Byron Bay band Horizontal Rain felt like staying on stage for ever when they played
Byron Bay band Horizontal Rain felt like staying on stage for ever when they played

Bluesfest stage hard to leave

By RACHEL AFFLICK rachel.afflick@northernstar.com.au BYRON BAY High School student Felix Kleinman didn't want to give up the stage after his band Horizontal Rain rocked out at the Bluesfest yesterday.

Felix and his mates Elliot Wykeham, Gene Hooker and Sammy Free were chosen to perform a 20-minute set at the festival as part of the Byron High School Showcase.

The year 10 students were lucky enough to join a line-up yesterday that included John Fogerty, KT Tunstall and Angus and Julia Stone.

"Surprisingly it wasn't that scary. Once you were up there you didn't want to get off," Felix said.

The festival's general manager Matthew Lazarus-Hall said more than 70,000 people had attended the event over the five days.

He said crowd numbers were slightly down, possibly because Easter had fallen outside of the school holidays.

On Saturday, which had the biggest crowd, the Crossroads tent was packed with every-%one from grandparents to teenagers for John Butler's solo set.

Sunday's crowd favourite was The Cat Empire who got the audience up and dancing.

Mr Lazarus-Hall said for%every big name act, there had been a smaller, but equally as interesting act.

"Most people find there are four or five acts you want to see and you come back with another four or five acts you enjoyed," he said.

"The Blackberry Jukebox stage had some great little acts happening.

"Seasick Steve was so much fun. So many artists watched him and said he was amazing."

The festival was set to close on a high yesterday with performances by John Fogerty, Maceo Parker and Lisa Hunt.

Kate Miller-Heidke blew away the audience with her vocal gymnastics and Troy Cassar Daley and The McClymonts added to the impressive country music line-up.

"The comments on our bulletin boards and our surveys are that everyone has been having a great time. It feels so right," Mr Lazarus-Hall said.

"I think it was Ray Davies who said 'look, I've got three minutes left, I've got to keep playing'. He wanted to keep playing until the very end of the timeslot."



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