Byron VIP Travel
Review 25th Annual Byron Bay Bluesfest Easter Weekend 2014
Photographer: Anthony Moulay. AV Images
Author: Mary McKenzie
25th Annual Bluesfest
Byron Bay Festival
My 20th year at Bluesfest and Mother Nature bestowed her best weather ever for the entire event held at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in the Byron shire. It was 'equal to or the biggest 'and hailed a major success by festival director Peter Noble.
On offer at the festival was 5 days of superb music and it was definitely not all Blues. Whilst there was no one defined Bluesfest 2014 Wrap up artist , for the 25th birthday celebration, the many International artists included: Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band, KC & The Sunshine Band, Elvis Costello, John Mayer, the Doobie Brothers, Morcheeba, Joss Stone, Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jnr and a festival favourite at his 9th appearance, Michael Franti & Spearhead.
A total of 107 artists appeared over the duration of the festival for a total 13,350 minutes which covered most musical genres enough to meet anyone's needs. Many other International and Australian artists featured on the bill at one of the seven stages.
The Bluesfest Busking competition also has a small stage which allows the competitors to showcase their talents to a wider audience at the Festival.
25th Anniversary Celebrations
Bluesfest has been credited for kick starting successful Australian careers of Ben Harper & Jack Johnson. After the traditional "Welcome to Country" by local Arakwal community, Peter Noble opened this years festival by introducing one of his new favourite artists, the brassy American songstress Beth Hart.
The standout debut artist this year was the quirky Tennessee alt-country / roots artist Valerie June, other exceptional blues based genre performances were North Mississippi Allstars, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Dr John & the Night-trippers, James Cotton Band, Trixie Whitley, Greg Allman & Jimmie Vaughan with special guest vocalist Lou Ann Barton. Many artists covet a gig at this event and are genuinely gratified to appear on the ticket.
The Music Maker Foundation (www.musicmaker.org) love this event so much they penned a celebratory song for Festival director Noble and his wife Annika titled "Byron Bay Boogie" that they played on the Cavanbah stage on Easter Monday (I was lucky enough to be there!). Access to the artists is also made available to patrons with many doing meet & greet fan signings.
Gary Clark Jr
The International award winning event added two new big screens outside the two main stage tents Mojo & Crossroads for the punters who want to kick back outside the tents but not miss the action. The move to ban folding chairs inside the two main tents also proved very successful with the provision of seating in zoned areas. In the previous years these posed problems with safety, particularly when big crowds were trying to access the main tent for feature artists or trying to escape the heavy downpours of rain.
Significant site improvements also included a new access from highway on the Northern entrance, better road surfaces, grassing and drainage.The festival site offers a full range of foods, massage, market stalls, ATMs (that run out of money so take plenty of cash) bars and camping on site - it has become it's own entity at Easter.
If you feel like a taste of Aboriginal Music and Culture the Boomerang Festival Early Bird Tickets are available NOW. Dates are 4th- 6th of October 2014, held at Bluesfest’s home, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm. Festival Curator and Director Rhoda Roberts plans to deliver a rich cultural blend of music, dance, theatre,comedy, film visual arts and cultural exchanges in a festival for all. Check it out at http://boomerangfestival.com.au
Welcome to Country
Bluesfest 2014 Wrap up 24 April 2014
Anthony Moulay AV Images
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