Over the Easter long weekend we were fortunate to attend the Byron Bay bluesfest. Known as Australia’s biggest and best festival, I had been wanting to attend for years, so when media tickets appeared in my inbox, I could not say no.
It was a big challenging to arrange it. My parents had to come with us so they could mind Kalyra while we were attending to our “duties” (I love travel blogging!) Accommodation in the area was completely booked out and I thought we were in trouble. Thanks to our good friends at Gold Coast Tourism, they were able to arrange accommodation for us in Coolangatta and a side trip to Dreamworld.
We decided to only attend Bluesfest for 3 out of the 6 days. These were the days that featured our favourite artists. it was an exhausting time, six days would have probably wiped us out. Byron Bay Bluesfest did not let us down. It was an amazing festival and we had such a brilliant time.
I travel for experiences, in the hopes that I will learn something in order for me to grow as a person.Listening to music serves the same purpose for me, although at times I just want to sing and dance.
Many of the artists performing at Bluesfest are the sort of artists that tell stories and have inspiring messages to share. Here are the messages that rang out loud and clear from the artists this year.
Xavier Rudd: Freedom and respecting our Tribal Wisdom
“Let me Be Free” is one of my favourite Xavier Rudd songs and you could tell by the crowd dancing and singing along that it was one of theirs as well.
Xavier always speaks to this one inherent value that we all crave and once achieve would do anything not to lose.
The freedom to be who we want to be and live the lives we want to live.
For me, there is nothing I value or work towards more.
Xavier is also very respectful towards the wisdom of the ancient tribes who have lived long before us. He pays tribute to them throughout his music and songs. Australian aboriginal instruments and chanting feature heavily in his music and his latest album includes a strong African vibe. He had two musicians from South Africa playing with him, and brought out an Aboriginal dancer to perform.
He embraced them with such love and respect. Xavier is someone we can all learn a lot from.
Kasey Chambers: Humour and Happiness
Kasey Chambers is one of Australia’s Best Selling Artists. A country singer, who was once told if she were to make it she would have to change everything about her that now makes her so great. Her songs “Not Pretty Enough” and “Little Birdy” tell these stories. Thank goodness she didn’t listen.
Her happiness when she was on stage was infectious. She told stories, cracked so many jokes and just laughed and laughed. Her
Absolute joy at what she does was so evident and she was so intent on sharing that joy with everyone who came to spend time with her.
Kim Churchill: Remembering your Past and Gratitude for your Present
Kim Churchill is an up and coming young artist in Australia. He was first discovered at a Bluesfest and since then has grown quite successful amongst the folk genre within Australia and overseas. His stories and songs showed such gratitude for where he is now.
Many of his songs paint the picture of his upbringing by the sea and the struggles he has had to overcome in his life to make his dreams a reality. He bought out his mentor to jam with him on stage, and spoke of how thankful he was for the encouragement and support this man showed him to help bring out his talent and get him to where he is now.
Always be grateful for what you have in life and never forgot those people and places that helped you to get it.
Ben Harper: Making a Difference and Being True to Yourself
I wrote a post about Ben Harper and making a difference with your own two hands. I’ve loved Ben Harper for many years, not just for his powerful music but his inspiring messages to always
Work towards helping to make the world a better place and to not let others come along and steal your fire from you.
He reminds us that despite the pain that may enter into our lives, we can still love, be ourselves, feel joy, and embrace life.
Michael Franti: Joy and Celebration
Michael Franti has such powerful energy and presence. Not only is he a giant to look at but the minute he bounded out on stage it felt as if the audience all grew an extra foot. He had us all jumping and dancing and celebrating the great time we were having. Franti pulled people on stage to air guitar and dance. One couple were pulled up to dance, and the young man proposed. It was quite touching.
He sang “Hey Hey Hey” to a little girl reminding us all that no matter how bad the day is going we can turn it around to joy. For the”Sound of Sunshine,” he threw huge colorful balls out in to the audience and then jumped down into the crowd to dance and celebrate with us. It was one of the highlights of Bluesfest.
In life, there is so much joy to be experienced and so much to celebrate, if you only look for it.
John Legend: Be Extraordinary
As soon as John Legend walked out on stage and started his performance, you knew that he was someone with extraordinary talent. He was just a step above everyone else at the performance. There is obviously a reason he has won 6 Grammies and has performed at major production like the Grammys, the Oscars and on Oprah.
He oozed confidence, charisma and style. And man can he sing. He was absolutely faultless.
John Legend reminds us that
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little bit different.
Bob Dylan: Staying Forever Young
My experience watching Bob Dylan was not a positive one at all. I thought it was the worst concert I have ever seen. He was distant with the crowd, not even offerneing a hello, so stuck was he in the world of his once-greatness.
Bob killed what made him once so legendary. His songs were barely unrecognizeable due to the changed arrangements and the barking dog attritbutes his voice has now taken on.
He taught me that age is something that needs to be embraced not pushed away.
For things to remain Forever Young, they sometimes need to be left encapsulated in the moment when they were so great.
To try to keep them moving beyond their natural life span can just kill them.
These messages could not have been heard if not for my wonderful friend Amar Hussain at Gap Year Escape. Thank you so much for the media passes.
Also many thanks to Dave at Gold Coast Tourism for hosting us and making it all possible.