Getting ready for a multi-discipline event such as Bluesfest begins the week, if not the month, before it actually starts. Get some rest. Eat healthy. Wash. Do a little research.
You don’t get to choose where you camp, it’s allotted to you once you arrive. This means that if you want to camp with your buddies, you all need to arrive together. Each campsite can only bring in one car, though, and if you want to use your car during the five-day event, you’ll have to leave it in the carpark.
Bring a chair
With a daily average of about 17,000 people milling about the place, spots to sit are rare. But you can bring a portable chair into several viewing areas (though not inside the performance tents themselves).
You can’t swim directly at (or from) the Bluesfest site, but the ocean is just three kilometres away. It might be a hassle trying to pack, but it’s worth breaking down a bike (or strapping one to the car) for a cycle over to Black Rock Road, which will take you through the Tyagarah Nature Reserve and to the pristine beach that edges the national park.
If you’re not staying onsite, you’re probably back at Byron Bay. Fifteen minutes down the road from the festival grounds, Byron’s beaches remain one of Australia’s most enticing lures. A shuttle bus between Byron and the festival runs throughout the day.
One of the great things about Bluesfest is it’s not a police state. As long as you’ve got a wristband on at all times, you can come and go as you please. This means you can camp for the week, but break it up with a cheeky night at a hotel in the city (alright, it’s not a city, but it will feel like one).