Bluesfest reigns, despite rain

Elvis Costello
Elvis Costello Contributed

BLUESFEST kicks off today at the Tyagarah Tea Tree farm site.

It’s the second year at the site, but the 21st for the festival and this year organisers were proud to add a sixth day to the Easter weekend event.

Any seasoned Bluesfest attendee knows that where there’s music, there’s water, and where there’s water, there’s mud.

The forecast for the next week includes temperatures in the mid-twenties throughout, along with a pretty good chance of rain.

But that’s nothing new.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, in the history of Bluesfest only two weekends have been spared from rain.

The 2006 festival fared the worst with a total of 151mm, most of which was on one day.

Rather than dwell on the fact you’re likely to get wet this weekend, why not relish it.

Buy gumboots, a poncho, avoid wearing white and either laminate your program or throw it away.

Rain hail or shine there are some acts you don’t want to miss, including Ben Harper and Relentless7 (tonight), Grace Jones (Friday and Tuesday), John Legend (Saturday), Gurrumul (Sunday and Tuesday), Elvis Costello and The Imposters (Monday and Tuesday), Paul Kelly (Tuesday), Jeff Lang (Saturday and Sunday) and, of course, Bob Dylan (Monday and Tuesday).

Sometimes it’s the lesser known acts that you end up remembering the most.

To steer you in the right direction though, commit the following names to memory: The Bamboos (tonight and Saturday), Fistful of Mercy (Friday), Saltwater Band (Sunday and Monday), Shane Nicholson (Sunday) and Nat Col & The Kings (tonight and Saturday).

But remember to get in early on Monday to see the winner of the Byron Bay Busking Competition at the Juke Joint stage, from 12.15pm.

You also want to keep your eye out for the Lismore Lantern Parade organisers’ twice-nightly lantern processions through the festival.

The musical themed lanterns were purpose built for the festival and will add some colour and light to your evening.

Most importantly have fun.

Tickets are still available for today and Tuesday, go to www.bluesfest.com.au.



It's day one of Bluesfest and a few highlights you won’t want to miss are Michael Franti & Spearhead, ZZ Top, Grace Woodroofe, Nat Col And The Kings and The Bamboos.

Pulse spoke to Franti a few weeks ago and the man has a new lease on life, thanks to a near-death experience. While his music is always going to be politically motivated, his latest album, The Sound of Sunshine, is inspired instead by the happiness music brings.

Forty years on and ZZ Top are still sporting the original line-up.

The Texan blues trio head to our shores having sold 50 million albums worldwide.

Grace Woodroofe is a 20-year-old self-described indie-blues chanteuse. She returns to the Bluesfest stage after the release of her debut album, which was produced by Bluesfest favourite, Ben Harper.

Combine the loudest drummer in the world, Col Hatchman of the Screaming Jets, with the once guitar-wielding child-star Nathan Cavaleri and you get Nat Col And The Kings.

Cavaleri has toured with BB King so his skills on the axe are not to be sneezed at.

He’s also a talented singer-songwriter.

Australia’s number one funk and soul band The Bamboos are an eight piece out of Melbourne who bring the old school into today.

Their latest album, 4, debuted at #1 on iTunes and is their best selling to date.

Topics:  bluesfest lismore

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