Bluesfest Director Peter Noble.
Bluesfest Director Peter Noble.

'You saved our company': Incredible decision saved Bluesfest

THE story of how Bluesfest was saved as a business, despite this year's event being cancelled, is a story about resilience and years in the business.

Bluesfest director Peter Noble spoke about the festival after the government ban on events of more than 500 people was announced.

"I have never seen a team of people more loyal and dedicated than in our office," he said.

"We had to get the messages to the public, the artists, the suppliers and we contacted our insurance company to appoint a loss adjuster, and they did that within a day.

"On Tuesday morning, that person was on a 20th wedding anniversary in Mauritius, but that person got back in touch with us.

"By Thursday, our claim had gone to Lloyds of London to refund our ticket-buyers, and we expect that to be settled within weeks, not months."

The event organiser explained how he and his team experienced a moment when they had to check on the viability of the company after the cancellation of this year's festival.

"We are fortunate to have an insurance policy, and we took the extension for pandemics," he said.

"There is a person in my office, in the finance area, and that person took the decision of taking the insurance extension.

"We all looked at her and I said 'you saved our company'.

"I'm sure I was asked about it at some point but she is the person who made that decision."


Musician Jack Johnson and Bluesfest director Peter Noble at the 2019 festival.
Musician Jack Johnson and Bluesfest director Peter Noble at the 2019 festival.


The long-term viability of Bluesfest is important for the Northern Rivers.

An economic impact report undertaken by Lawrence Consulting showed that the 2019 event brought $59.1m to Northern Rivers' economy.

Mr Noble is already working on a Bluesfest 2021, and as of Friday, 41 of this year's 70 artists had confirmed their intention to be part of the next festival.

"We are not going on sale until everything has been addressed in terms of refunds about this year's festival," he said.

In the meantime, Peter Noble may consider reactivating an old project: Bluesfest TV.

He owns hundreds of hours of live performances of Bluesfest artists over the years, and with many at home looking for online distraction, that may just be the way to go.

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