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The word most often heard across the six stages of Bluesfest this year was “thanks”

The word from Bluesfest was “thanks”

It’s normal enough to thank the crew, the volunteers and the crowd at a festival. It’s just good manners really. But this year was different. These past two years have trained us to expect the worst and to not get our hopes up because good things get cancelled.

This is especially true for lovers of the Byron bay Bluesfest which has had to be cancelled or postponed three times since the beginning of the pandemic, most famously and disastrously on the eve of opening night last year. There is a collective trauma being lived by Bluesfesters and the result is that nobody believed it was going to happen this year because to believe would be to make yourself vulnerable to another disappointment.

Well, it did happen and every minute felt like a miracle and every artist erupted with music and love like they’d been holding it in for three years. Every performance was as exciting for the performers as it was for the audience and all anyone could say was thanks.

Yamba’s own Jed Billington and Anna Stanton glowed during their set on the busking stage as people found themselves being drawn into their beautiful and uplifting world. Jed and Anna’s rapidly rising musical duo “Alivan Blu” made it to the final round of the Bluesfest Busking competition which won them the opportunity to perform at this year’s festival. At a loss for words Jed repeatedly told the crowd “thank you so so so so much, this is a dream come true”. The crowd was just as thankful for the moment.

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