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PETER NOBLE (OAM)
BLUESFEST FESTIVAL DIRECTOR
Peter Noble has been working at a professional level in the music industry for over forty years. His significant contribution to the industry was recognised in 2014 when he was awarded the Rolling Stone Award for his services to Australian Music and in January 2016, when Peter Noble was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to live and recorded music, to tourism, and to the community.
Growing up in Sydney, Noble was drawn to the music industry at an early age playing in Rock, Soul and Blues bands during the sixties and seventies. His bass playing and business sense helped secure roles in a number of outfits including a stint in Clapham Junction, and as band leader for Marcia Hines, before moving to the US to work as a professional musician.Following extensive national and international touring, Peter settled in the USA and set up Portland Oregon’s first International Jazz Festival and was house booker at legendary venue ‘The Earth’.
Peter returned home to Australia at the beginning of the 80’s, and became a pioneer for Blues touring in Australia. Soul, Jazz, Blues and Reggae artists were finding a home, a promoter and a wide audience in Australia for the first time through Noble’s touring efforts.
He began booking international acts with the East Coast Blues Festival in 1990, and became a director in 1993. Peter coined the term Blues & Roots Music Festival in 1996 to encompass the growing reach and flavour of the festival – a term which would soon find common usage throughout the Australian music industry, typified when within 12 months the ARIA Awards created a Blues & Roots category as one of their major awards.Peter became a pioneer for Blues, Jazz, Roots and Indie Music touring in Australia, as well as running AIM Records; which became the first ever Australian independent label to win a Grammy Award.
Noble has worked in many areas of the music business including record producing, touring artists through his company Bluesfest Touring, artist management, setting up the Aboriginal Artists Agency in the early 70’s , event site development and festival presentations all over Australia and SE Asia.
Peter also collaborated with leading cultural creative Rhoda Roberts in 2013 to produce the first Boomerang Festival – a new world indigenous festival for all Australians held at the home of Bluesfest, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm. Noble has wanted to produce an Indigenous festival for many years and 2013 saw his dream realised. In 2016, the Boomerang Festival returns and will host its own space at Bluesfest and feature dance, language, story, talks & ideas, carving, weaving, and traditional healing programs.
As the Director of Byron Bay’s multi award winning music festival Bluesfest, which is celebrating its 28th Anniversary in 2017 Peter Noble has curated an impressive line up of Contemporary, Legendary and Blues & Roots artists to play at the festival over the years including: Kendrick Lamar, Bob Dylan, Robert Plant, Santana, The National, D’Angelo, Brian Wilson, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Joe Bonamassa, Bonnie Raitt, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Mavis Staples and Jason Isbell to name a few.
Bluesfest is one of Australia’s favourite as well as most successful music festivals, and has been hailed “The Greatest Music Festival on Earth” by Australia’s Channel 7 Sunday Night program watched by over 1 million people. Some of Bluesfest’s recent award highlights include the 2016 festival winning Gold in the Major Festival & Events category at the NSW Tourism Awards, the 2016 Best Regional Event at the Australian Event Awards, the 2015 Pan Australasian Festival of the Year at the Canadian Music Week International Festival Awards, five nominations in a row for the prestigious Pollstar Award for Best International Music Festival, including a nomination for the 2016 festival, multiple wins at the North Coast, NSW and National Tourism Awards, not to mention four Helpmann Awards for Australia’s Best Contemporary Music Festival and multiple A Greener Festival Awards, acknowledging the Festivals ongoing sustainability and environmental commitment. Bluesfest took home the Australian Event of the Year award at the Australian Event Awards in 2010 and Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event at the Australian Event Awards in 2014.
In 2010 Bluesfest moved to its permanent home, the community event site at the spectacular 120 hectare Tyagarah Tea Tree farm 11km north of Byron Bay. In February 2016, Byron Shire Council approved for additional events to be held at the site. The approval will allow for small events to be held on the site, primarily for community use, such as farmers markets and wedding receptions in the functions building to be built as a result of the approval and it will also allow the site to hold the Boomerang Indigenous Festival, once it becomes a stand-alone event. Furthermore Peter Noble and his team can now work on attracting one day concerts to the site.
Peter Noble spends his time working and living between the Byron Bay area and Bali and says “Life truly is an amazing adventure which I take on with wild enthusiasm on a daily basis”.