REAL DEAL: Big touring acts, like Missy Higgins, pictured, are finding Yamba to their liking and are turning away from Grafton.
REAL DEAL: Big touring acts, like Missy Higgins, pictured, are finding Yamba to their liking and are turning away from Grafton.

Big acts hit the coast


GRAFTON is in danger of continually missing out on big name touring acts to Yamba, if something isn't done to entice them to back to the Jacaranda City.

That is the view of concert promoter John Logan, who said Yamba was becoming more and more pro-active in the market, at the expense of Grafton.

"Grafton is really in danger of becoming irrelevant on the national touring scene, if it's not three-quarters of the way there already," he said.

"The town just isn't getting those big acts. There's very little on offer in Grafton and acts just aren't asking about coming to Grafton, they're asking about coming to Yamba."

Speaking in the week when Missy Higgins and 28 Days played at the Yamba Golf Club, Mr Logan said the competition in Yamba between venues would ultimately benefit the town.

"It's really good to see the bowling club and the golf club being pro-active in providing entertainment, and the winner is Yamba," he said.

"That competitive aspect is making Yamba a mecca for entertainment and nothing seems to be being done in Grafton."

He said another contributing factor was the lack of venues in Grafton able to accommodate up to 1000 people.

Grafton District Services Club general manager Arthur Lysaught, said the lack of venues was an issue Grafton needed to face.

"At the moment the two best available venues are the Yamba Bowling Club and the Yamba Golf Club," he said.

"They are the only two venues in the Valley at the moment that have the appropriate facility to look after the big acts, like Missy Higgins."

However, Mr Lysaught said as soon as there was an appropriate venue in Grafton, it would attract the big names back.

"If there was a facility in Grafton that could cater for that particular market, you'd soon win them back to Grafton," he said. "In reality, as soon as there's an adequate facility in Grafton, any leakage from Grafton to Yamba will cease."

Danny Doon, a Grafton musician with 20 years industry experience, doesn't agree, and said a lack of money was Grafton's downfall.

"I've seen the progression of places like Coffs Harbour and Yamba, and then I see the apathy in Grafton towards that sort of thing," he said.

"People want those bands in Grafton but they are not willing to pay."

Yamba Bowling Club chief executive officer John McGregor, said it was the whole package Yamba provided for bands and concert goers which was a major factor in their decision to visit.

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