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The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Bluesfest 2010 Options
ScottM
Posted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 2:27:19 PM
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Well, I have made a habit of doing these lists for a few years, and it seems like a good way to summarise the weekend, so here goes:

The Good
The new site - I think that people would be hard pressed to suggest that it wasn't an improvement on the 2 previous homes of the festival at Red Devil and Belongil Fields. Struck a good mix between having everything close enough together to allow easy movement, but not having things on top of each other
The music - it looked great on paper and it sounded better live. Such a rich and diverse year. World class acts and younger lesser known acts with a point to prove.
The food - another good offering, and the Crossroads food tent remains a Godsend.
The crowd - I've been quick to criticise fellow crowd members previously, so I should take a moment to acknowledge that the crowd's attitude and behaviour this year seemed much better and more positive than it has for a while.
The weather - enough rain to keep the ground from going to dust, and generally the perfect temperature for everyone to remain comfortable. And a comfortable crowd is a happy crowd.

The Bad
Drink prices - unless my memory is playing ticks (and it is known to do that), I think this was 3 straight years of beer prices being increased?
The 10CC crowd - I was there for the last couple of songs and seeing all of those baby boomers "mum and dad dancing" was a little frightening. Get these people a mirror!
Terrence Simien - I love the guy, I really do, but I must have have heard his CD played at least a dozen or more times between sets over the weekend. Don't take It Makes No Difference away from me - I love that song (Louisiana 1927 too for that matter)
Roger Hodgson's hair - wrong, wrong, wrong

The Ugly
Sound mixing - there were problems here. A few examples off the top of my head: the Avett Brothers on Thursday had the main vocal up WAY too loud, Bela Fleck's first set was a mess as far as the sound mix and it really harmed the set, Lyle Lovett was too low (though thankfully the deserved respect from the audience meant that he could be heard). It seemed like the sound was being sorted out after the start of the set for just about every act. I don't know who is to blame, but I think it is something that needs to be addressed, if only to do justice to the artists on show.
Transport - I didn't have a particularly hard time of it, both to and from Brunswick Heads, but the buses really looked to be struggling on Saturday night with the Byron crowd. Maybe an issue for the bus company. I believe the trek out of the day parking was daunting too, but parking was free, it was the first year at the site, and we shouldn't make it too easy for people to drive where public transport is a viable alternative.
waffles
Posted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 5:39:29 PM
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scott,cant believe i never spotted you all weekend,but seemed to run into the same people every few hours.
re mixing LIL BAND OF GOLD s mix on thursday was terrible for the first 5-6 songs. as the band did individual solos,the mix did not keep up.
when david egan had his you could not hear the keyboard or his vocals.they seemed to get it togeather later but i noticed this on several bands.
TALKING OF UGLY
what about the big middle aged guy with the following shirts-saturday-DO I LOOK LIKE A efuceekayING PEOPLES PERSON- nope.
MONDAY-front BLUES AND ROOTS AND EVERYTHING CAN back GO AND GET efuceekayED!
you gotta love a man with attitude.he certainly made an impression.

I don't want to hang up my rock n roll shoes
I get a good time feeling every time I hear those blues.
coppinafield19
Posted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 9:49:17 PM
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waffles wrote:
scott,cant believe i never spotted you all weekend,but seemed to run into the same people every few hours.
re mixing LIL BAND OF GOLD s mix on thursday was terrible for the first 5-6 songs. as the band did individual solos,the mix did not keep up.
when david egan had his you could not hear the keyboard or his vocals.they seemed to get it togeather later but i noticed this on several bands.
TALKING OF UGLY
what about the big middle aged guy with the following shirts-saturday-DO I LOOK LIKE A efuceekayING PEOPLES PERSON- nope.
MONDAY-front BLUES AND ROOTS AND EVERYTHING CAN back GO AND GET efuceekayED!
you gotta love a man with attitude.he certainly made an impression.

