Blues, Brews & BBQs festival reliant on crowd

03:37, Jan 29 2013
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THE WINNER IS: Best costume Sunny Side. L-R, Kate Robinson, Hollie Brown, Holly Lyall, Leanne Budny, Joanne Proctor, Charlotte Renouf, centre front Lynette Hita.
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BEST BBQ: Ash Duckworth enjoys a burger from champion food site, Wairau Plains Country Music.
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BEST FOOD SITE: Wairau Plains Country Music, L-R, Emily Staples, Claire Oxnam, Ken Thompsett, Janice Thompsett, Melissa Thompsett, Heather Staples.
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UNDER ARREST: Kelly Liang and Jenna French
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Food and beer judge extraordinaire, Bill McElhinney, having a GOOD time.
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Kirby Heath, Samara McConnell, Laura-kate Morgan
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PETER PAN AND WENDY: Tarik Tekin and Rachel Crampton
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James Tyson loves his yellow outfit
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CARE BEERS: Lauren Gibson, Noro Aust, Gina Moody, Annaliesse Leighton, Amansa Inglis, Gemma Adams.

Blues, Brews and BBQs organisers say the Blenheim festival will keep running as long as enough people keep going.

Festival organiser Graeme Boon said he expected at least 3000 people to attend the 20th annual event at A&P Park in Blenheim on Saturday.

About 1000 tickets had already been sold but most people tended to buy tickets during the last week, he said.

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Blues, Brews & BBQS organiser Graeme Boon
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Logging gang, Stretch Shaw, Don Dehar, Robbie Geary.
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CandyLand girls, Nadine Dight, Lucie Cary, Jessie Stanford, Abby Edwards, Holly Lyall.
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Mel Tyson and Penny Armstrong.
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Andy Deuchars, head brewer Rennaisance Brewing Company, at right with fellow English brewers, Debbie and Fred West from Wadworth Brewing Company, Wiltshire UK.
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Dave Fitchett, Rick Davies and Ben Taylor were determined to have one beer from each tent.
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Willie, Whiff, Trevor, Noadie and Paul have been coming every year. They are friends from the karting club days. The leaner is based on a kart chassis and they develop an ingenious twist to it. This year they had installed squirters to get unsuspecting people with iced water.
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Jack Derwin
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Libra Men
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Three horseman, Josh Abbot, Trevor Watson, Ben Williams.
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Speight scubeer divers, Melissa Lane, Mike Soper, Jamie McLennan, Nic Marfell, Heath Naylor, Emma Naylor.
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Scott Vile
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Andrew Higgins
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Jess Stechman
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Dave McDowell
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Beer maids, Hannah Foster, Lacy Rees, Michelle Graham, Paula Amsler, Loren Andrews,
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Julie
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Blair Cunningham, Simon Denton, Thomas Peter and Simon as Abe Lincoln
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Rocking, Mia Lawrence, Valetia haack, Emily Stenhouse.
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These Indian girls came second in the dressup competition.
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the Lifeguard Gang from Nelson
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Students from NMIT Aviation course.
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Linda Cropp under the hot sun
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Matthew Mitchell of the Fairhall School dad's serving water to Johnny Arbuckle.
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Sheltering from the sun, "Skip" Russell Skipper, Luke Palmer and the gang. First timers for all and they said "it's as nice as Dovedale in Nelson".
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Ty Parker and Brad Cunniffe
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Margaret Tepania, Cancer society, busy with sunscreen protection with Logan Evans spreading and Fiona McKercher
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Multi national crew staying at the Station Backpackers. They come from, Ireland, Finland, Canada, Scotland, Malaysia and Poland.
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Scott Dickson and Sam McConway
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Dave and Tania Hix.
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Officer, P Palmer and Tracy Williams
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Kane Sullivan and Jessica Cottrell, the doodle fairies
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Simone Pedersen, Taymar Nielson, Taina Rangiuaia in the Paddy Barrys booth being served by Kurt Graham
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Mark Owen, Al Turner and Mike Douglas loving a Corona with lemon.
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Hazel Curtis and Louise Hodgson with John Butson of the Blenheim Police.
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Pole dancing?
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Playing his blues harp along with Bullfrog Rata and the Mojo Mamas
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Rennaisance assistant brewer, Matt Dainty pours Mel Kearn a Wheatbeer.
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Leanne Carter enjoys a Prenzel's milk butterscotch
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Brew Moon brewing company owner Keiran McCauley takes time for a handle.
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Flipside had the crowd rocking
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The heat was stifling
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Easy come, easy go
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Blenheim Blues Brews & BBQ'S.

"If people don't want to go, then we won't put it on," he said. "But if we still have enough numbers, it's not going anywhere."

Last year about 3200 tickets were sold, down from 2007 when ticket sales peaked at 6800.

Last year's headlining act Opshop had failed to lift the numbers, he said.

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"They're a quality act but they did nothing for sales."

Unlike the past three events, this year the festival is open to all ages.

People would be given wrist bands when they arrived, but drunk people would be turned away, Mr Boon said.

"If you get off the bus and you're not in a fit state, you can't come in," he said. "It doesn't matter if you have a ticket or not."

The relatively cheap cost of drinks should prevent people from pre-loading, he said.

Prices ranged from about $4 to $6 for a glass of beer, with a variety of food also on offer.

Profits go to community organisations and activities, mainly centred around youth, Mr Boon said.

The festival runs from noon until 7pm, with no alcohol served after 6pm.

Tickets can be bought from the Blenheim i-Site, Ticket Direct and BNZ banks in Picton and Blenheim for $35 until 1pm on Saturday.


PLAY LIST

Noon-12.50pm: Tamatea Blues (Wellington)

1pm-1.50pm: Laura Sonneveldt (Westport)

2pm-2.50pm: Jack Derwin (Melbourne)

2pm-2.40pm: Murray Molloy comedian, contortionist and sword swallower (Ireland)

3pm-4pm: The Johnnys (Nelson)

4pm-4.10pm: Fancy dress awards

4.10pm-5.30pm: The RatBags (Wellington)

5.40pm-7pm: Helter Skelter (Blenheim)

The Marlborough Express