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Bluesfest 2016


Bluesfest is a festival like no other.

Opening its doors for the first time in 1990, this multi award winning festival is held on a permanent site at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm – eleven kilometres north of the iconic Byron Bay.

With this picturesque scene serving as the backdrop – the weather this year turned it on with blue skies and a stack of sunshine.

Add to that – the great vibe and mood of the festival goers, locals and performing artists alike – making Bluesfest the truly special event that we had heard it would be.

This was our first year of bringing the Levi’s® Tailor Shop to Bluesfest, and we were stoked that so many people came out to say hi and were so welcoming.

A genius move by Festival Director – Peter Noble saw music heavy weight and multiple Grammy Award winner – Kendrick Lamar grace our shores and deliver a truly memorable set as the headline artist on the opening night. Kendrick worked the crowd like the king that he is. As a result, the festival attracted a new generation of Bluesfest fans, which was encouraging to see and will hopefully see the festival attract a new young crowd for future years to come.

Highlights of the festival were obviously – Kendrick Lamar – followed closely by Eagles Of Death Metal who blew up the stage with their killer performance and heart felt words between songs.

Australian fans love fighters like Jesse and his band – who refuse to bow down to cowardly acts of hatred and fear.

The EODM boys were duly applauded for their recent bravery and determination to get back on the road and put the Paris terrorist attacks well behind them.

The positive energy coming from the stage was definitely felt by all, and that is indeed the beauty and true power of music and all that it stands for.

Music unites people globally, heals and makes people smile. Music creates great memories.

Other impressive acts that we managed to catch over the 5 days were Harts, Con Brio, Kaleo, Kamasi Washington, City and Colour, The National, D’Angelo, Lukas Nelson, Hiatus Kaiyote, Melissa Etheridge, The Wailers Band, Blind Boy Paxton, Steve Smyth and The Outlaws, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Shakey Graves to name a few.

Another festival must see was The Boomerang Festival – which was a cultural feast of color, indigenous music, heart, soul and a sharing of knowledge and life.

The busking stage was also a hive of activity, with talented performers giving it their all and showcasing their music to the festival passers-by.

One local band that was a stand-out and won the busking competition and consequently a spot on one of the main stages was Ivy.

Hailing from NSW, this three piece band certainly impressed with their surf indie rock sound. Keep an eye out for these young lads.

Do we think we will be going back next year? Insert: A big thumbs up, nodding head here.

To check out this year’s line-up and to stay up to speed on 2017 and beyond – head to: www.bluesfest.com.au

Photos: Kane Skennar