Adding heat to the blues

By RACHEL AFFLICK SINEAD O'CONNER, John Fogerty and Keith Urban are among hundreds of artists facing a crucial decision this weekend - chicken, fish, meat or vego.

For the next few days Bluesfest catering manager Joe Turter will have the expectations of many hungry musicians on his shoulders.

Two hundred and fifty artists are expected to dine from his menu backstage each day of the Bluesfest.

An ex-drummer/restaurant owner, Joe spent six months on the design of the menu, and his team of Bluesfest caterers have been working all day, every day for the past week chopping food and taking deliveries.

As for what the artists will be treated to: the dishes include Grilled Barramundi Fillet, Seared Calamari with Chorizo and Vietnamese Cold Rolls.

"We don't really carb them up too much. We know a lot of them are weight orientated." Joe said.

"A lot of musicians are vegos. I've noticed we've got a couple of vegans among us as well."

Even with all the preparations, Joe plans to expect the unexpected. Sometimes artists could have 'special' requests on the day, he said.

"Keith Urban has requested grilled or baked fish or chicken. It's a very simple one in terms of what you sometimes get asked," Joe said.

"You try to cater for everything, but I know what they're like and I know how certain musicians can be.

"If I get requests, I'll do it if I can."

As well as their own menu, artists will have access to their own special dining room backstage. Joe said the idea was to create an upmarket, cafe-style environment with linen tablecloths.

The artists will even have the luxury of access to an espresso machine.

"We look after them well," Joe said.

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