mmmmm Ugly Huh? You obviously like your men slimmer ...I'll see what i can do for you next year waff
Very hard to find the right attire to wear with all the tattoos...funny thing is i've been wearing the saturday shirt for all eight years i have attended without response ..so for that Thank you and to clarify ..saturday shirt says DO I LOOK LIKE A FU*KING PEOPLE PERSON? and Mondays read THE BLUES IS THE ROOTS EVERYTHING ELSE CAN...GO AND GET FU*KED.
If you paid that much attention mate you should have come up and said hello....i actually make more friends and strike more conversations with people based on these shirts because nobody is going to talk to the big guy with all the tattoos anyway ....so yeah waffles ..no attitude mate purely pisstake meant to get a reaction and it always does ...so when you see me next year come up and introduce yourself and i'll promise not to bite.
wildthing
Posted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010 11:07:52 PM
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The price of beer is insane!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately we had to leave a day early ,as we just ran out of money for food , bus fare and beer! If I come back next year, we will have to camp and bring EVERYTHING with us. The costs are exhorbitant to have a good time. On another note, Ray Beadle was a huge standout for me, and Jules Holland.
TheLoneRanger
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 7:08:22 AM
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Jools Holland has had hundreds of musicans through his show over the years.

Put his Legends DVD on the player and who is the first musican you hear.

Jeff Beck.

That is how highly Jools respects the man.

So do I.

Eric Clapton,Jeff Beck,Jimmy Page.

All Legends from the same era.




"An artist never really chooses when and where they will play.It is for promoters to make offers.It comes down as to whether tours are financially viable." Quote John Mayall.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbEHzqildp8
pentatonic
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 8:05:46 AM
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Jeff Beck - yeah. Awesome tone, sound and band, but where's the emotion? Where the contact with the crowd? Where the smile when the crowd goes berserk?
Ray Beadle - Oh yeah! A true guitar hero, and nice guy too! Watch out for Ray and get to a show and you'll be a believer too!
greybeard
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 8:18:56 AM

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wildthing wrote:
The price of beer is insane!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately we had to leave a day early ,as we just ran out of money for food , bus fare and beer!


I'm very sorry to hear this, you paid for a days entry but spent all your dollars early
Next year take oranges injected with vodka, Robert Mitchum used to get around the Studio's minders this way.

Heading out for the East Coast / Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through, / Tangled up in blues.
marksullivan
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 8:22:49 AM
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the good: generally the way the transport, food, bars, toilets worked. The weather. The vibe. The pod. The new site. The surprises: Robert Gordon & The Gang (x2); Imelda May; Jon Cleary; The Dynamites. Those that lived up to and exceeded expectations with a delight to feed off their enthusiastic and giving crowd:Jools, Matisyahu; Buddy; Colin Hay; Chase the Sun; Peter Green; Roger H;10cc; Ross Wilson & friends and fotos; John Mayall and Taj. Byron's surf. $5 pints of tiger beer at the great northern. And the Gypsy Kings.
The bad: the pathos of Bebel's gig- a perfect combination of lack of crowd; too big a tent for intimacy; an unloving/sheer stuffed/ or thinking of work/travel tomorrow crowd; bad mixing. She died, which was sad, as on another day, time and at Jambalaya she may have taken away good memories of BF. The combination of the cost of transport; beers/spirits, make it difficult for younger 5 dayers to walk away without a large hole in their pocket.
The ugly:
the chair ettiquette in popular acts. Difficult when you cannot move into a tent due to crowds and yet in middle is a black hole which if used politely might enable 100's of others to see the gig in comfort and good spirits. The VIPS and closing off sides of big tents. It puts more pressure on other entrances. Makes the chair issue an issue, and introduces elitism to BF. I'll say no more on that.
PS Thursday's small crowds make it a great night. Full of anticipation. Curious to see how Mondays can be reignnited with enthusiasm and value for artists and crowd.
waffles
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 9:21:21 AM
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now i know who coppinafield is. buy you a beer next year mate.no worries.

p.s. im a bona fide member of the grumpy old mens club.

