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Byron Bay's Bluesfest is the crossroads for music

BLUESFEST: Director Peter Noble (centre) with organisers of the Bluesfest busking competition Anita Colenbrander (left) and Melinda Moss.
BLUESFEST: Director Peter Noble (centre) with organisers of the Bluesfest busking competition Anita Colenbrander (left) and Melinda Moss. Christian Morrow

THE cross roads, according to music legend, is where you find the real blues experience and Byron Bay's Bluesfest is at its intersection.

All the bands that appear there are in the midst of their own global and local tours.

It's a major logistical and creative feat to get them all to appear at the same time for that magical five days over Easter.

Bluesfest artistic director Peter Noble is constantly bargaining with a myriad of artists across the globe, looking to conjure up the best line-up he can for any one year.

And these days it's not just about the Blues, as Noble has sought to broaden the long-term appeal of the festival across genres and across the generations.

"We take a risk to make sure that our festival can still be a torchbearer for the Blues," he said.

On the bill so far are the Black Keys, one of the biggest mainstream touring bands in the world, together with the Gypsy Kings, Rodrigo and Gabriela, the biggest flamenco acts in the world today.

For hardcore Blues aficionados, there are genuine legends John Mayall, Keb Mo and the Blasters.

"You can't say British Blues without saying John Mayall in the next sentence," he said.

"Mayall's 1960s band the Bluesbreakers was how many of us first absorbed the Blues."

It's always been about his love of music and Noble believes this is the reason for his longevity in the industry.

"Because it was always about the music it gave me the ability to get knocked down and then get up again," he said.

Developments at the Bluesfest site at Tyagarah have continued to grow, with space now for another 3000 people to camp there.

Their Koala Plan of Management has continued apace, with night vision camera monitoring the site to check on incursions by wild dogs.

Topics:  bluesfest, byron bay, peter noble


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