Byron Blues and Roots was a fantastic 5 day festival. The lineup was absolutely incredible, and it was a total bonus on this trip. Ben got a Facebook message offering him VIP tickets when we were in Perth, looks over at me and said,
“Hey, what do you think about doing Byron Blues and Roots? Only cost is accom.”
Keeping in the spirit of the trip, I just said yes.
Getting the chance to see Buddy Guy, Gary Clark Jr. and the Doobie Brothers at the same venue as John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band and John Butler Trio wasn’t something I was planning on passing up. The only problem with this festival was that there were too many artists we wanted to see in 5 days.
The weather was perfect (for the first time in 5 years from what we were told) and the music was amazing. The festival is intended to hold 35,000-40,000 people or so a day, and being the 25th anniversary it was sold out for at least 3 of the days.
The festival itself was on a specifically designed site. A local businessman bought a tea farm about 7 miles outside of Byron Bay and excavated everything perfectly for a huge festival venue. From the culverts to the stage location, everything about this location was designed with this purpose in mind. About 60% of people camp at this festival, so you’re looking at another 20,000+ campsites plotted out as well.
The music was spectacular. From John Mayer being ripped out of his mind, singing jumbled up “dream songs” in between his hits, to John Butler Trio having 30k people sing “Betterman” we couldn’t have asked for a more outstanding musical performance.
Before arriving, we jotted down ten moments in the festival that we were particularly excited to see. At least one of us made one of them.
1. Jack Johnson- Flake
2. John Butler Trio- Better Man
3. Matt Corby- Souls A’fire
4. Buddy Guy – Sweet Home Chicago (my personal highlight of the week)
5. John Mayer- Who Says
6. Dave Matthews Band- Space Between
7. Erykah Badu- I Want You
8. India.Arie- Video
9. Gary Clark Jr.- Bright Lights
10. Chali 2na- Comin’ Thru
If anyone is a guitar fan and has a chance to see Gary Clark Jr., for the love of all that is holy go do it. He is an absolute legend with a guitar in his hands, and it is a truly incredible thing to see him go nuts.
Past that, we were pretty pleased with everyone’s performance. It was my first DMB concert, and I was impressed, if not obsessed with them. Great act, just not sure what the absurd cult-like following is about.
All and all, couldn’t be happier with the 5 days in Byron. More on the actual town to follow.