I don't want to hang up my rock n roll shoes
I get a good time feeling every time I hear those blues.
curlyloc
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 9:56:22 AM
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All good for me!

Truly was the guitar lovers festival. Coupla minor sounds problems (mikes went off for Snowdroppers and Taj; and couldn't hear didges for Emdee's first appearance) but didn't spoil it I thought.

Wildthing - Monday was fanatastic! No crowds, acts relaxed, great weather. I love Thursdays AND Mondays! And if you didn't see Steven Smyth, catch them at Maitland tomorrow nite.

Buddy Guy is without doubt the best guitar player alive.......the way he plays is beyond anyone. Amen
richo
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 9:58:58 AM
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Sound seemed to run from average to poor. These SAE work experience kids manning the sound desks have to go... simply unacceptable to the musicians and the crowds to haves so many poor mixes and missed cues.

Crossroads tiered seating setup and VIP bar location, as others said, totally screwed up the normally efficient entry and exiting of the stage. Instead it was reduced to two narrow paths along the left and right thanks to the sprawling mess of chairs. If this stadium seating is going to be used again then there has to be some actual thought to reglating chairs.

The screens at Mojo and Crossroads were too small and too low. Most of the time if you weren't in a position to see the stage clearly then the screens were no good either.

Traffic getting out was a joke even on the quieter. It was fine once you reached the highway service road so the issue is obviously to do with the internal setup with exit roads and I hope this is looked at before next year. It's all fine to get on the 'take public transport' high horse, but staying at Lennox Head this year we had a choice of 2 buses in leaving at inconvenient times, none on Thursday and a $10 fare each way.

This is an issue with crowd attitudes, but the foodcourt tent was disgusting. How do people just walk away and leave their trash on the table? I suspect more bins partly contributes here. And chairs... at least half the chairs in the foodcourt and essentially all in the area outside the VIP tent were taken for people to sit or stand on in tents.

As for positives. Music was great, new site handled things well (though did feel a bit too packed on the big Saturday/Sunday). Wish there was more time and less clashes... spent 80% of my time at Crossroads and missed a lot of great stuff at Apra/Jambalaya/Caba
waffles
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 10:19:41 AM
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sorry richo,i could have given you a lift every day,if id known.
note for next year-CAR POOL.

WILDTHING-hope you didnt get spooked on thursday at the rails -about the thongs etc.

I don't want to hang up my rock n roll shoes
I get a good time feeling every time I hear those blues.
Always28
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 11:12:01 AM
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The Good:
I loved Jeff Beck especially the drumming and bass, I think there was some confusion on stage because his original set list had Imelda May to join him and she was booked at the same time
Buddy Of course
Joe Bonnamassive..
Ray Beadle was huge and headed for greater things
Tribali had the tent jumping for joy
What a thrill to see Peter Green, shame the sound mix at Crossroads was not as good as it was at Jambalaya
Brian Auger and the kids
Jon Cleary powerhouse
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Umphrey's McGee blew Mrs A 28 and me away
Little Band of Gold
Jools and the Band
How about the tone of of Taj Mahal's guitar
Chase the Sun seem to be growing better each year
The Hat and his readhead replacement for Itchy
Galactic
The site was great seemed to suck up the overnight rain without any problems
No drunks making a nuisance of themselves

The Bad
Bebel Gilberto, took 10 minutes longer than normal to set the stage and then forgot a mic for her pretend singer, a band that made no contribution at all, lectured the crown in portugese and then thankfully left early
Rodger Hodgson and the forest of palm trees, walked out after ten minutes
10CC good band wrong venue
Renee Geyer
Chairs bloody chairs, Crossroads looked like a retirement home. If you can't fold them up and stand to watch and dance then go to you local RSL for a nice sit down

Overall this was only our 5th but easily the best, always nice to see the familar faces. Too many choices so we must have missed some great stuff as well. I must have mentioned this to several but in my opinion we had three of the most important musicians of the 20th century in John Mayall without whom many of the American blues greats would have dissapeared into history, Buddy who kept Chicago blues alive with guys like Luther Alison, and the Doctor who is the life blood of NOLA funk. Also a great recognition of the contribution of Nawlins and the delta with the number of people with links back to that great City.

