So it’s gone for another year, but sure enough, tickets for the 2012 Byron Bay Blue Festival are on sale now.

It was my first time having this festival experience and I have mixed feelings about whether I’d go again.

The weather was atrocious for a day that began as clear and sunny as Australian autumn days get, but I ‘spose the rapid change in weather is what Australia can really be known for. Aside from the torrential down pour and mud puddles that you’d be afraid to walk through in case you’d be swallowed up, there were many elements to this event that were pleasing. For starters, the vibe.

It’s the kind of festival where the music vibrates through your body and grows in your heart as water droplets bounce off the tables and chairs to the beat of tapping feet. It’s the kind of event where you can smile at everyone and they’ll all smile back at you. The kind of fellow festival goers you might find there are people who don’t care about the colour of their raincoats and dance through the mud puddles as they walk past.

The food available was an incredible range of comforting and warm options to fill your tummy full of  goodness in the cool weather, with plenty of vegetarian options.

This samosa, ^ was the best I’ve had in my entire life.

Pleasing standards for toilets were a wonderful surprise, despite mud everywhere, there was plenty of room and easily located.

Disability access was limited, but still available, and for a festival of mud, it’s was pleasing to have seen attempts to include people who need wheelchair access.

Parking next to a dopped up Fred Flintstones’ themed van with “I’m no Fred Flintstone, but I’ll make ya bed rock!” you know that you’re in for a treat.

However, lack of easily accessible information left not only myself and my mum, but others confused and waiting a great deal of time in the early morning because no one was certain about when the festival started.

When the music began at 2pm, it was amazing, however for a music festival, we were disappointed that music acts were all on at the same time with large gaps between performances. Perhaps it should be renamed as a music and drinking festival, with the popularity of the bar during these gaps.

Advice for future festival goers: pack your gumboots, no matter the weather forecast, and bring your own chair. There’s nothing worse then sitting in the mud because even the undercover ground is slushy.

Overall, a mostly lovely atmosphere of people enjoying each other’s company to good mud, good tunes and good food.