Big Day Out & Soundwave ‘At Risk Of Not Coming Into WA’
Can somebody please get those goddamn kids of this guys lawn so we can all get back to our lives in peace?
Seriously. The ongoing festival saga in Perth continues today after earlier in the week the mayor of Claremont told the Big Day Out they are not welcome to return and openly admits he wants to ban all music festivals from suburbs the council controls.
Yesterday the conflict escalated when the council voted unanimously at a meeting to seek legal advice to figure out how to ban musical festivals permanently from Claremont Showgrounds.
But the Royal Agricultural Society who lease out the showgrounds to festival promoters aren’t taking the council attacks lying down.
RAS chief executive Martin Molony told WA Today (via FasterLouder), “(The festivals) are at risk of not coming into WA because the showgrounds which is the only venue I can think of which can accommodate 40,000 people right near a railway station.”
According to Molony other sites used by smaller festivals such as Arena Joondalup which hosts Future Music Festival, and McCallum Park which hosts Summadayze are too small to host large events such as Big Day Out and Soundwave.
Molony discussions with the Big Day Out, who plan on returning to Claremont Showground for a large scale event next year, are what sparked the furious backlash from local councillors.
Their ability to return to Claremont is critical to Big Day Out’s expansion plans as they try to turn the festival around after poor turnout and ticket sales for the 2012 event.
Molony believes both Soundwave and Big Day Out may pull out of Western Australia altogether if they are prevented from using the venue.
“Every other local government and state government in Australia openly supports these festivals, because of the huge economic benefits,” he said. “A small local government should not have the authority to decide whether festivals can come here or not.”
The council are sticking to their guns however, pointing to anti-social behaviour and the breach of noise restrictions as the reasons they are pushing for the ban.
Claremont council chief executive Stephen Goode is pointing the finger firmly at the RAS for failing to enforce noise restrictions imposed by the council.
Slipknot and System Of A Down were of particular annoyance apparently at Soundwave this year, with Goode accusing the festival of breaching the 72 decibel limit and regularly having a decibel reading in excess of 80.
The council claimed yesterday that they had written to Soundwave asking them to explain the breach and were assessing their options whether the prosecute the festival.
The council has also gone on the record in an attempt to justify their witch hunt saying they believe that the ban of live music events from the showgrounds is what ratepayers would want.
But any ratepayer that was initially on their side may be singing a different tune when they find out how much money the city will loose if live music events are canned.
According to PerthNow, more than $1 million in parking fine revenue was collected from Subiaco Oval and Claremont Showgrounds in the last year. In fact the council reaped a whopping $22,950 just from parking fines at Soundwave.
Last financial year the council raised an extra $100,000 from parking fines at music festivals than they did the year before, and figures from this year reveal Claremont has already made more than $171,000 from parking fines at the showgrounds.
“I’m not embarrassed at all by the amount of money the town pulls in from parking fines at these events,” Claremont Mayor Jock Barker said. “In this day and age, drivers seek to blame everyone else, including the town, for their bad behaviour. We only fine drivers if they are doing something illegal.”
Mayor Barker did not however say how the council plans on filling the funding gap that would be left if music festivals such as Big Day Out and Soundwave did not return to the showgrounds.
It’s a tough gig running a festival taking years of experience to learn how to pull it off without a hitch – and even then you can’t predict the weather or how wasted the crowd will be. Join us as we count down the biggest disasters to strike the Australian festival market. Watch this slideshow »