From the outside, music promoters resemble the kid who never leaves the lolly shop: "I want that? Can I have that? I'm going to get that. Do you want some of what I've got? I think you'll like it."
Peter Noble is no kid, but he sure does have fun and he enjoys music like it's an addiction.
The father of Bluesfest will celebrate his 30th festival this year, just like everybody else. He's just as proud of having Australian newcomer Lucy Gallant on stage as he is of landing Iggy Pop for the event.
And there's a story behind every artist.
How did you get Deva Mahal? "Ben Harper called me on the phone, and said, 'I just played the Montreal Jazz Festival and I've just seen a star.'"
How did you decide on this year's headliners? "We do a large survey on site about who fans would like to see at Bluefest. Jack Johnson, Ben Harper and Paul Kelly were in the top 5. That's why I went after them . . . We listen to the public.
"The other two were Neil Young and Eric Clapton. Eric doesn't tour. To get Neil - I've been through that once. He changed his mind."
Kasey Chambers? "I don't think Kasey Chambers has not been here once. I remember clearly the first time she played, on a minor stage, after the Dead Ringer Band. Steve Earle needed a female artist to sing on some songs, and the request came down, book Kasey Chambers. I went out to breakfast with Steve. He said she sings the way country should be sung."
" . . . 20 years later here is she coming back with The Captain band. She's also youngest female artist in ARIA Hall of Fame. That's why I'm in it. I come from music . . ."
In a rambling one-hour interview this week that only ended because we both needed to "go to work" the amiable Noble talked about his reaction to NSW Government's new concert regulations, his own feelings about onsite drug pill testing, women in music and the acts he's most looking forward to seeing at this year's event.
On the proposed new tighter restrictions on festivals, Noble didn't back off his strident defence of his own event.
"The latest economic impact study of Bluesfest show $243 million spent in NSW as a result Bluesfest," he says. "That is just one business . . . Put it into context with other events. We are a multi billion dollar indusry. Live performers in Australia - we are bigger than movies, bigger than sport. Yet, we are regulated to death."
But he readily admits the recent concert deaths [not at Bluesfest] require action. "One thing for sure, if you've got events and people have died, you have to have critical care onsite . . . to have the best care possible," Noble says.
On drug pill testing at concerts, Noble says potency may be a bigger issue than purity. "Truly one pill can kill. It is the truth," he says. "We need to be looking at the potency of the drug," he says. "Many are made in backyard labs with no idea of the level of potency."
On the treatment of women in music, Noble took note of how he was called out over the lack of women in the first act announcement for 2019 Bluesfest. "The announcement was themed a certain way and I just didn't think about it," he says.
"I take on board those statements, those who want a more gender balanced line-up," he says. "We ended up at 40 per cent, which is extremely high given he participation of females. You look at music colleges and graduation, it is pretty equal. But studies show less than 20 per cent of female participation as performers in a small amount of years."
Noble says there is a need to work with the industry to improve that outcome - booking agents, managers, music labels, even nightclub sound engineers.
There's not enough female headliners compared to males, and I'm sorry, that's the truth. And this is something we can't turn around in a minute.Peter Noble, founder, Bluesfest
"There's not enough female headliners compared to males, and I'm sorry, that's the truth," he says. "And this is something we can't turn around in a minute. We have to make an undertaking, or dedication, to work with female artists more and help them build a career . . . it takes an industry to change an industry."
Noble is a whirwind at Bluesfest, but he has favourites: St Paul and the Broken Bones ("that guy is at his peak"), Mama Mihirangi ("I cried at how good she was" at Montreal Folk Alliance), Iggy Pop ("I was gobsmacked at how hard he worked.") And he's extremely proud of Boomerang, the indigenous festival within the festival (Archie Roach, Mojo Juju, Baker Boy and several dance troupes).