Oakbank music

The organisers of the proposed Groovin the Moo are running out of time to make their music festival an annual reality at Oakbank – this year at least.
They have passed the first planning hurdle and won endorsement from the Adelaide Hills Council’s Development Assessment Panel (DAP) but they need the approval to be signed off by the State Government’s Development Assessment Commission (DAC) before their festival can become a permanent fixture at the Oakbank racecourse.
Even if they successfully argue for the DAC to make their application an urgent priority, the quickest they can expect a decision is mid February.
Then, being a Category 3 application, the public has three weeks to lodge an appeal and take their grievances to the Environment, Resources and Development Court, which in turn can lead to weeks of waiting for mediation.
With some residents unhappy about noise levels signalling their misgivings to festival representatives after last week’s DAP meeting, it will be interesting to see if the announcement on the national line-ups for Groovin the Moo festivals, expected to be released today, lists Oakbank and the April 25 Anzac Day event among the 2015 program.
If it doesn’t, it would be shame for the young music fans in SA, and for the profile of the Hills.
Events like Groovin the Moo introduce a new audience to the region.
It would also be a blow for the Oakbank Racing Club which, in the face of declining attendances at its race meetings, is under increasing pressure to find alternative revenue streams to remain viable.
But it doesn’t mean that the festival should be approved without proper scrutiny.
No-one – organisers or local residents – are under any illusions that an 11-hour music festival with two main stages is going to make a huge amount of noise.
What residents seem to be unhappy about is the lack of transparency about how much noise is going to reach their homes and the lack of accountability on festival organisers if the event continues to deliver the level of inconvenience they found intolerable last year.
It is an issue that more lead-in time and better consultation with residents might have saved Groovin the Moo valuable time.