A decision on whether Bob Dylan will play a second concert at Bluesfest is expected to be made today at a special meeting of the Byron Shire Council.
A decision on whether Bob Dylan will play a second concert at Bluesfest is expected to be made today at a special meeting of the Byron Shire Council.

Decision on second Dylan concert

A DECISION on a planned second Bob Dylan concert at this year’s Bluesfest is expected to be made today.

Byron Council has called an extraordinary meeting for this morning to deal with an application for a sixth day to be added to the festival to accommodate the legendary singer-songwriter.

While the council’s ecologist doesn’t support the extra day because of the unknown impact it might have on the local koala population at the festival’s permanent Tyagarah site, the council’s executive manager of environment and planning, Ray Darney, has recommended the Section 96 (DA variation) application be approved.

The council’s deferral of the application before Christmas led to a war-of-words between festival director Peter Noble, who threatened court action, and the council which got national media coverage.

Mr Noble said the second Dylan concert had been provisionally booked and if he couldn’t get an answer from the council by the middle of January, he expected Dylan would ‘make other plans’.

He said because of the Anzac Day public holiday falling when it did, the application for a sixth day was a ‘one-off’.
Byron Mayor Cr Jan Barham said criticism of the council over the issue had been unwarranted.

Cr Barham said that the council, which had always supported Bluesfest, had to follow proper planning processes.

A report to councillors said the relatively minor amendments to the site layout included extending the festival site to the north and relocating camping areas to the centre of the site.

The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) said it had no objections to the extra day being added to the festival, but it should be restricted to this year’s event only.

The festival has approval for 17,500 people a day, including on-site campers, for the next two years.

That figure will jump to 20,000 a day from 2013 to 2020.


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