Rocking and raffling
THIRTY five days and counting until the first guitar solo echoes across the Bluesfest site at Tyagarah and Alan and Jennie Tunks are gearing up for the Cystic Fibrosis Guitar Raffle.
Supported once again by Bluesfest itself, celebrating its 30th year, and with new sponsor Byron Music on board and providing an exciting new bunch of guitars, the raffle raises money for research into Cystic Fibrosis- a debilitating condition that effects the lungs of sufferers.
The Tunks's son is a sufferer and this spurs them on in their efforts to raise money and lobby governments to make the astronomically expensive treatment drugs available through the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
They had success last year getting Orkambi listed which brought the monthly cost of treatment down from $17,000 to just $40. Now a newer, even more effective drug, Symdeko, is on the horizon and the couple are pushing to get it listed as well.
"There seems to be momentum now in Europe and a newer generation of drugs are coming up for review and Symdeko is three times more efficient than Orkambi,” Mr Tunks said.
Its all about survival and quality of life when it comes to Cystic Fibrosis and Mr Tunks is optimistic that Symdeko will provide, "some really great benefits for all sufferers including less hospital admissions and better lung clearance.”
"We are so grateful Byron Music is partnering with us and Bluesfest to take us on board for their 30th annual festival, its going to be quite something.
"This our 23rd consecutive year at Blues and we hope to beat the $58,000 we raised last year.”
Owner of Byron Music, Nick Sergi has brought three iconic guitar makers together for this year's Bluesfest CF Guitar Raffle.
"Its a real privilege to be a partner with Allan and Jenny and Bluesfest and get guitar makers Fender, Maton and Yamaha involved for such a great cause,” Mr Sergi said.
"These are all instruments guitar players know and love.
"Yamaha have contributed a truly amazing looking and sounding RevStar and our main prize is a Fender Player Series Stratocaster.
"We also have a beautiful Maton SRS60C Road Series Acoustic and to top it all off Maton Ambassador and Australian Guitar legend Tommy Emmanuel is also performing at Bluesfest this year.”
Once again the guitars will be signed by all the big names performing at the festival. Tickets are already available at Byron Music and guitar aficionados will have the chance to get up close and personal with the guitars at a series of events prior to Bluesfest and at the festival itself.
Nick Sergi and his staff will also be out at Bluesfest at manning and womanning their Byron Music Jam Tent for the fourth year running.
"The tent gives punters a place to go and be part of the festival, get inspired by their heroes, blow off some steam and lay down a couple of tasty solos themselves,” he said.