Hard to beat Peter
thoare
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 11:37:51 AM
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The Good
Galatic - Amazing
Hank Green - Johnny Greens Blues Cowboys - I hate to think what I was doing at age 12... He was great.
Thursday night - I think Thursday night was a close to perfection as you can get. Small crowd and great bands.
Colin Hay
Toilets inside the festival - Loved the Poo Crew!
All the lovely people at the festival - great atmosphere this year.

The Bad
Sound at Peter Green - very dissappointing
Drink prices

The Ugly
The 5 day camping toilets - They need to be a permanent facility or lights installed in the porta loos and have them serviced a few times a day. They were constantly full. Not fun after a heavy night at the festival to be confronted by dirty, full porta loos.

mgwfall
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 11:49:24 AM
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The Good

The music. Where I was, didn't have issues with the sound mix most of the time.

The kid's guitar solo (playing with Johnny Green's Blues Cowboys). Anyone one else see this, know who he is?
Joe Banamassa's tune with the acoustic
Daniel Champagne's version of Vincent
Blues Preachers' version of John The Reverlator
Carney....if Jeff Buckley & Led Zepellin had a love child.
Snowdroppers....never saw Nick Cave when he was young, feel like I have now
Swell Season, Avett Brothers, Galactic, Umphrey's McGee, Imelda May
Lots of good young Aussie talent, one's already mentioned plus Halfway to Forth, Kim Churchill, Wagons, Banawarun, Mojo Webb Band, The Fumes, Hussey Hick (winner of busking comp)
Lots of young people in the audience, you would expect were there for Jack etc, completely enjoying the blues acts & even knowing all the songs at Old Crow Medicine Show.

The Bad
Getting out of the carpark 45mins-1hr if you stayed til the end
Getting into the car park. Did improve, but 1 day took 30mins from turn off, more staff stopping you parking, than helping to park.
The joint use of the road for cars & walkers, especially at end of night with many unsteady on feet.
The kids filming for the screens. Camera in front of stage often in the middle of the stage rather than off to the side, blocking the view. During Brian Auger, kid was on stage & standing almost right in front of Brian most of the time, & to make in worse, when I looked at the screen to see what I was missing, Brian's daughter, the very attractive singer was usually on screen. This doesn't happen in the real world. Wouldn't it make more sense to train them to film for the screens how they will have to do it once qualified. It was annoying to get there early to try & get a good spot, only to find, when it was too late to move,I was standing behind someone effectively 8ft tall & 3ft wide. The other suggestion would be to have some carboard cuttouts with "the camera person will be standing here for the next act" marked on it, so you know where not to stand.
Clashes, so missing out on seeing some stuff.
Poor Man's Whiskey decision to NOT do Dark Side Of The Moon on Sunday night!!!!!

The Ugly
That security guard (deliberate use of the word guard) in Crossroad. He was aggressive, intimidating, completely unsuited to the atmosphere at a music festival like Bluesfest. As I said on another thread, he either over interpreted the rules re videos or no other security person was doing their job.

But overall, wonderful 5 days.
wildthing
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 12:05:48 PM
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No Waffles, wasn't spooked!!!!lol. Got to meet some very cool people and it was lovely to meet you. If I can afford to go next year, I think I will camp. Too much time wasted gettin to music.
amberprice
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 12:21:10 PM
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The Good

The MUSIC - all of it! Can never fault the lineups each year, so much to see, so little time.

The food - awesome selection as per usual, still didn't get to try everything I wanted.

Being able to take cars out of the camping section - the website said we wouldn't be able to do this, however on arrival we were pleasantly surprised when we were told we would be allowed. This enabled us to head into town in the mornings to surf/swim/eat/shop/whatever and generally have a bit of a holiday as well (I love Byron!), and be back in time for the music to start. I would be happy to catch a bus, but the buses didn't start until 11.00am from the site into town which would make this impossible. So hopefully this will continue to be allowed for future years, or bring the buses forward (although catching full buses with surfboards for an early surf probably would be a little trickier).

