I was in Byron Bay window shopping, (the usual when you’re traveling and cant afford to purchase any new articles because of budget and backpack room.) A Matt Corby song came on in the store and I naturally said out loud, “God, I love him.” The woman behind the register then chimed in and said, “Well he’s preforming next weekend here at the Byron Bay Blues Festival, you going?” I didn’t even know of the event but hearing Corby would be there I was sold. Plus that was the same weekend as Coachella and I had been suffering major FOMO. It wasn’t till I got to a wifi zone to look up on how to get a ticket did I see the lineup in Byron killed the line up back in Cali. Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, Passenger, Buddy Guy, The Wailers, Matt Corby and sooo many more I couldn’t even believe.
I immediately turned to facebook in hopes a friend of a friend was going or anyone had some connections out here. I ended up hitting the ultimate jackpot and got tickets to the 4 day festival because a friend was buddies with one of the bands performing and hooked it up. (A million thanks to Jason!!!)
I spent the next week up in Gold Coast and then Tweeds Head, staying with the coolest couple I’ve ever met in my life, Michelle and Darcy, true soul mates. (Im going to post another entry soon speaking a little more about Gold Coast, Tweeds Head, and more on Byron.)
The festival blew away my expectations. There were henna booths and random belly dancers even tug-a-war. Seven different stages, one was a Busking stage, where local bands got to go up and perform just to be heard. Theres also a cd signing area where artist will come after they perform for meet and greets, (I loved that!) More than Coachella that only sold food and beverages, they had vendors with cool hats, different types of jewelry, local fashion designers selling cute 60s one pieces, Where the Wild Things Are and other lit up figures paraded around the festival once the sun set every night, AND you can walk around the whole festival with your alcoholic beverage. #Bonus.
I was surprised how much more relaxed this festival was compared to Coachella. From the people, the age demographic was more mature, to wardrobe. (The week before I had been preparing myself with daisy headbands and concerned with looking like the perfect flower child because that’s a little bit of the protocol in California.) When I was there no one could care less about “festival attire”, they were there strictly for the music. The respect shown to the musicians was beautiful. Crowds of thousands silenced by the voice of one. While Passenger performed he asked if he could sing a song without one person holding up a phone or camera, and it happened. It was truly remarkable to see the attention his humble presence commanded. For my first time ever watching live music I started crying, moved by his words and the stillness of the thousands of people in the crowd. In general I noticed the crowd was courteous when taking photos of their favorite bands, rather than holding their phones or cameras above their heads the whole time, they would raise their camera into the air, snap a couple shots then lower it again. -People in the states need to learn this.