Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Got No Time to Be Blue; 30-Year Veteran Still Passionate about Festival

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Got No Time to Be Blue; 30-Year Veteran Still Passionate about Festival

Article excerpt

Byline: Tania Phillips

OVER the past 30 years the Byron Bay Bluesfest has become more than a music event, it has become a cultural experience and integral part of both the Australian music calendar and North Coast music culture.

And the man who has been at the helm for a big part of those 30 years, Peter Noble, who splits his time working and living between Byron and Bali, is still as passionate as ever about the festival and music.

"Life truly is an amazing adventure, which I take on with wild enthusiasm on a daily basis," the Grammy winner and festival director said.

"I have a great team around me, which means basically my workload isn't what it once was and I don't want it to be. I want to enjoy this festival too."

That doesn't mean he isn't working hard. Noble was in the US scouting out talent for the 2020 festival - just weeks before 2019 even happened.

But that is what it takes to create Australia's most awarded festival - an event that has taken out both music and tourism awards in large quantities, brought some of the biggest names in music to the country and brings large numbers of tourists each year to Byron and a large number of music fans to its side concerts in both Melbourne and Sydney.

The event started 30 years ago at the old Arts Factory (known colloquially as the Piggery) at Byron Bay as the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival.

Back then Noble's main interest was as a promoter, bringing bands to town. It wasn't until 1994 that he officially became a director of the event.

"This is only my 26th festival," he joked, though that is more than enough festivals to have Noble awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for service to live and recorded music, tourism and the community. It is also more than enough time to have him earn the "Keeping the Blues Alive" award from The Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee. …

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