APRIL 2018 | Hayley Manning
THE 21st Forth Valley Blues Festival drew an estimated 2,000 attendees, including many familiar faces from around the Meander Valley region. Proving yet again that a little bit of adverse weather won’t keep Tasmanian audiences away from a live music event.
‘The Guitar Extravaganza’ featuring Australian Blues Hall of Fame inductee Kevin Borich, Phil Emmanuel and Tim Gaze, was Friday night’s headline act. Each guitarist played solo before collaborating on stage for a gig that mesmerised the crowd in a mutual exchange of gratitude.
Borich said “Music frees people. It is a therapeutic stress relief for pressurised people.” While Emmanuel said it was good to “really let go” with a talented rhythm section, and expressed his surprise at the fantastic numbers considering it was pouring when they arrived.
Forth Committee Head of Production, Trent Allen, said after 17 years the event was starting to get stale and under threat of closure, but new committee members decided to take on the task of keeping it alive. He said the introduction of pre-ticket sales enabled improved budgeting and better bands as a result.
Borich urged people to get out and support live performance, particularly in the current era of limited venues. “I’m happy; I’ve done okay. One year we played 66 shows. We’d do one show, then head off to the next place and play until daylight,” Borich said.
Photo | Hayley Manning