The final day of Bluesfest Byron Bay 2023 was upon us. The weather had been superb throughout the festival, with only one wet day of the six days (inclusive of the 5 day campers night) and Monday promised more of the same fine weather.
The preceding 5 days had taken a reasonable toll on my body. Along with early starts every morning from 5.30 a.m. to get up and showered, and off to the campers café for breakfast each day and finishing by around midnight each night, coupled with all of the walking involved in going from the camping area into the festival site and back and the moving between acts and stages gradually tires one out.
However, there was more music to be had, so off I ventured at around lunch-time (once the acts began most days) to catch the same act I had finished off with the previous night, Backsliders, as I wanted to use a different approach to obtaining my photos, and because they are always such a great act to catch.
My next act was indigenous story-teller, Yirrmal. This was the first time I had seen him live, and was in awe of his ability to mix indigenous language with English in such a powerful, yet melodic way. Another act I will certainly see again in future.
A break for lunch (the day was to be a lot more casual and slow-paced than previous days) preceded me going to see Steve Poltz again. When I had seen him on the Sunday, I had been so engrossed in his performance, I had stayed for the entirety, and found that I was to do the same for this performance. Both performances were stand-alone and with little repetition of material, and to add to the wonder of the show, Steve sang a duet with his wife, and at the end of his set, called out the stage crew as well as friend Reg Mombassa from Dog Trumpet (and ex-Mental As Anything) to receive his, and the audiences applause for a job well done.
Another long break spent chatting with other festival goers from all corners of Australia over some delicious festival fare (and yes, the food is really great at Bluesfest) led me to seeing Xavier Rudd, another of Bluesfest’s favourite sons over the years, and he did not fail to deliver, with a massive crowd of faithful fans in attendance.
It turned out that the next act I was to see would be my last for the 2023 festival, Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges
Steve Poltz Gallery:
Xavier Rudd Gallery:
Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges Gallery:
All Images: ©fullonrockphotography/Andrew Fuller