16 April 2007

My First Byron Bay BluesFest Experience 2007

"A must see festival"

Leading up to Bluesfest 2007 I really had no i
dea what I was in for. Now after attending my first Bluesfest all I can say is that Bluesfest has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. I've not been to a fest as big as this one so I don't have too much to compare it with. Having said that I do know that there's nothing (around now) in New Zealand that would compare to Bluesfest. Sweetwaters music festivals would have close close but not even the current 'Big Day OUT' would come close!

Let me set one thing straight though, its not
a Bluesfest for purists only, not by any means. Thats why its called the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival, east coast of Australia that is! Right smack in beautiful Byron Bay. From the line ups you can see that theres way more to Bluesfest than just Blues music. Oh don't get me wrong, theres a good dose of Blues music at Bluesfest but the other non-blues bands are of equal quality and fame.

Five days of non-stop music performed by
International and National artists. You can't ask for anything better than that.

My camera wasn't the best so I didn't take to
o many pics but I have since found an excellent website where awesome photos have been placed by Tao, a professional photographer, of Bluesfest 2007.

Click image above ~ go to photos taken by photographer Tao Jones of the 2007 18th East Coast Bluesfest, Byron Bay Australia ~ Contact taoart@gmail.com for information regarding prints of artists. See more photos by Tao of previous Bluesfests at www.byronbayphotographer.com

My Bluesfest LIKES
It's a safe and friendly atmosphere: no gangs, no fights (that I saw or heard of!)
A variety of ethnic foods available
Water stations through out venue
Very reasonable entry cost
Excellent night lighting
A fun festive feel A
wide range of music
Interesting stalls including merc stall
Well organized, playing times posted on website and handed out on arrival
Within walking distance from Byron Bay center
Buses running to and from fest

Childcare facilities

My Bluesfest DISLIKES
A little too crowded at times
Some mud patches due to rain throught-out fest
Costs of food a tad high, same goes for drinks

My Bluesfest Muscial Highlights
WolfMother, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, John Mayer, Ozomatli, Fat Freddy's Drop, Taj Mahal, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, FishBone, Xavier Rudd, Bo Diddley, Ziggy Marley, Lee Scratch Perry, Bonnie Raitt, Larry Carlton Blues Project with Robben Ford, Hat Firz and Itchy, Blue Shaddy, Mojo Webb, Sierra Leone's Refugee Allstars, Eugene Hideway Bridges, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Terrence Simien and the Zydeco Experience, The Sunshiners, Tony Joe White, Blue King Brown, Sugarcane Collins just to name a few!!!


As you can see from my lists theres more to like about Bluesfest than dislike.
I'm returning for bluesfest 2008, can't wait. This time I'll go a little more prepared. I'll take better footwear - more waterproof and comfortable. I may even take a fold away chair as the days are long from 12 noon to midnight each day for five days. I'll pack some snacks to much on to cut down on food costs and I take a waterproof jacket. other than those minor things I'll take BIG FUN attitude and make the most of it.


3 Day time shots of what surrounded entrances to the Crossroads tent.
By the end of the fest the grassy places were muddy places.
A big screen of whats on in the tent, and stalls of merc.
Plenty of bins and what!, no litter
(you should see inside the tent after each gig! A different story.)



A true festive feel at night


Taken looking down at Jambalaya and Mojo Stages.
Out of photo is merc stall to left and food stalls to right.


A bar for alcohol ...
Jambalaya stage to left and MOJO stage to right


Each day an artist created a new sand sculpture


The biggest stage was in the Mojo tent, here ben Harper,
Wolfmother, Xavier Rudd and The Roots played


The nights get a little carzy at Bluesfest, yeah baby!


Yes I got time to surf and be a tourist, this shot is of the Wreck,
an old ship wreck, but nice surf


From the lighthouse with Byron Bay in the background


Robben Ford was amazing, he joined forces with Larry Carlton


Lead singer/harp player for Imperial Crowns


A common sight around Byron Bay


Looking up the main at Byron Bay


It's PopEye at the lighthouse


I met Fred Eaglesmith coming out of the local Byron Bay
Community Radio Station



Anthony Moulay of Bay FM was very good to me even
though he was flat out with guests and stuff. He hosts the blues show on Saturdays called Red Hot and Blue with
Ken “Nothin’ but the Blues” Hughes who is pictured below doing his thang!

BAY FM 99.9 Community Radio Byron Bay


Bonnie Raitt - WOW what a Woman!


And finally, I got to meet up with JohnnyMac and his partner.
I met JohnnyMac on the bluesfest message board.
Taken just after seeing BlueShaddy in the APRA tent

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Although the bluesfest was way cool I must say that staying with and catching up with my cousin, Joselle and her two beautiful children, Manawai and Maia was the biggest highlight of my Byron Bay experience. My stay in Byron Bay attending Bluesfest 2007 would not have been as good as it was if it had not been for my cousin's aroha and hospitality. And believe it or not I didn't even get a photo of us together cuzz! Next time for sure!!

And lastly but not least by any means,
BIG UPS to Gaynor and Peter for making it
possible for me to attend Bluesfest 2007.
Roll on Bluesfest 2008!

http://www.bluesfest.com.au/

5 comments:

Jay said...

Hey Bro great to see you at the blues and roots festival finally, judging by your messages and pic's you had an awesome time, look forward to seeing you again next year.
All the best for the coming year and go the "Blues Room"!!
Jay.

Nate said...

Indeed my brother, finally got to Byron. And for sure, it won't be my first and last. Can't wait to see who will be playing the Bluesfest 2008!

Eldo said...

YES MY BROTHER, WE ARE EAR AT THE BLUES MON, TIS A GOOD WEEKEND MY BROTHER, MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT, PEACE AND JAH.....

Johnnymac said...

Hey Nate,
Thanks for sending this through. This was certainly towards the end of Bluesfest... I'm starting to look worse for wear. You mentioned fighting....I haven't seen so much as a shove in attending 9 bluesfests.....There is a vibe that is special about the place....long may it continue!

Cheers,
johnnnymac

Daniel said...

Nate,
Blues Fest was a blast aye!
I enjoyed every moment of it. Great to have shared my first BluesFest with you.
Pity you couldnt see Blues on Broadbeach next month.
Roll On 2008!