Steve Romer, a live entertainment veteran who served as GM of the Sydney Entertainment Centre and led the Venue Management Association (VMA) as CEO, joins Byron Bay Bluesfest in the new role of COO for the festival and its associated companies including Bluesfest Touring.
Romer is a past chair and CEO of the VMA (Asia Pacific), having led the association for the last three-and-a-half years and serving on its board for almost a decade. In a 30-year career, he’s held executive roles with Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Sydney 2000 Olympics Satellite Stadiums, and with amusement park operators Macquarie Leisure Trust (now Ardent Leisure) and Village Roadshow Theme Parks, and led the SEC from 2009-2013.
With the news of Romer’s appointment, Noble revealed he will move into the position of executive chairman. In a statement, he insists he will continue to focus on booking talent as well as acquisitions that “will take Bluesfest into an exciting new era.” Romer starts at Bluesfest on Nov. 13.
Bluesfest has a reputation for delivering great vibes and sensational lineups and, with its slot typically occupying the Easter long weekend, it’s the country’s last big outdoor party before the cooler months set in. Next year’s 29th edition will take place March 29 to April 2 at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, with a bill featuring Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters, Lionel Richie, The John Butler Trio, Tash Sultana, The New Power Generation, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and many more.
Over the years, Bluesfest Touring and its team has won a stack of awards. In July of this year, the fest won the Helpmann Award for best international contemporary concert for Patti Smith’s final Australian tour. And last year, Bluesfest took out best regional event at the Australian Event Awards, while Noble was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List for “service to live and recorded music, to tourism and to the community.”