Peter Noble - Festival Director, Bluesfest and Founder & CEO, AIM Records (AUS)

Peter Noble is the festival director for Australia’s BLUESFEST held every Easter in Byron Bay’s tranquil beachside community. A highly awarded and much loved international event, “Bluesfest” began in 1990 and will soon commemorate its 20th anniversary with a huge celebration in 2009. Fittingly for such an occasion, Bluesfest 2009 will also be held at its new home of Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, on new land purchased by the festival team 9kms north of Byron Bay. Bluesfest is an international and national multi-cultural festival with emphasis on a family atmosphere, environmental responsibility, and simply the best the planet has to offer across blues, roots, jazz, soul and world music. For a regional event, Peter is immensely proud that Bluesfest has, in unprecedented fashion, become one of the most highly awarded festivals in Australia. In 2005 and 2006 Bluesfest won the Helpmann Award for ‘Australia's Best Contemporary Music Festival'. And between 1994 and 2008 Bluesfest has consistently won Rhythms Magazine readers poll for ‘Australia's Best Music Festival'. The exception was 1997 when it came in second! In 2007, Bluesfest won the international AGreenerFestival award, recognising its outstanding long term commitment to the environmental and sustainability needs of the local community. Many of the regular international artists who play at Bluesfest (Taj Mahal, Ben Harper, Michael Franti, BB King etc) believe the event is one of the best two of three in the world. This honour was further recognised when in 2006 and 2007, Bluesfest was nominated for ‘International Music Festival of the Year’ by the esteemed US based Pollstar Concert Industry Awards, shortlisted in the top five festivals in the world alongside Glastonbury and The Montreux Jazz Festival. No other Australian festival has yet been nominated by Pollstar! Aim Records founder, CEO & Grammy winner Of course, there’s more to Peter Noble than Bluesfest. When not booking tours and festival line-ups, Peter runs Aim Records, the label he owns and founded in 1981. In a major historical development in February 2008, Aim became the first ever Australian independent label (non-major affiliated) to win a Grammy Award! The Grammy was for Zydeco legend Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience and his Aim album Live! Worldwide winning in the ‘Best Zydeco Or Cajun Music Album’ category. In another first for an Australian indie label, Aim was also nominated in 2008 for a 'Best Tropical Latin Album' Grammy for the release Greetings From Havana by Cubanismo – a category eventually won by Juan Luis Guerra. Over the years, Peter and Aim Records have produced recordings by Sonny Stitt, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Herb Ellis and Ray Brown, Henry Vestine (Canned Heat), Marva Wright and The Wild Magnolias. A career in music But where did it all start? Peter Noble grew up in Sydney, Australia and found himself 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 (read gig booker) for Marcia Hines. In 1972 Peter took up residency at the National Black Theatre in Sydney’s indigenous community of Redfern. Being exposed to a rich cultural heritage of art, dance and music led to Peter co-founding the Aboriginal Artists Agency. Peter left Australia in late 1974 at the age of 24, intent on expanding his horizons and music education in the United States. He played in bands for four years touring the west coast, mid-west and Canada before heading into the industry side. Setting up base in Portland, Oregon, Peter found work with a theatrical agency booking local area bands and venues, working with acts such as BB King, The Ramones and Sun Ra for the first time. The agency continued to back Peter’

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Appearing at:
  Break Out Panel Sessions - FESTIVALS - how do you get a slot and then get the most out of the experience?

Q Music gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support received from
Arts Queensland, The Australia Council for the Arts and APRA (Australasian Performing Right Association).