Bluesfest – Day Three


Day three began as normal, the van was parked nicely in amongst hundreds of other cars and vans, masses of festival goers armed with their fold away chairs and plenty of munch to keep them going throughout the day, were making their way through the gates having their bands checked by security, and of course the sniffer dogs were out on force again this morning.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of so much security at a festival. I must say, I’m pretty impressed by the security they obtain here, there was enough police and sniffer dogs to patrol a much larger festival! But even still, you certainly wouldn’t complain. Although I did smell the odd joint floating around from time to time… hush hush!

Another feature Bluesfest obtained that I have never heard of at music festivals, was the fact that they had a free breathaliser test for the public before leaving the arena. That’s a pretty smart idea.  One thing I’ve noticed since being in Australia, is that they are hard on their drink driving out here. In all the years I’ve been driving back in the UK, I have never been stopped for a random breath test. However a few weeks back, in Byron on a Saturday night, I was the designated driver for the evening and I happened to be stopped for a random breath test. I was very nervous when it happened, but I thankfully passed with flying colours!! Phew!

So again, kudos to Bluesfest for thinking up that idea, I reckon more festivals should take on that feature!

Today’s lineup included acts that I had actually heard of in the past this time round… I felt more knowledgeable today!

First up was Newton Faulkner, I hadn’t heard any of his recently released second album “Rebuilt By Humans”, but his older music I loved, so I knew he wouldn’t fail to entertain!

Newton certainly knew how to make the crowd chuckle, despite saying he was nervous over how the audience would take him. He did some real funny covers, but the one that everyone loved as his closing track was Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. He got managed to get everyone in the tent to sing along… what a brilliant ending J

Straight up next was Donavon Frankenreiter, an American artist with a beautifully soulful sound. Many people who have heard his music… including myself, think he sounds very similar to Jack Johnson and it just so happens that they are good friends! Donavon, I feel, has a much softer sound to his music as well as his singing voice. You wouldn’t expect it though from his very popular and overly impressive moustache that everyone in the crowd decided to imitate with their own stick on ‘taches!! When the cameras panned round towards the audience during the gig, you were greeted by a sea of Donavon copies!!

For me, even though I do love his music, I felt the gig was a little too… what’s the word… ‘sleepy’ for me. I can happily listen to his music when I’m feeling really chilled out, but I need something to keep me bouncing on my toes at a gig, especially at a festival. No digs at Donavon’s music though, his tunes are beautiful.

I stayed put in the crowd to make sure I got a good spot for Jack Johnson finishing off today’s Mojo Stage lineup, but before he graced the stage again, I grooved it up with a bit of the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, an array of classic Cuban music.

Yet again, the crowd were as happy as ever to get on their toes and dance to their hearts content while the many instruments boomed out towards us. Trumpets, guitars, trombones, drums, sax… times that by 13 musicians and you get a fair idea of the madness they create on stage. Loved it 🙂

Jack Johnson never failed to deliver yet again tonight, I could happily watch this guy singing about banana pancakes and bubbley toes all day long!

As it was a Saturday, and knowing that the festival arena was packed to the brim, myself and Chris figured it would be best to get ourselves out of the festival ASAP to avoid the inevitable queues of traffic.

Crisis averted? Not quite!

Once we arrived back at the van, we were greeted by a nicely placed line of hundreds of vehicles as far as the eye could even like to see. So, the fold away chairs were propped up next to our parked van, and a good hour or so was spent chatting with fellow parkers attending the waiting game. A queue of traffic was formed in our sectioned off parking area… and for well over an hour the vehicles didn’t move an inch. We didn’t see the point in sitting in the van for such a stupid length of time, so more tuna and cream cheese sandwiches for us! By the time we eventually got to our beds, it was well past 2am… yawn!


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