Ash Grunwald, Bluesfest 2016.
Ash Grunwald, Bluesfest 2016. Karin von Behrens

Bluesfest 2016 among ‘greatest’ yet

BLUESFEST director Peter Noble has hailed this year’s festival one of the best yet.

Mr Noble was pleased with the outcome of the 27th Bluesfest and the response to this year’s lineup.

“The Bluesfest audience discovered what we truly felt, going into the festival, would be the best selection of young and emerging artists we have ever presented,” Mr Noble said.

Kasey Chambers, Lisa Caufield and Andy Bear enjoy the scenary at the Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016.
Kasey Chambers, Lisa Caufield and Andy Bear enjoy the scenary at the Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016. Marc Stapelberg

He said the artists on show, which included Lukas Nelson, Promise of the Real, Con Brio, Vintage Trouble and Fantastic Negrito, had impressed punters as well as he’d hoped.

“(They) all displayed their brilliance and everybody who came can now say they saw them when, as all of these artists are on their way to truly big things,” he said.

“If I could book the same festival all over again in 2017 and not change one artist I would be sorely tempted to.”

Mr Noble said the event was one of his “greatest festivals” to date, from Kendrick Lamar’s performance on Thursday to The Original Blues Brothers Band closing the festival.

“The legends, the emerging artists came and Boomerang not only came back but knocked everyone out doing it,” he said.

Despite a downpour of heavy rain on Saturday night, anyone who made it to the event would attest the atmosphere was buzzing, and the diverse talent was warmly welcomed.

Irish singer songwriter Hozier, aka Andrew Hozier-Byrne, 25, got the star treatment by Bluesfest punters at the first day of music in this year's festival at Tyagarah.
Irish singer songwriter Hozier, aka Andrew Hozier-Byrne, 25, got the star treatment by Bluesfest punters at the first day of music in this year's festival at Tyagarah. Marc Stapelberg

While the headline sets drew big crowds, the Boomerang Festival Precinct was also packed for cultural events and talks, such as the one featuring Archie Roach on Saturday morning.

Roach told the moving story behind his debut solo album, Charcoal Lane.

Boomerang director Rhoda Roberts said it was special to bring these cultural events to Bluesfest.

“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,” Ms Roberts said.

“The ceremony is a chance to honour, exchange and show off we have the oldest living culture on the planet.”

INdeginous dancing was on display as one of the acts at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016.
INdeginous dancing was on display as one of the acts at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016. Marc Stapelberg

While the event drew massive crowds into the region, this made little difference to the nearby Wooyung Beach Holiday Park, which was already packed for the Easter long weekend.

Chris Cherry, who owns and manages the Tweed Coast’s most southerly holiday park, said their 60 sites were at capacity anyway.

“That Easter weekend is our busiest weekend of the year,” Ms Cherry said.

“We don’t get a lot of impact from Bluesfest.

Crowds at Bluesfest 2016.
Crowds at Bluesfest 2016. Marc Stapelberg

“We’ve got a lot of families that have been coming back for 20 or 30 years and they have standing bookings.

“I think we did have only three or four campers (from Bluesfest).”

Still, she said the “very full” holiday park had brought plentiful business into the surrounding areas of Pottsville and Crabbes Creek.

“We were very fortunate with that weather,” she said.

“Saturday was a bit of a shame with the weather but apart from that it was a really good Easter all round.”



Four things to do this weekend

Four things to do this weekend

There's plenty happening across the Tweed this weekend

Jon prepares to lose his locks on his own terms

Jon prepares to lose his locks on his own terms

Bilambil man to cut dreadlocks to raise money for cancer

Sunny weekend set for the Tweed

Sunny weekend set for the Tweed

It's set to be a sunny weekend for the Tweed.

Local Partners