Spell At Byron Bay Blues Fest

This post comes from our good friend Spell Pennefather over at Spell & The Gypsy Collective! 

Another year, another wonderful Blues Fest. My husband Dougall, loves his statistics and sometimes gets carried away with quoting numbers (we love him for it). But this number is true. This year was his 25th Byron Bay Blues and Roots festival. It was held in Byron Bay 25 years ago, in a little pub called The Piggery at the Arts Factory hostel, (now the Byron Bay Brewery at the Arts Factory Hostel which, if you’ve visited Byron Bay as a backpacker, you may have stayed in one of their huge Tee-Pee dorms). So my hubby was there, 25 years ago, at the 1st ever Blues Fest, where they played nothing but blues to a crowded room of passionate locals…and he’s been to every Blues Fest since.

Photos by Carly Brown

byron blues fest

spell jewelry

hoola hooper

25 years on and the Byron Bay Blues and Roots festival is a world renowned, 5 day festival, set in the fields of Byron Bay, bringing in 25,000+ crowds to our small town. Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Ben Harper, George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic, Michael Franti, and Dave Mathews Band are just a few who’ve played over the years… (I’m still waiting for Fleetwood Mac to appear on the line up!  Fingers crossed!!).

Blues is such a cruisey, relaxed, happy ‘family‘ vibe, ‘bring a rug and a fold out chair’ kinda festival.  And of course, there’s that fashion festival style that we all love to see and be a part of!

baby and headphones

shoes in dust

pretty thing in air


Blues Fest folk are a diverse crowd… there’s rockabilly, country and western folk, biker chicks, cool crew (or the A-Team as we call them), total hippies, ravers, backpackers, mums, dads, kids, babies, oldies, youngins.  Some are there to listen to the music and that’s it! I prefer to check out the fashion stalls, grab some food and let the ambient blues floating through the air run over and around me.  And better yet, pull up a hay-bail in the Chai Tent and grab some honey cake and spicy Chai after the sun has gone down.

fun booth

spell outfit

fashion and tat

lace pants

food truck

This year I managed to see the John Butler Trio who are one of my favorites, and KC and Sunshine Band. Joss Stone was so full of soul and Kasey Chambers singing a duet with Powderfinger front man Bernard Fanning was a highlight for all. And Michael Franti, long time Blues Fest fave (is he there every year or what??) always whips the crowd into a loving frenzy.

cool ring detail

twi girls

pretty outfit

cool necklaces

fest fashion

fringe outfit

back of legs

girl walking at fest

I was lucky enough to have local photographer, part-time-mermaid and generally all round angel traipsing the festival grounds with me, documenting some of my adventures. I met up with her every evening at sunset and we had so much fun prancing around taking pictures as the sky turned lilac. We both love festivals so much and I think you can see that in the moments we captured.

blues fest fashion

lace pants detail

coin necklace

floral shirt

maxi skirt in sun

floral skirt and fringe bag

pretty skirt

lace floral top

The Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival is a warm, humble, honest and beautiful festival. If you ever find yourself in Australia at Easter time, it’s well worth hitching a ride up or down the coast and joining in… Here’s to next year, number 26! (I know my hubby will be there again, and I’ll be right there by his side!).

byron bay blues fest

Photos by Carly Brown

Shop Spell & the Gypsy Collective and visit their blog!

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9 years ago

looks like a lot of fun, feeling a bit of envy.

Ella Wild xoxox
Visit me at : http://www.etsy.com/shop/HeartJewelryAlways
or : http://www.pinterest.com/HJAellawild/

9 years ago

Really stunning photos esp the first. Love the mood of all of these. Thanks for sharing them with us!

rae of love from berlin

9 years ago

Love all the style shots, coveting all the vintage hats and fringe.

9 years ago

What an amazing festival, it looks so down to earth, relaxed and free spirited, the way a festival should be!
I’d love to try and make it someday! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous pictures!!!

The Weaver Of Words….weaving fibers & fables

9 years ago

do we have a link for that long white lace dress? love it!

Simone Howie
9 years ago

LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog! Carly Brown your photos make me feel that sunset breeze and hear those soulful tunes. Spell and Co looking effortlessly smoking as always!

9 years ago

Spell, could you please tell me where that wonderful white kimono\chiffon robe came from!? I’m so enchanted by it, it would be a treasure to my wardrobe !!!

9 years ago

It certainly is a beautiful festival with a great vibe. Can’t believe you didn’t see/ mention “the Doobie Brothers” ….original boho at its best. Led Zep have never played Blues Fest although Robert Plant has.

9 years ago

Looove this post, just got back home from Byron. Check out my little video on my favourite places to shop in Byron (including Spell!) if you like:

Jen xx

9 years ago

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