Crowds at Bluesfest 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Crowds at Bluesfest 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Third gold for this North Coast festival

THE 2016 Bluesfest, which featured headliners including Kendrick Lamar, The National, Brian Wilson, Tom Jones, D'Angelo, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and so many more, has been recognised at the Australian Event Awards.

Bluesfest won its third Gold at the 26th Annual NSW Tourism Awards for Major Festival and Event in Sydney on Thursday night.

Bluesfest was nominated against Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour 2015 (Runner up), Tamworth Country Music Festival (Silver) and Vivid Sydney (Bronze).

The award was accepted by Annika Oman, producer of the festival with Peter Noble, on behalf of Peter and the entire team.

"What an honour. We just won our third NSW Tourism Award. We really didn't expect to win," Mr Noble said.

"The competition was fierce, and it gets harder every year to be nominated.

"I really must pay tribute to all the Bluesfest team for this award.

"There are so many people who work so hard for 12 months a year with little down time to make this incredible event what it is.

"From the traffic management and parking attendants, the box office and entry staff, the camping and volunteer management staff, the recycling and environmental staff, our stalls, food and beverage managers, site managers, ground staff, volunteers, production team, caterers, contractors and suppliers, touring team, Indigenous presenters, back of house staff, administration, publicists, social media people, I.T staff, and especially our driver team, who lost their captain this year, Tony Llord, who left the planet just over a week ago after being with us for over seventeen years.

"Also to every one of the people not listed above, the many hundreds of you, I dedicate this award to you.

"Your dedication, professionalism, enthusiasm and positive energy cannot be bought. It just is the incredible indescribable brilliance you bring to Bluesfest that makes us who we are.

"Bluesfest 2015 had its challenges. Three of our headliners pulled out at the last moment.

"We pulled together as a team through this challenge to replace them, and still presented an incredible event.

"This award is testimony to that resolve.

"Once again, we bring another major award to the Byron region.

"We truly live in a real worldwide centre for the Arts in this region, and are proud of our contribution to the humanities over the years here.

"All I can say to end is, we intend Bluesfest 2016 to be our best festival so far.

"Because that is what we aspire to present every year.

"It is only a week since we were nominated in the US Pollstar Awards for the World's best International Music Festival, for the fourth year in a row.

"Yet to me, winning this award in our home state for the third time is something that is both humbling whilst at the same time exhilarating.

"We are simply over the moon today as this sinks in."

The 28th Anniversary Bluesfest will take place over the next Easter long weekend; Thursday April 13 - Monday April 17, 2017 at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay, NSW.

Headliners announced to date include Zac Brown Band, Mary J. Blige, Patti Smith, The Lumineers and Buddy Guy.

Bluesfest playing schedule is available on www.bluesfest.com.au


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