WHERE?S JESS? John Mayer performs to a record crowd at Blues Fest on Thursday night.
WHERE?S JESS? John Mayer performs to a record crowd at Blues Fest on Thursday night.

Rockers flock to see the big acts

will jackson will.jackson@northernstar.com.au A SORT of chuffed happiness envelopes you when you stroll onto the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival site at Red Devil Park. It's a good thing too. The positive vibe acts as an antidote to the rage generated by the gridlock on the roads outside. Once you get through the ticket and bag check, everyone ? from the kids in their big sunnies milling shoulder to shoulder with the more mature and their portable chairs ? is looking forward to some great music armed with a big up-for-it grin. Peter Noble certainly knows how to run a festival. Every aspect is perfectly orchestrated to minimise the 'dohs' and maximise the 'woohoos'. The ticketing system this year kept lines to a minimum, the layout of the site is ideal, there's a nice range of shops and food stalls. There's even enough toilets ? well, almost. The festival kicked off on Thursday afternoon with the biggest crowd ever seen at a festival first day. An ecstatic promoter, Michael Chugg, told the 15,000 strong crowd on hand to hear Wolfmother, to enjoy themselves because they were part of the biggest ever Thursday night crowd. Byron Bay Inspector Greg Jago said from a police perspective the festival had gotten off to an excellent start. "The weather's been a bit inclement, but the people have been well-behaved," he said. He said there had been no charges laid as of 2pm on Friday. People have been warned not to drink and drive because there has been additional police resources allocated to Byron Bay during the event.



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