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Bluesfest 2019 first line up announcement


*Exclusive* JACK JOHNSON *Exclusive* 






St Paul and The Broken Bones



ARLO GUTHRIE        •     KEB’ MO’

TEX PERKINS           •      ALLEN STONE





The California Honeydroppers


I’M WITH HER                •      LARKIN POE

IRISH MYTHEN               •          ELEPHANT




There’s only one way to kick off our 30th anniversary celebrations – and that’s with a kick-ass first artist announcement. So here we go:  legends, returning favourites, Bluesfest newbies… and some extra special exclusive performances, there’s something for everyone … and this is just the start.

Leading our first announcement: an *Exclusive* Bluesfest ONLY show by Hawaiian singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, Bluesfest’s prodigal son. Jack Johnson is making a long-awaited return to Bluesfest; having first played in 2001 – and most recently at our 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.

Ray Lamontagne, Kurt Vile & The Violators, Greensky Bluegrass and the folk supergroup I’m With Her are Bluesfest newbies – while Bluesfest favourite Kasey Chambers will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of her ground-breaking album ‘The Captain’, with a very special first-time performance of her debut album, track by track, alongside a celebration of songs from the Kasey Chambers greatest hits songbook.

Kasey heads up a strong Australian contingent in this announcement including Bluesfest faves Colin Hay, Tommy Emmanuel, Russell Morris, Richard Clapton, Tex Perkins and The Black Sorrows all returning to help with the celebrations.

Other returnees and total crowd pleasers and favourites, Keb’ Mo’, Vintage Trouble, Snarky Puppy, Elephant Sessions, Irish Mythen and The California Honeydrops will all be back and so will the powerful and conscious Nahko and Medicine For The People and Trevor Hall.

A note of poignancy this year. George Clinton will retire from live performance in May 2019 so this is the VERY LAST TIME the “awe-funk-some” groove of GEORGE CLINTON & PARLIAMENT FUNKADELIC will play Bluesfest. 
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! Well… OK…  it’s a sizeable tip… but there’s so many more artists to be announced.

And finally we welcome back … ROCKWIZ LIVE. 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. Who knows who they will bring and who they will entice on to their stage this year. The only way to find out is, of course, to be front and centre!!!

Music lovers from across Australia will visit the beautiful Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just outside Byron Bay over the Easter long weekend (Thursday 18th April to Monday 22nd of April 2019) for the 30th Annual Bluesfest. During the Festival they will enjoy up to 12 hours of music each day on multiple stages, incredible food and market stalls and on-site camping in a range of accommodation options.

With tickets selling faster than at any other time in Bluesfest history we are heading for a bumper celebration and sell-out next Easter... So without delay… here’s our festival Director, Peter Noble OAM.


Bluesfest is proud to make its first artist announcement for Easter 2019 (April 18th – 22nd), our 30th Anniversary Festival.
And, what an announcement it is!
“Our 30th Anniversary Bluesfest will be a MAJOR event in a long line of great festivals. We will only turn 30 once,” said director Peter Noble, “and we intend to make this edition truly memorable!”

We have two of our most highly requested, as well as favourite artists ever headlining, and BOTH coming for exclusive performances. Jack Johnson will return for his first performance since 2014, except for when he is in the area surfing and sitting in with friends, and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, since 2015, when they reformed after a seven-year hiatus, and played their premier festival performance at Bluesfest.
Ben Harper’s first performance at Bluesfest 1996 remains one of the most important in the history of our event, and actually gave us the inspiration to move out of being a purely Blues festival and evolving into being Australia’s first Blues & Roots Music festival, even creating the genre. The artists inspired by Ben Harper in Australia include John Butler, Xavier Rudd and many, many more: his influence on music is profound.
Jack Johnson first played Bluesfest five years later in 2001, and once again Bluesfest has never been the same. Jack’s roots-based, surf lifestyle, environmentally aware music instantly struck a chord with our audience.

Ben Harper and Jack Johnson remain year after year amongst the two most requested artists for a return play, and we have listened to our audience and bought them back for this special occasion.

There are quite a few other favourites from over the years coming back, including George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic playing on his final Australian tour, before retiring. The influence of George and his incredible funk band on music is monumental. These shows are not to be missed.
Kasey Chambers will perform ‘The Captain’ album in its entirety, as well as her other hits, on the 20-year anniversary of first playing it at her main stage festival debut at Bluesfest.

Amongst the many other favourites returning will be Rockwiz Live, Aussie legends Tommy Emmanuel, Colin Hay, Richard Clapton, Russell Morris, The Black Sorrows and Tex Perkins, plus internationals St Paul & The Broken Bones, Vintage Trouble, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Arlo Guthrie, Snarky Puppy, Keb’ Mo’, Elephant Sessions, The California Honeydrops and Trevor Hall, some of whom have not played on our stages in many, many years.

First timers include the incredible I’m With Her, Larkin Poe, Kurt Vile, Greensky Bluegrass, AND in saving some of the Best for last, the long-awaited return to Australia for his first performances since 2005, as well as his Bluesfest debut, an artist who truly has achieved greatness, Ray LaMontagne. He has been called a Singer’s Singer, and his albums contain an astonishing brilliance. His performance at Bluesfest 2019 will be highly anticipated.

The preceding artists are only our first in a number of highly anticipated announcements of artists coming for our 30th, which will include Headliners, Blues and Roots and Indigenous artists playing across our stages AND at our Boomerang Festival within a festival, plus so much more.

Simply the best way to see Bluesfest is to camp on site for the whole five days, whether in your own tent or camper van, or at our Tent Motel, Rainbow Tipi or Flashcamp sites.

We have broken all ticket sales records and anticipate a SELL OUT for Bluesfest 2019 already, so don’t delay …. Get your tickets now!

And thank you for coming with us on this incredible journey. Whether this is your first Bluesfest, or 30th .... we promise you, the talent on our stages will always be the best we can present.

Here we go!!

Peter Noble
Festival Director, Bluesfest

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