It’s almost Blues time!

Aerial view of the Blues and Roots Festival site at Tyagarah.
Aerial view of the Blues and Roots Festival site at Tyagarah. Doug Eaton

THE countdown is on for the start of the 24th annual Byron Bay Blues Festival with the first acts to grace the stage today at 4pm.

For lovers of home-grown indie pop the Jambalaya Stage will be the place to be with Leonardo's Bride to perform the first of their two exclusive performances at the event.

In the 1990s, the band featuring the husky and haunting vocals of Abby Dobson enjoyed top 40 singles, platinum records and multi APRA awards and ARIA nominations.

Most people will remember them for their 1997 hit Even When I'm Sleeping which is surely the most beautiful anthem to keeping love alive in our big brown land ever written.

The track has been voted one of APRA's Top 30 Australian songs of all time.

They toured internationally and domestically for over a decade before suddenly calling it quits in late 2000 after performing in Sydney's Domain to over 80,000 people.

Band members have been pursuing various solo projects for years, but the original line-up is back together for the festival.

Also at 4pm, a slice of festival history in the form of Sunshine Coast based blues musician Hat Fitz who will post a record 19th straight appearance accompanied by his wife, the equally talented Cara Robinson.

While Fitz sings the blues, plays guitar and stomps his foot, Cara contributes soulful vocals that have been compared to Bonnie Raitt, drums, washboard, flute and tin whistle.

Other options at 4pm include Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and William Elliot Whitmore.

And good luck choosing between the headliners tonight: Ben Harper & Charlie Musselwhite, Chris Isaak, Fred Wesley and Frank Turner.

And that's just the first of five days of a world-class line-up.

Bluesfest fun facts:

There's more than 800 staff employed at the event not including 120 security personnel

There are six main stages plus a small busking stage

The parking areas can contain 6,500 cars

35,000 - 40,000 unique visitors are expected over the five day event

20,000 people are expected every day.

43 food stalls

56 market stalls

15 charity stalls

Five bars

Three coffee shops

146 porta loos

Topics:  bluesfest 2013

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