Byron Bay Bluesfest 2018 Re-Cap

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The Byron Bay Bluesfest 2018 (29 March to 2 April) has come to an end, and what a festival it was. Despite a little wet weather over the long weekend, the world-class musical talent and showmanship, friendly crowds, and colourful festival vibes surpassed expectations.

In true Bluesfest tradition, the festival kicked-off on Thursday with a downpour. Although the mud didn’t dampen the festival spirit, we were all grateful to see blue skies and spectacular sunsets on Sunday and Monday.

This year’s line-up was packed full of incredible artists. Our favourite was Eric Gales, the virtuoso guitarist, who we saw for all three performances last year and all three performances this year. Watching such a master musician play up-close was mind-blowing.

Some performances were truly heart-wrenching. Blues musician Walter Trout – accompanied by his son on guitar – paid tribute to the stranger who saved his life by donating their liver. The crowd went wild as the set ended, and Walter broke down in tears.

Darren Hart of Harts played a killer set before hinting at his retirement and smashing his beloved guitar.

Other highlights included Canned Heat, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, and Gomez.

We also ran into Michael Franti walking among the crowd, singing, and taking selfies with his fans.

As always, the food at Bluesfest was an experience in itself. The coffee tent was a great place for a much-needed rest, and the Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts – the longer the line, the better the doughnut tastes – did not disappoint.

Finally, the vibrant market stalls, kids’ activities, circus performers, dancers, and polite and considerate crowds made the festival a real pleasure to attend. We cannot wait to see what Bluesfest has in store next year for its 30th anniversary.

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