Bluesfest licensee and venue manager Brendan Meek on the festival site at Tyagarah last Friday.
Bluesfest licensee and venue manager Brendan Meek on the festival site at Tyagarah last Friday.

Tyagarah site ‘ready to go’

Everything’s ready to go. That’s the message from Bluesfest director Peter Noble as the countdown to this year’s 21st anniversary music event reaches its final week.

Despite continued showers, Mr Noble said the new festival site at Tyagarah was fine.

“We are on schedule, and the showers really haven’t given us too much trouble,” he said.

They’veThere’s been showers, not rain.

“Once we get the festival up and running, it’s going to be really exciting.”

For the first time in its 21-year history, this year’s event will be held at a purpose-built festival site at Tyagarah.

On from April 1 to 5, the internationally renowned and multi-award-winning music event has once again attracted some of the biggest names in music.

With headline acts including Crowded House, Jack Johnson, The Fray and John Butler; old festival friends Buddy Guy and Taj Mahal; guitarist Jeff Beck and a host of new, young up-and-comers including Jessica Mauboy, Mr Noble said the 2010 event was one not to be missed.

“There’s something here for everyone,” he said.

“Young and old, the music will appeal to a big cross-section of people.”

The festival will be officially opened by the NSW Minister for the Arts, Virginia Judge, who will be at the festival on Thursday and Friday.

Mr Noble said ticket sales were going ‘through the roof’.

“Yesterday, March 16, we sold 500 tickets and caught up with last year’s ticket sales and now 70 to 75 per cent of our tickets are sold,” he told the News last Wednesday.

“Although we are yet to sell a ticket to Antarctica, which we did last year, we have so far sold more tickets to more countries than ever before.

“Last year we sold tickets to 25 countries. This year so far we have sold tickets to 30 countries.

“Kiwis are flying over the ditch in higher numbers than ever before, Northern Territorians and South Australian’s are, as always, batting above their weight and more than 10,000 Queenslanders are coming.”

Mr Noble said tickets would be available at the gate each day, but it was expected that one-day tickets for the Saturday would be sold out before the festival started.

He said that Sunday was also shaping up to be really popular and he urged people who wanted to go on Saturday or Sunday to get their tickets now.

Mr Noble has also urged people to get along to the festival on Thursday.

He said that festival-goers wanting to see Jack Johnson should take advantage of his performance on Thursday – traditionally the quietest festival day.

“We are disappointed that Jimmy Barnes has cancelled his performance, but there are just so many other amazing acts for people to see,” he said.

The Byron News was taken on a tour of the festival site last Friday by festival licensee and venue manager Brendan Meek.

Despite the constant rain over the past few weeks, the site was surprisingly dry.

“The doomsayers have predicted that the site will flood if there is a lot of rain, but as you can see, it’s not wet at all,” Mr Meek said.

“There’s obviously still a lot of work to be done, but all will be ready for the start of the festival.”

As well as new roads and other infrastructure, the site also boasts five new bridges.

A pond, located in the middle of the site, has been landscaped and has become a native habitat for ducks and birds. There is room for 3500 cars and there will be more than 6000 campers on site.

“We also have our own water tank which not only provides water, but can be used to fight fires, with fire hydrants located at strategic places throughout the site,” Mr Meek said.

“Optus has built a tower and Telstra is installing a fibre optic cable so the extra demand for communication during the festival can be met.”

As well as housing the massive music tents, the site will also house a general store; first aid tents; buskers and information tents; massage and cloak rooms; charity stalls; a breathalyser stall; bus and taxi parking area; food and coffee tents; ATMs; water stall; merchandise and CD signing; a kids club; ferris wheel and more.

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