When James sent me the link to the lineup for Bluesfest 6 months ago, I wasn’t really convinced I’d go.
The line up was perfect, or close to it. Ben Howard, Frank Turner, Hozier, Counting Crows, Paolo Nutini…
More and more artists released.
It got better.
Lyds took little persuading.
In many respects, she’s my soul sister.
Easter and Bluesfest drew closer, I kpet telling people I was going but I hadn’t thought about it too much because it marked the end of my time with Sport Lived and when shit was about to get real.
It felt like it might not happen. Ben Howard cancelled (dick), then The Black Keys, then Lenny Kravitz.
Our first day at the festival felt so long.
With no buses running until 5pm, we decided to kill some time in the morning and walk to Byron. We’d glanced at the map and it seemed to be an easy enough coastal stroll along Seven Mile Beach (a cute name, surely, not an accurate description).
2 hours in we tried to cut across onto the main road and continue along the highway, hitching as we went. We climbed up the dune and Lydia started to laugh. Bush as far as the eye can see.
We were starting to have second thoughts, but we were committed to the walk. Besides, after 6 months, we’d still not ran out of things to talk about.
Trudging through the jungle.
4 hours later we get to Suffolk Park.
Pub. Cider. Food. Rest.
Knackered before the festival even started we limped to the bus stop and headed up to Tea Tree Farm trying desperately to not fall asleep.
Queues, queues, more queues, then suddenly wristbands, tickets, festival guides and bright yellow jackets.
We were in.
I can’t quite describe the feeling I had wandering around the festival, other than ‘being home’.
As I said to Lydia, it was like walking through my brain, vanilla scented candles, fairy lights, rainbows, dancing and food: all of the food.
Bluesfest is quite possibly the best festival I’ve been to.
The atmosphere was that of one big community, the music was pure and real and I’ve not danced so unabashed in some time.
There were so happy families, children running free, enjoying the music, parents watching adoringly, hugs and kisses and love.
I’ve been bitten by the Byron bug.
But the hippy ideals reign strong – we were so looked after, hitching was never a worry once we’d got a taste for it.
The part Lyds and I were looking forward to most was finding new music we’d not heard before, devouring new artists and genres.
By far my, and I think perhaps our, favourite new discovery was the Melbourne Ska Orchestra. Incredible performers, hilarious to the last and a real feed good show. Besides which, I finally found music I’m good at dancing to!
Only took 23 years.
Frank Turner was incredible as ever – I was so pleased Lydia enjoyed the show as well. I don’t know what it is about Frank that I love so much, but I never get bored! In fact, I’ve got tickets to see him next week in Melbs – I’m taking Em.
I’d got a little worked up about seeing him because he was also doing a signing after.
I had my passport ready, but he cancelled last minute because he wasn’t feeling well.
I get it. Jet lag is a bitch, but I was still gutted.
Surprise performances, the kind where we’d just popped in and then couldn’t leave came from Boy & Bear, G Junior, Train and Trombone Shorty.
Everyone was stunning although I was disappointed with Paolo Nutini and Band of Skulls, I felt neither had any stage presence and the show just didn’t feel engaging.
Nikki Hill was immense and Hozier was fantastic both times we saw him – he’s certainly on the list to see again solo!