent Australian music operators who have their backs against the COVID wall.
“Government should support the independents and recognise that the multi-nationals have the monetary reserves to ride this crisis through.”