Dedicated few weather the heat for beats
IF live music fans wanted to see some of the hottest guitar licks around then Grafton Racecourse was the place to be yesterday afternoon.
Despite searing temperatures, about 50 or so people came along to hear this year's Blues, Brews and BBQs line-up which included legendary guitarist Phil Emmanuel, the Hussy Hicks, young blues star Minnie Marks and Bellingen outfit Slim Jim and the Boney Hardmen.
Event organiser Wayne "Tank" Phillips said the heat kept the crowd small but there was no way the music would be cancelled.
"The bands were prepared to sweat it out and so were we," Mr Phillips said.
"We had an awesome crew in the kitchen cooking the barbecue and willing bar staff serving cold beer.
"I just need to find a coolroom and take a cold stubbie in there at some stage."
Patrons were impressed by the music despite the unforgiving heat.
"I'm here with her son and we love the blues," Whiteman Creek's Don Arthurson said.
"My wife said we were crazy so I suppose you have to be a bit dedicated to come out in the heat but the food and music has been great," Mr Arthurson said.
Former UK couple Sheelagh and Dave Twissell have been living in Australia for 14 years and were travelling through after busking at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
"We live in a caravan and travel around and follow music festivals," they said.
"We heard about this one and weren't going to miss it. The heat doesn't bother us. That's why we live in Australia."
The racing element of the event was cancelled for the welfare of the horses.
Clarence River Jockey Club executive officer Micheal Beattie said the club fully supported the Racing NSW decision.
"It's expected to be 29 on Monday and there will still be a good variety of racing," Mr Beattie said.
Marks and Hussy Hicks's Julez Parker and Leesa Gentz came armed with water pistols for the event.
Emmanuel was not worried about performing in such record temperatures.
"I'll be right once I dump a bucket of cold water on my head," he said.