Wow. What an incredible weekend. I don't even know where to begin... this entry cannot suffice!
I'll start out by saying that the Byron Bay area is by far my favorite part of Australia so far. My first time there will definitely not be my last... I'm going back someday soon, that's for sure. What an incredibly beautiful place! And the culture is so... Australian! At least how I pictured Australia to be: laid back, friendly, beachy, sunny... it's hard to describe really, but I knew from the first 30 seconds driving into town on the bus that this was exactly what I've been looking for!
As for the Blues Fest itself, what else can I say but INCREDIBLE. Music, bands, food, merchants, sun, happy people, music, music, music!
Happy! Ocean! Sun!
Here's some highlights of my weekend:
G. Love; the highlight performance of the weekend for me. Just incredible.
John Butler (Trio and solo); talk about pure TALENT on the guitar!
dancing to Maceo Parker; everybody can get down to some funk!
listening to all the tribal bands and feeling the beat in my chest
playing in the ocean on the sand bar at low tide
picnicing at the lake at Lennox Head with Brian Kelly and his family (great food! great company!)
daily ice cream cones from Pink (great ice cream shop in downtown); double scoop of Coffee Crunch and M.C. Chip
the amazing (while maybe not entirely legal) camping spot in the dunes on the beach; falling asleep and waking up to the sound of the ocean 100m away is not a bad way to go!
hiking through beautiful subtropical rainforests of Nightcap National Park to Minyon Falls with the Kelly family and friends
"hitchhiking" for a place to stay Sunday night when the tent and sleeping bags were locked away and inaccessible
my new skirt that I bought in town; it's pretty and flowy and it makes me happy
did I mention G. Love?? That was THE highlight of my weekend, Saturday night with G. Love.
...to give you a general idea of what I got to do for 5 days
"Who all did you see?" you ask:
Keb' Mo'; one of the only real blues artists at the festival
Xavier Rudd; always great!
The John Butler Trio, and then the next day, John Butler on his own. Man! Does he bring down the house!
Jason Mraz; twice.
Don McLean; the crowd sang 'Miss American Pie' for about 15 minutes, it was fun. Haha.
GALACTIC with Chali 2NA; GALACTIC is a funk group from New Orleans, Chali 2NA is MC from hip-hop group Jurassic 5
Eskimo Joe; they're Australian and they're big here. I'd never heard of them before, but they put on a good show. Reminded me of Coldplay a bit.
Yunasi; from Kenya, very tribal, VERY energetic. Awesome performance.
Tribali; a conglomeration of world music. Also very energetic. Neil met them in a didj shop in town and got to watch them play around on the didjs for awhile.
Ozomatli; incredible performers
G. Love and Special Sauce; the highlight of my weekend, remember?
emDee; didjeridooist meets DJ
Rodrigo y Gabriela; Spanish duo that just tore it up on guitar, lightening speed!
John Hiatt; Come on baby, drive south!
GOCOO + GoRo; a 12-man Japanese drum group (actually, 9 were women!), AWESOME experience, both acoustically and visually
Maceo Parker; get a little funk in the place!
The Cat Empire; they're really big over here, but I only saw about 15 minutes of them as they were performing at the same time as Maceo Parker. I liked what I saw though!
Angus & Julia Stone; brother-sister duo on guitars, great sound
All in all, an entirely successful weekend. I could talk for days about it, but I tried to keep this entry to bullet points. Truly truly great experience though.
Posted by Whitney 03/26/2008, revised 03/26/2008 by Whitney