Last night festival director Peter Noble gave Bluesfest 2017 a rave review during his speech at the draw of the annual Cystic Fibrosis Gibson Guitar Raffle. ‘This festival is definitely in the top three!’
The 2017 raffle raised $54,500 with guitars donated by Gibson. The first prize was a Gibson Les Paul Studio with signatures from Santana, Patti Smith, Beth Hart, The Doobie Brothers, Bonnie Raitt and more.
This year’s effort has brought the total raised over the last 18 years for Cystic Fibrosis research to $530,000.
A festival of epic proportions
Stunning autumnal weather blessed the festival grounds at Tyagarah and punters were footsore but sated at the end of an epic five days of a delightful and well-rounded tasting plate of stellar music and festival entertainment.
Highlights of Monday were Melody Angel who impressed folk so much, I suspect her record sales just went through the roof; Billy Bragg, who with Joe Henry played awesome train songs and a heart rending version of The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore; St Paul & The Broken Bones who even after three shows at Blues, still had everyone wanting more; Kasey Chambers who will hopefully be back next year to celebrate the 20th year since her Bluesfest debut and the audience favourite of the day: Neil Finn, who was in very, VERY fine form.
Some of the highlights of of 2017 were the glorious Patti Smith who was so generous with her heart and her soul and her energy (and her cash for flood fundraisers); Buddy Guy for just being a guitar god; Melody Angel who stunned and stunned again; Billy Bragg who is simply a force stronger than stuff; Buddy Guy who won the best great sense of humour award; Rhiannon Giddens who brought America’s dark history to visceral life; Ian Anderson with his latest incarnation of Jethro Tull proved they weren’t too old to rock and roll; Buddy Guy who still totally shreds; Madness who took us all one step beyond; octogenarian Buddy Guy, who proved that old Guys rock (did you see what I did there?); Nikki Hill who we know we will be hearing a lot more from; Santana who won the ‘how-to-pack-a-venue award’; Buddy Guy who each show delivered and delivered and delivered again; and last but definitely not least Buddy Guy, proving that the many who came to see him ‘because he is so old this will be his last Blues’, were absobloodylutely wrong. Buddy had a truck load of life onstage and plenty more where that came from!
Thanx Bluesfest 2017, you were bloody marvelous.
CUT – THAT’S A WRAP!
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Patti Smith rocks Bluesfest with ‘anarchic spunk’
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We got dem Byron Bay Blues
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