Red Earth turned blues

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Peter de Krui­jff

The Waifs were the stars of the Red Earth Arts Fes­ti­val’s sold out Blues at the Bay con­cert in Dampier on Satur­day night.

The fam­ily-ori­en­tated open­ing events of the Red Earth Arts Fes­ti­val brought out the Pil­bara crowds on the week­end.

Last year’s much-lauded street party struck a note with towns­folk and didn’t dis­ap­point as the way to start the 2015 fes­tiv­i­ties.

Ngar­luma man Pa­trick Churn­side got things started with a welcome to coun­try, fol­lowed by City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long.

Cr Long said the fes­ti­val was get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter each year.

Sharpe Av­enue and Waram­bie were closed down for most of Fri­day af­ter­noon to pre­pare.

The lay­out was slightly dif­fer­ent this year with fewer stalls as the cafes, bars and restau­rants of the two Pe­lago build­ings spilled out on to the walk­ways pro­vid­ing spe­cial menus.

Street food was king with a range of tacos, paella, burgers, frozen yo­ghurt, and more on of­fer to hun­gry pedes­tri­ans with din­ing ta­bles stretch­ing down the mid­dle of the road.

A pair of fire twirlers added some heat to the night with one tak­ing some in­spi­ra­tion from the old car­ni­vals, swal­low­ing fire.

Cr Long said the feed­back was al­ways so good for the street party he was regularly asked why the coun­cil could not shut down the street ev­ery month.

While the streets of Kar­ratha were packed, up the road in Dampier on Satur­day night a sell-out crowd of 1500 were on the field at Windy Ridge Oval for the Blues by the Bay con­cert.

Thom Lion from Ade­laide and

Win­ter­bourne from Syd­ney en­ter­tained the crowd, who were wear­ing straw hats un­der the Dampier sun.

Some sang along with Katy Steele to the songs made pop­u­lar by her band Lit­tle Birdy.

The re­laxed at­mos­phere changed com­pletely when The Waifs got on stage at sunset.

The oval had filled up and the warm or­anges and pur­ples were the per­fect back­drop to the per­son­able band.

Singer and gui­tarist Donna Simp­son said it had been 15 years since they played at Kar­ratha Tav­ern but it looked like a lot had changed in the in­terim.

A hun­dred or so peo­ple got up to dance at the front of stage and match lyrics with the band.

The band even per­formed an encore.

The danc­ing con­tin­ued as Mel­bourne six-piece Saskwatch brought their brand of elec­tric soul, rhythm and blues, on stage.

The Rubens, who have been get­ting a lot of air­play, sent the crowd berko with their up­beat blues rock.

They fin­ished with their track Hal­lelu­jah to great fanfare.

Pic­ture: Peter de Krui­jff

A fire twirler en­ter­tains the crowd.

The crowd sang along to Katy Steele’s pop­u­lar hits.

The REAF logo lights up one of the Pe­lago tow­ers.

Josh Cun­ning­ham from The Waifs dur­ing sound­check.

Pic­tures: Peter de Krui­jff

A fire eater at the REAF street party.

Street per­form­ers en­ter­tain the crowd.

An en­gaged crowd watches the acts at the street party.

Fa­mous Sharon at the street party.

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