Staff - as usual were really good, and the place is always so clean. Brilliant!


The Bad

The 5 day camping section being one of the furtherest sections away from the festival. I would have thought we'd be put a bit closer, being that we will be back and forth over the festival the most over the 5 days. Being pregnant probably made this worse, by Day 5 my legs/feet were so sore from standing for 5 days I could barely walk, and the thought of going back to camp for a jumper when it got chilly was just too hard. Hence dragging around a big backpack full of clothes for cold/wet weather each day, instead of just 'ducking back' to camp in the arvo to change.

Showers - again, wouldn't you think the 5 day campers would have their own showers?! We had friends camping for 3 days and even 1 days, they got their own showers, and were nice and close to the festival! Pissed me off a bit that we who are staying the longest/paid the most seemed to get jibbed.

Prices of beer do seem to keep rising (not that it was an issue for me this year, but my husband wasn't impressed!), and we usually spend hundreds in the CD tent each year but this year we decided to wait till we get home - you can get so many of the CD's much cheaper from JB Hi fi etc. or online. With the amount of CD's we usually buy, this will save us a fair bit...

Crossroads tent - the sides being blocked. Tried to get in to see lots of bands in here but had to try and start at the back and work through the people crammed in there. Managed to get into the only side entrance to see Buddy, but it was just so jam packed I couldn't see anything and spoiled his set for me which is a shame. Maybe get rid of the grandstands down one side? Those who want to sit will bring their chairs anyway, so I don't see the point in having the stands too (or so many of them).

Apra Stage - saw so many great bands in there this year, and so many of them spilled right out a fair way. I think it needs to be bigger! It was difficult to get inside sometimes, which is the only way to get the good sound, a good view, and get out of the scorching sun.


Think thats all, all in all it was another great festival, and being the first at this site it can only get better from here!
curlyloc
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 12:40:50 PM
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mgwfall wrote:

The kid's guitar solo (playing with Johnny Green's Blues Cowboys). Anyone one else see this, know who he is?


Hank Green - son of Johnny

Buddy Guy is without doubt the best guitar player alive.......the way he plays is beyond anyone. Amen
adampike
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 1:10:50 PM
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The Good

The festival in general was incredible, I had a blast!

Jeff Beck
Brian Auger
Jools Holland
Buddy Guy
Lyle Lovatt
Clayton Doley Organ Donors - I am a Hammond Organ fan and these guys blew my mind, would like to see them back again at a later timeslot, I think they were even better than Booker T was last year and were up there with Brian Auger for me this year

The Bad

John Butler Trio - again!
Jessica Mauboy - why?
some of the sound mixes, particularly on the crossroads, it seemed the engineer just wasn't paying attention. Jeff Beck kept trying to speak into his microphone and it wasn't on. some bands would sing the first few lines of a songs before we started hearing it out the front.

The Ugly

The camping facilities in general
The Showers- there were most definitely not enough and I don't think they we cleaned even once the whole five days
The Toilets in the 5 day camping, they were at different times overflowing, without lights in the middle of the night and generally filthy
Maccain09
Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2010 1:22:34 PM

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The Good:

Every Act I witnessed - the bluesfest crowd in general

The Bad:

Daniel Champains version of Vincent, not sure what all that was about.

The Ugly :

Crossroads Tent with the sides closed off. Terrible Terrible Terrible Idea , Organisers need to fix this for next yr - With the amount of chairs scattered inside taking up all the space on the floor and the sides cut off many people missed several acts that would have been normally accessible in the previous years. There are no winners with this current design. It resuled in cramping, smaller capaity and is an accident waiting to happen.

Bus waits at the end of the night was painful, (then again - this will be fixed next year)

THIS SHOULD BE A BI ANNUAL EVENT !
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