Easter weekend festival wrap-up

Of all the live music spoils that come with an Easter long weekend, there was plenty to cheer (and grumble) about on the festival circuit.

The biggest gathering was undoubtedly in Byron for the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival. Despite heavy rain turning Belongil Fields into something of a quagmire, there was plenty to distract from the squelch underfoot. Indeed, festival director Peter Noble even enthused, “Musically, this could very easily be the best Bluesfest we’ve had yet.”

You can read all about the onstage highlights in the FL reviews of day one and two, but local newspaper The Northern Star had more pressing matters at hand – celebrity spotting! Chris Martin was sighted amongst the mud with his daughter in tow, as were actors Laura Dern and Matthew McConaughey (shirt on). 85,000 punters descended on the five-day love-in, with Noble claiming the local business community did a roaring trade. Despite that, Bluesfest is set to follow the lead of Splendour In The Grass by looking further afield in 2010. Organisers are hopeful Bluesfest can move to the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm for its 21st anniversary next year.

In neighbouring South Australia, there was a somewhat more mixed reaction to the Live At The Zoo festival. The unique event held at the 1,000 hectare Monarto Zoo was labelled a “disgrace” by Premier Mike Rann. Cut Copy pulled out of their headline slot after festival-goers rushed the crowd control barriers. There were also complaints of understaffing and poor toilets, but the photo gallery suggests plenty of fun was still had.

Meanwhile at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens, Chill City (described by FL’s reviewer as “the most chilled concert of my life”) saw breezy performances from Ben Kweller, Paul Kelly, Easy Star All Stars and more.

Matthew McConaughey, deck-chairs and unsafe Portaloos – just another weekend of Australian festivalling.

Article photo by Jame, Live At The Zoo