By Wanda Hill
Crowded House lived up to their name at the Crossroads as they could have filled two big tops with the amount of people trying to get close to the action. Parking sold out early for what was this year’s biggest day at Bluesfest. Pretty much the entire festival patronage gathered to see this much loved band. Despite most people choosing to sing along with Crowded House there was still plenty of awe and devotion for George Benson over at the Mojo,where he was filling the cool night air with romance and nostalgia, perfect for lovers.
Earlier in the day Troy Cassar-Daley was at his story telling best, sharing insights into his song writing inspirations with lyrics coming straight from his heart. A relaxed Mojo audience, appreciated his depth and beautiful songs. From the opposite side of the Country coin over at Jambalaya, golden throated and very funny Henry Wagons was doing a great impersonation of a washed out star still delivering the goods after a rough night, saved by a shower and ‘Resurrection’ shampoo.
Weddings, Parties, Anything had a cracker afternoon set bringing great energy to the Crossroads. Like all the artists on the bill, they were so overjoyed to finally have a booking that was actually happening. The joy was apparent in every note they played. The Bamboos stepped up the vibe at Delta delivering funk lovers the perfect transition into a fabulous night of dancing ahead, paving the way for other phenomenal acts at the Delta including the masterful Cory Henry and the ecstatic experience that is Hiatus Kaiyote.
Out around the festival grounds, baby wagons illuminated by fairy lights added sparkle to the night. As always the festival fashions are a bit of fun and this year’s prize would have to go to the man dressed as a peacock with a tail and headdress made from real feathers. Highlight of night was Fat Freddy’s Drop playing their first international gig in two years. Having been very generous to their fans with free live streams of specially recorded gigs filmed in Aotearoa during lockdowns, it was great for them to come and feel the love and gratitude from their loyal followers, who had kept up with their latest releases despite the lack of live gigs. Such a treat to hear their awesome sounds fill The Crossroads with fellow devotees dedicated to the brilliance of this band. Waiting several years for the opportunity to ‘sway like this’ to their sonic boom was well worth it.
Bluesfest is bringing much needed celebration to the northern rivers while not loosing sight of the ongoing crisis happening in the region. The festival is hosting several of the community groups working hard to keep the worst hit areas at some level of functioning, while homes, businesses and roads have been destroyed. An estimated 22,000 people are currently displaced and needing support. The Koori Mail set up an instant support centre in the heart of Lismore helping the entire community despite their own premises’ being flooded. Find out more about their ongoing work on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/koorimail and their Go Fund Me page: https://gofund.me/26ef7126. Also check out the fabulous work by Resilient Lismore at www.floodhelpnr.com.au and Community Led Flood Crisis Operations Mullumbimby and Northern Rivers at http://mullumfloodhelp.org/ your donations will help the good work to continue and ensure the region can keep hosting world class festivals into the future. You can meet some of the awesome volunteers delivering this inspiring crisis response by dropping into their stalls on site. Only one more day to go!