Byron Bay Bluesfest is turning 30!!

By Deb Kloeden, Rock At Night Adelaide correspondent

Australia’s premier blues and roots festival, Byron Bay Bluesfest is celebrating its 30th birthday over the Easter long weekend 2019. And what a party they have planned!! The first three artist announcements have revealed some absolute legends will be joining in the fun.

AND… Bluesfest won Australia’s Best Arts Cultural Music Event at the Australian Event Awards and Symposium. What an achievement!!

The third and latest artist announcement has just revealed that the ‘Godfather of Punk’, Iggy Pop and nine-time Grammy Award winner, Norah Jones will grace the Bluesfest stages. Iggy Pop was a festival highlight at Bluesfest in 2013 while Norah Jones will make her debut appearance. Nearly 60 artists have already been announced.

Hawaiian singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, Bluesfest’s prodigal son is making a long-awaited return to Bluesfest; having first played in 2001 – and most recently at the 25th birthday bash back in 2014. There’ll also be exclusive Bluesfest-only shows from Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals and St. Paul & The Broken Bones. Other favourites returning include Keb ‘Mo’, Vintage Trouble, Hozier, Paul Kelly, Nahko and Medicine For The People, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Gary Clark Jr, Kasey Chambers and of course Grammy Award-winning and Bluesfest regular, Mavis Staples. Chicago Blues singer / guitarist, Melody Angel wowed audiences two years back on her Bluesfest debut. Her show is one I will never forget and can’t wait to see again.

As well as Paul Kelly and Kasey Chambers, an impressive selection of Australian artists have already been announced including Bluesfest faves Colin HayTommy EmmanuelRussell MorrisRichard ClaptonTex Perkins and The Black Sorrows. Having won five Arias, Julia Stone, of Angus & Julia Stone, one of Australia’s most successful and loved artists, will also be performing with her band, presenting much anticipated new music.

Ray LamontagneKurt Vile & The ViolatorsGreensky Bluegrass and the folk supergroup I’m With Her will be Bluesfest newbies, but sadly George Clinton will retire from live performance in May 2019 so this is the very last time George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic will play Bluesfest.

But on a happier note, Rockwiz Live will return. It’s been 5 years, but the rock n roll quiz is as hilarious as ever and Brian Nankervis, Julia Zemiro and the Rockwiz Orkestra will bring their mayhem of mirth to the Jambalaya stage on Easter Saturday and Sunday.

The Boomerang Festival, the Australian Indigenous Festival within a festival, will see the likes of Mojo Juju and Caiti Baker returning, and many more acts will join them.

These are only some of the amazing artists already announced, with many more to come, but I’m getting super excited and can’t wait to get the party started.

The 2019 playing schedule so far is now available. Get your tickets soon. This will sell out.










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Deb Kloeden