The 27th Annual Bluesfest Byron Bay, is done and dusted and once again the Bluesfest team has delivered five days of unforgettable music moments at its custom built event site at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, near Byron Bay – 82 bands, 100,00 plus music loving fans and near perfect weather- well, it wouldn’t be a real Bluesfest without a little bit of mud and rain.
The highly anticipated performance from festival headliner Kendrick Lamar on opening night didn’t disappoint and his powerful stage presence could be felt throughout the audience, who seemed to be singing along to every word of his killer set. D’Angelo performed two sensual and soulful shows and Eagles of Death Metal rocked out to an eager audience.
The legends on the lineup proved their status with solid sets from Tom Jones (who was joined by surprise guests The Blind Boys of Alabama), Brian Wilson performing Pet Sounds and his greatest hits, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue and The Wailers, who had the crowd singing along to a different classic Bob Marley and The Wailers album each night they performed.
Tedeschi Trucks Band, Joe Bonamassa, The Original Blues Brothers Band, Taj Mahal, The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, Lucky Peterson and Blind Boy Paxton among others put the BLUES in Bluesfest.
Festival Director Peter Noble’s emerging artist picks for the festival proved to be a hit with the crowd, with Rhiannon Giddens, Con Brio, Fantastic Negrito, The Bros. Landreth, Vintage Trouble and St. Paul and The Broken Bones winning over many new fans including us.
The Boomerang Festival precinct added a new element to the festival this year and featured a dance ground, healing tent and talks and ideas stage. The Boomerang closing ceremony showcased first nation artists from across the globe including Papua New Guinea , Fiji, New Zealand, Tibet, Canada, Rotuma Island, Soloman Islands and patrons watching the incredibly energetic and moving showcase were overheard calling it the highlight of their festival experience.
Boomerang Festival Director, Rhoda Roberts said:
“To bring ceremony to all Australians will be the future of this nation, this year’s ceremony not only acknowledged the passing of senior elders, it reconnected local communities to language. The ceremony is a chance to honour, exchange and show off we have the oldest living culture on the planet.
Ritual is the embodiment of who we are and unless you go to Arnhem Land you are not going to get the experience that Bluesfest allowed us to share with our audiences.
On a personal level Boomerang means so much as it allows us to gather and to laugh and to exchange and the only other times we gather is at funerals. Boomerang is vital to ensure that the language and the ceremony continues.”
BLUESFEST BUSKING COMP:
The annual Bluesfest busking competition was won by IVY, a three piece band from the central coast, and local Byron Bay sisters, Maple took out the Grommet Busking Competition. This competition has been a real highlight of our annual Bluesfest road trips for over a decade now, we have discovered so may new and emerging artists at this event. It was also fantastic to see a number of past winners on main stages at this years Bluesfest including Kim Churchill, The Hussy Hicks, Marshall O’Kell and Grizzle Train. If you are planning a trip to Bluesfest next year, head on up early and catch the Busking comp, it’s usually held on the Monday and Tuesday before the festival at The Beach Hotel – Byron Bay.
Pre-early bird 5 day passes for the 28th Annual Bluesfest held over the Easter weekend, 13th – 17th of April 2017, are available now for the incredibly low price of $350.00, but be fast these wont last long. We already have ours.
For tickets and further info on Bluesfest, go to www.bluesfest.com.au
Please enjoy our Day 5 Bluesfest 2016 gallery below-
Photos Craig Wilson, Swamp House Photography