Concerns for new Coolangatta beach festival

12th October 2017 1:36 PM
SandTunes on Coolangatta Beach on December 1-2, 2018 will be the largest event of its kind to be staged on a Gold Coast beach, feature two stages and cater for up to 35,000 people on the stretch of sand between Kirra and Greenmount. SandTunes on Coolangatta Beach on December 1-2, 2018 will be the largest event of its kind to be staged on a Gold Coast beach, feature two stages and cater for up to 35,000 people on the stretch of sand between Kirra and Greenmount. Che Chapman

THE prospect of a two day beach concert approved for Coolangatta Beach in December next year is anything but music to the ears of the southern Gold Coast's largest business group.

The Gold Coast City Council gave approval for TEG Dainty, US partner AEG and local partner Cross Promotions approval for US music brand Hangout to stage SandTunes on Coolangatta Beach on December 1-2, 2018.

It will be the largest event of its kind to be staged on a Gold Coast beach, feature two stages and cater for up to 35,000 people on the stretch of sand between Kirra and Greenmount.

Division 14 councillor Gail O'Neill and Division 12 councillor Pauline Young voted against the proposal.

Cr O'Neill raised concerns about the impact the festival would have on local businesses and the amenity of Coolangatta at the start of the Christmas holiday period.

"I am all for music festival but in the right places and I don't think this will be beneficial to Coolangatta,” Cr O'Neill said.

"It will take up a large portion of the beach between Coolangatta and Greenmount, cause major traffic disruptions and impact on the beach for about four weeks in setting up and dismantling.

"I really don't think councillors voting in favour of this have thought it all through properly.”

Also voicing opposition to the festival was Greater Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce president Hilary Jacobs who expressed disappointed that more consideration of those concerns wasn't supported by the wider group of councillors.

"If the same event was proposed for Broadbeach or Main Beach would the level of support have been the same?” Ms Jacobs said.

She said if the event did indeed go forward, the Greater Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce would be seeking to protect the businesses in the whole area impacted by SandTunes.

"We will seek protection of the use of the local community amenity and will be seeking to encourage mitigation and improvement of the infrastructure, services and provisions which will inevitably be required to accommodate such a large and long event,” she said.

"We will also be seeking to ensure that no rate payer funds are expended to line the pockets of what is essentially a commercial event.

"Our office has already heard from local businesses who are not permitted to sell alcohol at any event on the beach and yet this event will be selling alcohol for 10 hours a day for two days on the beach.

"We are aware that while this is only a two-day event there will be changes made to the whole area for up to four weeks prior to the event.

"The local businesses rely on the availability of parking, accommodation and regular visitor trade to survive.

"Any event which impacts all of these areas and then diverts all of the visitors to the area to an alternative event for two days, and which is not adding to the mix, but is replacing the mix, has the potential to damage local business.

"We would encourage anyone with a view on this matter to contact the Chamber of Commerce and to consider join the Chamber now so we can best represent the wider views of business community in the Kirra to Coolangatta area.”

The Chamber has sought to meet with the proponent of the proposed two-day event at Coolangatta in December 2018, however this meeting has not yet happened.

To get in touch with the Chamber email president@gsgc.org.au or call during business hours on 5534 6722.