BluesFest 2010 – Friday

What I Learnt From BluesFest 2010:

  1. Photography and camping don’t mix;
  2. 2010 is the year when anyone with a camera can get accreditation to the big music festivals. When they’re having to split the photographers into two groups in order to make it manageable and it’s not even the main stage headliners you’ve given out too many passes. Apparently there were 46 photographers in the pit for Crowded House. Plus security. Plus two platforms with video cameras on them. It took the best part of the three songs to squeeze my way from one side to the other. Not really much fun;
  3. Having a rule where you have to meet in the backstage media tent 15 minutes before the performances on the main three stages in order to be escorted in the relevant photo pits isn’t much fun and means you spend even more time waiting around instead of being out the front experiencing the festival and seeing as much as the music as possible. But it gives PR people a reason to justify their existence;
  4. The proportion of older people was a lot smaller than I had expected given the type of music, the age of a lot of the performers, as well as the fact that it’s just about the most expensive festival going;
  5. Following on from No. 5, there was a surprisingly higher proportion of drunk/shirtless/Southern Cross tattooed/Australian Flag adorned bogans than I would have expected; and
  6. Despite there not being as many older folk than I expected, of all the Australian festivals I’ve been to, it’s the one with the highest quotient of Crocs.

The long weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts with my car dying on the way out of Brisbane. Despite getting it serviced last week and being told that it was in pretty good shape, there was a massive oil leak under the bonnet and the engine died (seems a bit dodgy to me that it happened on the first journey after the service if you ask me). So had to get a tow truck to take us to the nearest service centre (which was almost opposite where the car had broken down but required a 6km trip round trip in order down to the next junction to get over to the over side of the road and back up again), where they told me what I already knew, that the car was going nowhere ever again. Phoned the wrecker’s yard to come and pick up the car, transferred everything from my car into a taxi which then took us to Avis to pick up a hire car so we could get on our way. Had some good times with the car; it got me from Sydney to Exmouth in Western Australia and back again, as well as several Sydney to Brisbane trips, but living so close to the city and with a combination of public transport, cycling and walking, it didn’t really get used much and so I don’t think I’m going to really miss not having a car now.

After taking the scenic route via Stanthorpe on the Thursday and setting up camp in Ballina on Friday, I managed to get to the site too late for Dr John and The Lower 911, a real shame as he was one of the acts I really wanted to see, having already missed his first set of the festival on the Thursday, so The Swell Season was the first band of the day, at a leisurely festival start time of 17:30 and on the second day of the festival at that.

I’m probably not going to write a whole lot about the bands as it just didn’t feel that I really got to actually “see” much. Refer to Points 2 and 3 above; so much time seemed to be spent waiting backstage in the media tent and it was such a physical challenge to photograph so many of the bands that it just became a really unpleasant experience.

Friday was a good day though; The Swell Season were good, The Avett Brothers excellent. The thrill of seeing Buddy Guy was dampened by the struggle to get photos in a rammed photo pit and it was a similar experience for Jeff Beck even though they split the photographers into two groups, each getting two songs to photograph. Despite everything I’m happy with the photos, especially the Jeff Beck ones as I was really disappointed with the photos I got when he played at the BCC last year. And I also got the benefit of seeing most of his set this time around, instead of the three songs at the BCC before being escorted out of the venue.

Photos from the rest of the festival are on their way and more photos from the Friday are on Flickr.

John Butler Trio
John Butler Trio

John Butler Trio

John Butler Trio

Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck

Blue King Brown
Blue King Brown

Blue King Brown

Buddy Guy
Buddy Guy

Buddy Guy

The Avett Brothers
The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers

The Swell Season
The Swell Season

The Swell Season

The Swell Season

2 Responses to “BluesFest 2010 – Friday”

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  2. […] to Triple J in the car (the car is the only place I generally listen to the radio.  And that should probably read ‘listened to’…) over the next couple of days it’s obvious that Triple J’s support of the band has […]

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