WEATHER: Rain was the main feature of the first day at Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018.
WEATHER: Rain was the main feature of the first day at Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018. JAVIER ENCALADA

Wrap Day 1: Splendour in the Blues

UNIVERSES collided at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm yesterday at Bluesfest Byron Bay, with Millenials and Baby Boomers side to side, enjoying the first day of the music festival for 2018.

The sun was shining and it was a hot and humid day in Byron Bay, but the rain was persistent, and the venue is pretty much a swamp, so my car got bogged as soon as I parked it.

But since denial is a reporter's best friend, I walked away with the firm purpose of having a great day at the office.

 

WEATHER: Rain was the main feature of the first day at Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018.
WEATHER: Rain was the main feature of the first day at Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018. JAVIER ENCALADA

Rain graced the music festival in regular intervals, so plastic ponchos and other water-repellant garments were on display, with gumboots in all colours and sizes the the fashion of the day.

The strange conjunction of Millenials, out in hordes to see Tash Sultana - the first night is traditionally the one dedicated to a younger audience at Bluesfest - side-to-side with hippie Baby Boomers and Gen X was a sight to behold.

 

MIXED CROWD: Gen X and Baby Boomers at Bluesfest 2018.
MIXED CROWD: Gen X and Baby Boomers at Bluesfest 2018. JAVIER ENCALADA

 

MIXED CROWD: Millenials at Bluesfest 2018.
MIXED CROWD: Millenials at Bluesfest 2018. JAVIER ENCALADA

First, it was the vaping fellows with the man-buns dancing next to hippies in tie-dye garments.

Then it was the young girls in felt hats and really short denim shorts next to their mums and dads.

The young males in overalls offered their own version of the 'free the nipple' movement, trying to connect with the boho-chicks with five or more sets of feathers in their hair.

Finally, the funniest sight of the first day were the male Baby Boomers trying to have a good look at the glitter boob girls.

It was as if a portion of the Splendour in the Grass crowds had tried to take over Bluesfest.

The most amusing part of the festival for Millenials was the CD shop, as many of them only knew music on vinyl and digital downloads.

HIPSTER-FREE ZONE: The CD shop at Bluesfest 2018.
HIPSTER-FREE ZONE: The CD shop at Bluesfest 2018. JAVIER ENCALADA

Oh, yeah, the music

The day started the right way: listening to the wonderful voice of Darwin artist Caiti Baker, who rocked the Jukejoint.

English artist Rag'n'Bone Man also offered a great show, but the crowd looked sleepy and, despite his efforts, the audiences had trouble engaging with the show.

All Our Exes Live in Texas offered the best of their four-part harmonies and some new songs from the new album they are currently recording, while English indie rick band Gomez celebrated the 20th Anniversary of their breakthrough album Bring It On

Back to Mojo tent, American Gospel and soul singer Leon Bridges took the Baby Boomers back to the 1950s and 1960s which is exactly what they wanted.

 

RISING STAR: Tash Sultana on stage during the first day of Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018.
RISING STAR: Tash Sultana on stage during the first day of Bluesfest Byron Bay 2018. JAVIER ENCALADA

And then it was Tash Sultana.

Only arrived from South America 36 hours prior to going on stage at Bluesfest, the online sensation adorned her stage like a yoga studio in the Byron Shire: the mandatory cultural reference to a sacred/ magic ancient culture (in this case, painted Mexican skulls and a South American blanket), some sort of gem to absorb negative energies (alas, two big pink salt rocks) and an incense holder with a smouldering, smoky stick on it.

But the South American jaguar gods invoked by the musician descended upon the Mojo stage because Sultana's set was the highlight of the day.

The former Northern Rivers resident took to the Mojo stage at 10pm and lived to her fame a one-woman band.

Using the loops that made her famous, Sultana jumped from drums to synth, offered Hendrix-like guitar solos, reggae-style rhythms, trumpet overtures and her charismatic stage presence and distinctive smile.

The aftermath

I left the festival early as I remembered my car was bogged.

To my surprise, and despite many punters were leaving by 11pm, I was helped promptly by three men in high-vis and my car was swiftly pushed out of the mud trap. I was on the Pacific Highway by 11.20pm.

Despite the rain, the bogged car and a fire ant bite, day one was a success.

One down, four to go.

What's on tomorrow

  • Robert Plant and the Space Shifters at 10.30pm
  • Ms Lauryn Hills at 10pm
  • Jimmy Cliff at 8.30pm
  • The New Power Generation at 8pm
  • Youssu Ndour at 6.30pm
  • Con Brio at 5pm
  • Juanes at 4.30pm
  • Narasirato at 3.30pm
  • Andre Cymone at 2.30pm

For details visit Bluesfest's website


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