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Rain? It must be Bluesfest!

From little to lots, Tash Sultana. ‘No-one sells the tickets she sells and a year ago she wasn’t selling any’. Photo Tree Faerie.

By Eve Jeffery

You could tell the first timers as they picked their way through puddles in designer sandals and Converse as festival veterans splashed past them in gumboots.

Yes it’s raining, it must be Easter…

Allen Woody, Gov’t Mule’s bass note. Photo Jeff Dawson.

And yes the heavens opened to christen the 2018 edition of Bluesfest Byron Bay as the faithful arrived at the alter in time for the annual harvest moon axis of awesome.

Highlights of day one were Tash Sultana, William Crighton, Gomez and festival faves, The Wailers.

Festival director Peter Noble says that Sultana is the highest-ticket-selling contemporary artist in Australia today. ‘No-one sells the tickets she sells and a year ago she wasn’t selling any’, says Noble. ‘She’s bloody brilliant. She’s a musician for the world.’

And she is.

Sultana was bloody brilliant and took to the Mojo stage like she owned it.

Three simple rules which all ended in: ‘get the fuck out of my gig!’ Photo Tree Faerie.

She welcomed the audience to her set by stipulating three simple rules – all were about inclusion and stamping out bigotry:

Number one, if you’re homophobic, get the fuck out of my gig. Number two, if you’re racist, get the fuck out of my gig. Number three, if you’re transphobic, get the fuck out of my gig!’

No one moved. BOOM!

William Crighton – raw and smooth. Photo Jeff Dawson.

William Crighton had a small but true band of followers at the Juke Joint, his raw lyrics and smooth vox the perfect way to start the 2018 adventure while ol’ faithful in the form of The Wailers on Jambalaya did not disappoint those who clambered to the front of the stage to drag their soothing grooves (and other things of comfort) around them like grandpa’s old jumper.

Other day one notables were New Power Generation, the Blues Brothers, Gov’t Mule and Gomez and Day 2 promises so much more punter fun at Tyagarah.

Rain? who cares!

Also at this year’s festival, many Australian performers embraced the growing campaign against the controversial mega coal mine project near the Great Barrier Reef, flying #StopAdani flags on several Bluesfest stages.

Photos Jeff Dawson & the Tree Faerie

More stories from Bluesfest 2018


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4 responses to “Rain? It must be Bluesfest!”

  1. Jimbo says:

    Bluesfest first timers picked their teeth as they muddled their gumboots in the middle of a downpour and the veterans stroked their chords to let the reign of music begin.

  2. Don Palmer says:

    Come on guys ! Gov’t Mule bassist Allen Woody
    died way back in 2000. (Photo Jeff Dawson).

  3. Don Palmer says:

    Jorgen Carlsson: Swedish Fuel for Gov’t Mule – BassPlayer.com
    https://www.bassplayer.com › jo…
    17 Jun. 2015 · “I had never heard of the Allman Brothers Band or Gov’t Mule until audition time in 2008,” says Swedish transplant Jorgen Carlsson. … He holds the coveted Mule chair crafted by the late Allen Woody, and later held by Andy Hess. … Gov’t Mule is celebrating its 20th anniversary …

  4. Ed says:

    Try and get your facts right. The bass player photographed in Gov’t Mule is Jorgen Carlsson. Allen Woody passed away in 2000. Disrespectful to both.

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