This year’s Bluesfest was a strange affair. There were not a lot of mega-names (but quite a number of big hitters – though some failed to arrive) but overall it was a good few days to experience some great blues groups and awesome instrumentalists. The good got better and the fair played up to the crowd’s expectations. No one was poor quality though the sound for Hunter Hayes and Paolo Nutini left a lot to be desired. I just could not get Hunter’s words at all and Paolo was inaudible outside the tent which for those sitting there was disappointing.
Highlights as always were Jake Shimabukuro (gosh I love that guy!), Matt Anderson (sadly a heart attack waiting to happen – come on Matt we want you around for a long long time!), Beth Hart, Boy and Bear, Gary Clark Jnr, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Train and Hozier. Sadly I missed quite a few acts due the terrible weather, maybe next year or hopefully I can get to some of the Bluesfest Tours.
Let me have a rant – guys do some more work on wet weather and sun shade please!!! It would not hurt to put out a few more shaded areas (tents or tarps) where you can put up your own chairs and watch the big screens. It would also prevent that deadly crush when everyone pushes into Crossroads and Mojo once the rain starts. The tents are awesome but basically become massive waterfalls when it rains and everyone outside gets soaked or rushes inside. Its better than it was with the occasionally enforced no chairs rule but seriously there are a number of easy solutions (and it might stop the grass turning into “stenchville” and “mud farm” when it rains). Many of us are quite happy to sit under the stars and watch the screens but can’t when it rains or the sun is too hot.
While I am at it those little chairs in Crossroads and Mojo are the most uncomfortable kids sized chairs ever and just to finish please put the big screens a little higher or put one up on the roof. It’s really sad you can’t see them clearly when everyone is standing. It’s getting better each year but it could be SOOOOOO much more comfortable.
That said it is still a raging success and everyone get something out of it.
The food was great again and plenty of options and some interesting stalls.
The noise leakage between stages is becoming an increasing annoyance especially as you have to sit or stand outside so often. Maybe they need to face the stages radially to push the sound away. To put 6 stages so close together is a good effort but when you have some big hitters playing its hard to stop the bass overrunning each other. If its going to keep going maybe something to think about?
Anyway here is an artists lists and I plan to follow a few this year.
many more to come!