Bluesfest Vs Ernest Ranglin Controversy

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The spliff has hit the fan!

Festival Director Peter Noble says cancellation not his fault.

“There seems to be a tendency in our industry to always blame the festival producer or promoter when an artist cancels,” said Bluesfest Director Peter Noble in an email dealing with the cancellation of legendary Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin from the 2014 Bluesfest Line-Up.

“The usual excuse is ‘unknown circumstances’ which ought to be listed at No 1 in the list of the greatest lies in music today,” continues Noble. “It is NEVER the artist or their representatives who are to blame – it is the evil promoter – that bastion of dirty deeds and rubber cheques – who, by the way, takes the risks, and, without him, our music industry would not exist.

Ranglin was due to participate in the Jamaican Legends Tour scheduled to play Bluesfest and tour next Easter. However, Bluesfest was informed last week that Ranglin, advertised on the bill to appear with Sly & Robbie, would not be making the trip Down Under.

In his email Noble says that Ranglin ‘knew and approved’ of the tour, that his manager had agreed to it also and that the tour personnel would include Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Bitty McLean, Alex Wilson – AND Ernest Ranglin.’

Since then Ranglin has stated that ‘he was not aware of Australian bookings,’ which Noble claims is ‘is a complete distortion of the truth.’

The matter was apparently further complicated by negotiations with an agent from a French agency, who Noble says ‘ is manipulating an 81 year old man’ and ‘preventing him from working.’ Noble also claims that there are no other dates for Ranglin ‘confirmed or pencilled in at the time of Bluesfest or the tour dates around it.’

In the wake of these developments, Mr Noble has stated that The Jamaican Legends still want to tour and remain on the Bluesfest bill and that ‘Bluesfest and Peter Noble will continue to attempt to find a suitable replacement for Ernest Ranglin.’

Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM (rrr.org.au) in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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