BDO, Soundwave “at risk of not coming to WA”

The man in charge of running the Claremont Showgrounds, Royal Agricultural Society chief executive Martin Molony, has attacked the council for its “elitist” stance which he claims it threatening the future of the festivals like Big Day Out and Soundwave in Perth.

Molony has told WA Today that if a solution to the standoff can’t be reached festivals are “at risk of not coming into WA because the showgrounds is the only venue I can think of which can accommodate 40,000 people right near a railway station”. According to Molony, Arena Joondalup (which hosted the Future Music festival earlier this month) and McCallum Park (where Summadayze was held last year) are too small to host the events.

Yesterday we reported that Claremont Mayor Jock Barker is determined to crack down on the festivals claiming that Soundwave breached the volume restrictions “excessively” and that the council had received complaints from people from as far away as Subiaco and Mosman Park. Claremont council chief executive Stephen Goode has revealed to WA Today that Soundwave had breached the 72 decibel limit and was “regularly monitored at more than 80 decibels”.

Big Day Out promoter Ken West admitted earlier this year that the 2011 Big Day Out had breached the previous noise abatement regulations in Perth “to a minor extent” during the Tool and Rammstien sets. However he was also critical of the introduction of a new noise abatement act in Perth, which had been introduced after the Big Day Out 2012 tickets had gone on sale. According to West the “council and venue were not appreciating the fact that you can’t just keep loading costs on and make it impossible for us to stage a show.”

FasterLouder tried to track Jock Barker down for comment but the mayor wasn’t answering his phone this morning and then refused to answer our questions via email. In a brief reply this afternoon Barker told us that he has “nothing further to add to my comments as already published… Mr Malone [sic] comments do not represent the facts as they stand. If the sound levels were as approved and the antisocial behaviour stopped we would have no problems. Many concerts are held and present no problem.”

However, if Claremont loses the festivals Barker will need to think of some new money spinning ideas for the council. In May last year Perth Now reported that “The City’s revenue from parking fines for music events jumped by more than $100,000 last financial year, including from festivals like Big Day Out, Stereosonic and Good Vibrations Figures reveal Claremont has made more than $171,000 from parking fines issued at the showgrounds so far this year.” According to the report, Claremont council raised a staggering $22,950 just by booking punters attending last year’s Soundwave festival.

Commenting on the fines in an interview with Perth Now last year Barker declared “I’m not embarrassed at all by the amount of money the town pulls in from parking fines at these events. 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.”