Second Bob Dylan concert in doubt

Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan.

BYRON Bay Bluesfest director Peter Noble has threatened legal action against Byron Shire Council to secure an extra performance by legendary singer Bob Dylan at next year’s music festival.

The extra Dylan performance, planned for Tuesday, April 26 , would extend the festival by one day, but was in doubt following a delay in Byron Shire Council planning approvals, Mr Noble said.

After tickets for Dylan’s Easter Monday performance at Bluesfest sold out, Mr Noble, applied to the council for permission to extend the festival to six days to hold another Dylan concert.

However, the council last week voted to defer a decision on the matter until the council’s next ordinary meeting in February.

“To wait until February would be too late,” Mr Noble said.

“I can’t enter into a contract with Bob Dylan until I know the extra day is approved. There are strict timelines when you have to negotiate with artists like Dylan. “I feel like this is a slap in the face. We’re constantly having to deal with a council who don’t care about commercial interests of local business.

“This will cost the local economy around $2 million in lost revenue at a time when people are doing it tough.”

If the matter is not decided by tomorrow Mr Noble said he would lodge an appeal in the Land and Environment Court.

Byron Shire mayor Jan Barham said the development application for an extra Bluesfest day had received a significant number of submissions from the public and councillors had to now wait for a staff report.

“I have made inquiries to see whether we can hold an extraordinary meeting to finalise the decision before February, but it all depends on whether the staff report is ready,” she said.

“This is nothing against Bob Dylan. We love Bob and I am a long-time supporter of the Blues festival,” she said.

“At this time of year council staff are dealing with a large number of applications and this one came in at very late notice. Peter has to understand that we can’t leap frog people. Nobody has refused his application yet and it would be unfortunate if he proceeded to court.”

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