MUSIC LOVER: Maureen Bates, of Culburra Beach, at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2019 held at Tyagarah.
MUSIC LOVER: Maureen Bates, of Culburra Beach, at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2019 held at Tyagarah. Marc Stapelberg

Seasoned Bluesfest fan rates the good and the bad

MUSIC lover Maureen Bates, of Culburra Beach, has seen it all at Bluesfest Byron Bay: she has been coming to the festival for the last 30 years and has attended 15 events.

According to Maureen, the festival is a lot more organised now and as an avid camper the event is a lot more comfortable now that it was 30 years ago.

"The camping grounds at Belongil Fields was pretty much a mud pit, but here it holds up pretty well every year," she said.

"The festival has grown to the perfect size, it's well organised and the facilities are good."

The only thing Maureen would like improved at the festival is lights at all the facilities.

"Lights at all toilets and showers, I'd like to see here," she said.

"In the camping area there are lights in some of them but not all, and sometimes carrying a torch is not enough to be able to see where you are."

The music lover said she was originally against the idea of opening the music beyond Blues and Roots.

"It was a negative for me at the beginning, but I kept coming back and it was quite a nice surprise," she said,

"I love Blues but I also love other music so I was able to see bands I've never heard of before and it was a positive in the end," she said.

Maureen started listening to Blues through her brothers.

"My elder brother, they bought records all the time, and still got their record collections," he said.

"The oldest one is 67 and he's been buying record since he started earning money, so I used to listen to all the best music from that area through him.

"Robert Plant, Keb Mo, Paul Simon, are some of the artists my brother introduced me to and I ended up watching live at Bluesfest over the years."

This year, Maureen is looking forward to enjoy live shows by Keb Mo, David Gray, and all the Aussie icons such as Colin Hay, Russell Morris, Paul Kelly, Archie Roach and The Black Sorrows.

On her wish list for future Bluesfest events, Maureen mentioned two Australian bands.

"One is the Mason Rack Band, I think he lives around here, and the other one is called 19Twenty, because the frontman plays the double bass and he stands on it, he is the best showman," she said.