Greeted by rain clouds, British tourists and affordable avocado prices we rolled into town on the Byron Bay Easybus 10am Tuesday morning. Having been awake for 7 hours already, the sea breeze was a welcome replacement for the dense odour of jet fuel lingering in our sinuses.
Here on behalf of Catalyst to cover the iconic Byron Bay Bluesfest, we’ll be bringing you all things festival related straight to your laptops, tablets and phone screens. You’ll hear about some of the best artists from around the globe, as well as some strange people stories.
Hanging about in the township in the last two days has been great so far, though it’s hard to figure out if Byron is like this year round. All we know it’s definitely preferable to waiting it out in the Swanston library until those 5:30 lectures.
We’ve seen what has to be the highest concentration per capita of run-down vans, acoustic guitars, dreads and op shops in the country.
Besides encompassing some of Australia’s finest beaches and countless beautiful flora and fauna, we’ve also discovered Byron is home to the world’s most charismatic Croatian taxi driver. His name is Rudy, he’s an aspiring comedian, and he’s touring Melbourne’s open mic circuit this August with his ‘Eastern European impersonations’ show.
Our first evening involved dining with a table of old ladies about who chatted about everything from how to use the iCloud to what is was like to bed some very famous -but sadly unnameable- Australian journalists back in the 80’s.
Our second day was spent jamming to Toto, Duran Duran, and doing a large hike to the easternmost point of Australia.
Back in Melbourne, it’s so easy to make fun of Byron’s airy lifestyle and the fact every second person’s name sounds like a weather element.
But once you’re here, it’s deceptively hard not get swept up in it all. It’s infectious, unpretentious and whole lot of fun. Until our return, we shall be referred to as Storm and Dandelion.
The town has given us a brilliant two days and there hasn’t been a single Myki inspector or man-bun in sight.
The festival starts today. After a morning sea swim we’ll finally be walking through the holy Bluesfest gates. Despite the sub-par weather, it’s going to take much more than the “yearly Blues rain” to contain the excitement brewing.
Storm and Dandelion
Photo by Nathan Brown
You can read more of Storm and Dandelion’s Bluesfest coverage here.