Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival
Trip Start Apr 08, 2006
3Trip End Apr 23, 2006
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I am arm banding for the festival- I am getting a free five day pass and meal vouchers for 5 hours/5 days work, which I am completely ok with (I can say that because I haven't started work yet!!)
Written right after the concert:
Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival- I am so happy that I went honestly, and volunteering ended up being something that I did and got done with, but nothing that I really enjoyed the much. But then again, it was the reason that I met who I met and that makes me completely and utterly happy/worth the bands that I did. In what other kind of situation would I have met who I did? As an ordinary ticket holder, I know that I wouldn't have been able to hang out with Jane, Shane, Victoria, or Paul... Jane is only tow years younger than mom, but she acts so much younger in many ways. In the beginning I had formed an opinion of her by the way she dressed, as it does happen wether we like it or not, so that put her in this alternative lifestyle genre. We started talking and the second night we did recycling together- aka trash pick-up while watching the bands- and talked the whole time
The concert was a lot cleaner that I had imagined that it may be- there was a lot more alcohol present, or just at least noticeable, than drugs. I wasn't the only person that noticed that, and I have not been to many of these huge music fests by any means, so other volunteer's opinions carried more weight. Tommy asked me before I left, "Do you even know who's playing?" I replied, "Not really, but I have heard a bit of them in the past couple weeks, and that's one of the main reasons I'm going, to find out!" Some of my favorite's were Xavier Rudd (one of the reasons that I went), Jamie Cullen, Damian Marley (superceded any expectations that I had since I thought he became famous because of Bob), The Cat Empire (one of the lead guys looked so much like Tommy!!), Michael Franti (actually from USA- San Fran I believe), and Hilltop Hoods also blew me away. During all of these bands I was up and out there dancing and just having a blast. Martha Weinhardt had an amazing voice, but had poor stage presence- she seemed to be very demanding and could be bossy, there was a group from Iceland that I don't know how to write their name, but Paul was telling me that they found the lead singer in high school and he is singing in a made-up language of his own
We were lead around by the hand in the beginning of the shifts, and then it really just slacked off because there was no one to watch over us. Really I thought that that it was poorly organized, but that made it so that we could just hang out and enjoy things more as well. I don't know if I would do it again, but I got a free five day pass, free meal vouchers (which only covered half a meal basically), and a t-shirt. The thing about this place was that there just wasn't enough room to do anything besides sit at the tents (one of the 3) or go to one of the 15 food places, or some of the shops. It would've been so much better if all the campgrounds were accessible and you could go sit in the grass to be able to take a break. As volunteers, Paul, Shane or I always had a shift that started at 11, meaning that we had to leave the house by 10. That entailed a really, really long day! But that also meant that we got to see quite a bit.
Sian, LeAnn and Laura made it up to the area on Friday and spent two nights in Nimbim, know for "Mardi Grass," where weed is offered to you everywhere you go. However, they are starting to crack down on this but I wouldn't be surprised if the whole town rebels against the government/police. I was told that they had arrested someone for buying or selling, and the whole town rebelled and threw rocks at the station until they released them
Saturday night it just poured down hard- that left everyone that was camping in a muddy mess. There were those that just up and left their tents in the mud and went home! Sunday was going to be a mess at the concert, which it was... my flip-flips were once yellow and green, and they turned to a mustard brown color even after scrubbing. Monday the concert ended with Michael Franti and friends, and we all had ideas about who the friends may be... namely Ben Harper or the Rolling Stones, who were both in Oz at the time. It ended being really awesome, but neither of the aforementioned- it was a collaboration of many of the artists that performed throughout the festival! I hung out with Jullian (sp?) from Lismore and Danial from Canada the whole night because I couldn't find the rest of the crew, but it was great fun anyways! Here's a story: last Sunday night Paul and I were making our way into the crowd to go dance and this guy stopped me and tried on my hat that I had bought earlier that day in the market, larger top with a wide brim on one side. He was a Canadian, tall, blond, drunk, and was pretty interested in me. He came with us into the crowd and we were all having a great time dancing around, but at one point he tried to kiss me, multiple times, and I kept denying him and even said that I had a boyfriend
The last there was a supposed staff party, which we all thought was going to be in the VIP lounge, but they decided that we were not important and were not allowed in. Shane and Paul got in though, which was wicked, and there was a small staff one in the volunteer area but I couldn't go in with the girls, so we just left to go the car. On the way in that day I had not driven in to where they parked the car, so I was just following the crowd. It turned out we took the first right instead of crossing the parking lot and started walking quite a ways down this random road, and then had to turn around. This car came up to us and started asking us what we were doing and if we needed a ride- and I said a few things and everyone else just ignored them