Early figures suggest a record 170,000 attended Blues on Broadbeach
The 17th instalment of the free festival, which kicked off on Thursday, wound up last night with a huge turn-out for headliners The Robert Cray Band.
“It was fantastic looking out over a sea of smiling faces enjoying the sounds… it was very inspiring!” Cray said afterwards.
Sets by Australian acts also generated long queues.
Blues On Broadbeach, initiated by local businesses to bring crowds into the region in the quieter post-summer period, will possibly break last year’s $20 million injection into the local economy.
According to organiser the Broadbeach Alliance, the area’s accommodation had hit 90% before the event began.
Police reported there were no major incidents.
Among the 70 acts who played were international names as Eilen Jewell, Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds and Southern Avenue alongside major Australian names as The Backsliders, Lloyd Spiegel, Dave Hole, Hat Fitz & Cara, Ash Grunwald and Jimi Hocking, to impressive newer names as Daniel Champagne, The New Savages and Karl S. Williams.
Eilen Jewell remarked, “Blues on Broadbeach is, simply put, a perfect festival.
“Anyone hoping to organize an event of their own ought to take heed of what’s happening here. People are happy onstage and off.
“Blues, blue ocean and blue skies. What more could anyone want?”
Lloyd Spiegel added, “Broadbeach is a true celebration of Australian blues that gives us all the opportunity to shine a well-deserved spotlight on the genre, in a world class environment.”
Traders welcomed crowds, daubing their businesses in blue, the main Surf Parade coordinated blue lighting, and landmarks as The Star, the Sofitel, the Wave and the Oracle also bathed in blue.
The Broadbeach Alliance is already preparing for its next event, Groundwater Country Music, staged July 27-29.
The bill includes The McClymonts, Suzanne Vega, Granger Smith, Lillie Mae, Joshua Hedley, Bill Chambers, James Blundell, Adam Harvey, O’Shea, Amber Lawrence, Troy Kemp and Casey Barnes.