Weather helps draw big crowd for Blues and Roots Festival 2017

Update – SATURDAY 4.30PM

Wedged in her camping chair, unhurriedly tapping her foot to the music booming out of the speakers in Rosalind Park, Emily Faulkner was a picture of relaxation. 

The Bendigo local, who has attended the six previous installments of the Blues and Roots Music Festival, was in awe of the variety of acts performing on Saturday.

"To see something like this for free is pretty special," she said, referencing other similar festivals in regional Victoria that carried hefty price tags.

“There’s been a lot more public support for the event this year.”

Up-and-coming musicians, combined with more experienced acts, provided a great mix of talent on show, she said.

Soaking up the sun on View Street, listening to Orange Whip at the Bendigo Art Gallery amphitheatre, Phil Scott was content.

“It’s just magical,” he said.

“You get great music and it’s free.”

Mr Scott had donated to the festival’s crowdfunding appeal before the event – designed to help keep large sections of the festival free – and said he would put his hand in his pocket again before the weekend was done.

He encouraged others to do the same.

Mr Scott, who spent the afternoon wandering from venue to venue, said his only slight criticism of the festival was the distance between some of the venues.

EARLIER: Shady lawn spots are at a premium at Rosalind Park on Saturday as punters soak in the atmosphere and indeed music for the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival 2017. 

Thirty-two venues will host acts across the city on Saturday. 

The festival, which began on Thursday and concludes on Sunday, will feature a number of local prospects in addition to established acts.

This year’s festival officially launched on Thursday night with a party at Gold Dust Lounge.

That was followed by a number of performances in Hargreaves Mall on Friday, including a set from musician William Alexander.

For the first time since its inception in 2011, the event hosted acts in the The Golden Dragon Museum.

Acts performed in the gardens at 2pm on Friday and Saturday.

BBRMF director Colin Thompson said organisers were excited to Chinese Gardens as well as St Paul’s Cathedral hosting acts.