Great 'vibes' down in Bello
By UTE SCHULENBERG
EVEN if you didn't attend, it would have been hard to escape the festival vibe in Bellingen over the weekend.
Streets were lined with cars, the riverbank was covered with people and the air was filled with global music vibes.
Blessed with fantastic weather, organiser Bryony Taylor estimated over 5000 people attended on Saturday with Sunday crowds also good.
"Pre-season bookings were about the same for 2005 (the last festival) but we've had a lot more people coming for just a day and a night from around the region Taree, Byron and Armidale," Ms Taylor said.
"We put a lot of effort into the decorations and people have really been noticing. It's a great atmosphere."
One security guard said of all the festivals she worked, the Global Carnival was the best because it was so family-oriented.
Indeed, there were kids everywhere cartwheeling, learning circus tricks, or braving the trapeze with Zip Circus.
Lantern queen Jyllie Jackson said kids were queuing to make lanterns and register for Sunday's parade.
On Saturday Irish musician Sharon Shannon and her band were all but obscured by a thick cloud of dust, so energetically was the crowd jumping to their reels and jigs.
And Brisbane-based Brazilian band 'The View from Madeleine's Couch' left audiences begging for more and more after their high-octane gig featuring the unforgettable gutsy drumming of Anje West.
The food was no less diverse from Jamaican fried fish and spicy Gypsy fare to African delights and Mayan-style chilli hot chocolates.
All weekend happy visitors and musicians mingled at this big-hearted little festival, soaking up the sensual feast.