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Originally published 02Aug2009



Blues Festival at Tyagarah?????? (from our own correspondent: tyagarah (at)

This may be a surprise to you, but Byron Shire Council is about to rush through approval for future Blues Festivals to be held at Tyagarah.

There is considerable speculation that the lack of coverage of this issue (compared to Splendor at Yelgun) in the Echo & BayFM is due to the visits by the Blues Fest's owners and lawyers after coverage of the acquisition of the site. Also, there have not been any recent public meetings on the issue, because after the legal threats against the person who chaired the last meeting, no-one else is willing to chair one.

Can you think of any benefits such mega-festivals bring to Byron Shire? Gigantic parties bringing in more people than the total population of Byron Shire is hardly what local residents need. The impacts on residents of Tyagarah, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Byron Bay are obvious – noise pollution, crowding, traffic congestion, safety issues, drug and alcohol issues.

We should insist that Council address the impact of mega-festivals on Byron Shire. And a festival of 20,000 people per day is a mega-festival, even though Jan Barham may not think so. Certainly, reasonably sized Byron Shire community festivals situated on Council-owned land could be a good thing for Byron Shire, but not an invasion on this scale of people from out of the Shire.

Council is to address this issue, and approve or deny the D.A. at an Extraordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday, 5th August. Public access is from 9am to 10:30am, and then the decision will be made sometime after 10:30. Please come and express your concerns, and help prod our Councillors towards a sane decision in this matter.

More details of the BluesFest Development Application are on Council"s website at

If you can't come then please let councillors know how much you care for our environment and community and are concerned - councillors" phone numbers are on the website at

The following letter has been sent to the Echo, but due to the short notice of the event is unlikely to be read by most of you before the meeting.


Blues Fest again! While everyone has been sitting back relaxing and thinking the Blues Fest site at Tyagarah has been forgotten, guess what it has been approved by council staff and will now go to a meeting at Council this Wednesday at 10.30am.

What are our concerns??
The site backs on to the Tyagarah nature reserve, how will that be protected? What will be the fate of the Black faced wallabies, Koalas, Echidnas, snakes, possums and wildlife.

Traffic to and from Mullum. All traffic on to the proposed site will be from the overhead bridge north and south. Dont like your chances of going anywhere quickly if you live in Mullum.

Grays Lane access for local residents. The D/a claims there will be no right hand turn from the Highway. Great, we can queue up along with all the festival goers when we want to come home.

Grays Lane is already a nightmare with flooding, potholes and corrugations. What will be the impact on this already overloaded road when festival goers discover how close the beach is? Also Illegal camping up Grays Lane and in the Nature Reserve.

Those of us who live here know how quickly the area floods. Grays Lane has been known to flood overnight. How will they evacuate 20,000 campers if it floods quickly?

Easter is a major time of heavy traffic, living here I know how difficult it can be to merge into the fast flowing highway traffic at any time. I wonder how it will be for festival goers trying to get to their accommodation via the highway when drug or alcohol affected.

At our last council elections several councillors stood on a platform of "no large scale festivals". Hopefully these councillors will remember their commitment to the local residents.

And anyway, why does there have to be 2 large scale festival sites proposed for this area? Council has a new site along Ewingsdale Road which has been allocated for sports fields. If Splendor and the Blues Fest are really serious about 1 festival per year each why cant this site be used for the festivals where people have walking access to several camping areas and to Byron itself, which after all is the name that brings people here.

If you live in Mullum, Bruns or Tyagarah this site at Tyagarah will have a major affect on you so if you have any concerns then turn up at the council meeting on Wednesday 5th at 10.30am to let our councillors know our concerns.

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