WHO: At Bluesfest one woman showed her love of things Dr Who with a vibrant TARDIS tattoo.
WHO: At Bluesfest one woman showed her love of things Dr Who with a vibrant TARDIS tattoo. Alison Paterson

Good vibrations the Bluesfest mantra

INCREDIBLE music, passionate performers and an ecstatic yet chilled-out crowd meant the stars once again aligned for Bluesfest.

Despite the massive amount of people who attended this year, the event which started life back in 1990 as the East Coast International Blues & Roots Music Festival, has retained it's grass-roots soul and down-to-earth vibe.

Once you are inside the gates, it's all about enjoying yourself and relaxing while the musicians whom you may have loved for decades perform only metres away.

Bluesfest has somehow managed to retain an intimate bubble, so hearing an act live rather than a safe and sanitised studio recording can get your blood pumping and your heart pounding.

There's often a special moment when you thrill to an encounter with a previously (to you) unknown performer and you are swept up in a tide of amazing sound.

 

COLOUR ME HAPPY: A band of chirpy Welsh festival-goers wore costumes so bright sunglasses were required.
COLOUR ME HAPPY: A band of chirpy Welsh festival-goers wore costumes so bright sunglasses were required. Alison Paterson

While I've attended other music festivals - thank you Apollo Bay, Meredith, Port Fairy, Melbourne Jazz, etc - Bluesfest really was something special.

Together with my Scottish husband, it was a lot of fun and despite warnings of crowded roads and long waits, getting to and from there was a breeze.

The Kiltman loved the idea of attending an autumnal music festival without snow and a raincoat but with cashless bars, although prudently we had gumboots and jackets in the car.

I bought him a commemorative bag, t-shirt and stubby-holder, but next year we will bring folding chairs or a blanket so we can sit in more comfort as the music wafts over and the stars twinkle to the beats.

In between sets, trying different eats and enjoying drinks, there's the always-enticing and ever changing art of people-watching.

This year the crowds really appeared to take on the Fleetwood Mac mantra of Go Your Own Way.

From neon-African to inspired-by-1930s-circus to 70s Velvet Goldmine via Rockabilly, the fashions were a visual treat, as people ether looked amazing as all all get-out or appeared to have gotten dressed in the dark.

 

TUTO MARVELLOUS: Fairies meets tule with this group of cheerful festival-goers at Bluesfest.
TUTO MARVELLOUS: Fairies meets tule with this group of cheerful festival-goers at Bluesfest. Alison Paterson

There were pith helmets, pill-boxes and panamas paired with old rock n roll t-shirts and board-shorts or retro-frocks - and this was just the fellas.

Chaps in sombreros and slouch hats wore cargo shorts and jeans, while gals in berets and garden-party straw hats donned chiffon shirts and denim skirts.

Those in top hats with feathers or cowboy hats suitable for bull-riding and camp drafting could be seen in western shirts and pinstriped shorts..

On the feet were cowboy boots and yellow crocs (no socks), winklepickers and workboots, thongs and ugg boots, boat shoes and brothel creepers, sneakers and sandals, gumboots and ballet flats - sometimes all in the same posse of friends.

Sunglasses ranged from 50s glamour to millennium minimalism via the 80s, with many wearing designs popular before they were born.

Despite the high temperatures and plethora of alcohol, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, with queues orderly and any misguided attempts of dropping in handled with humour.

No matter if you are camping to day-tripping, remember to breathe out and leave your troubles behind at the gates.

Happy Bluesfest and see you next year.



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