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Byron Bay Bluesfest

About Bluesfest

Byron Bay Bluesfest is Australia’s Premier Contemporary Blues & Roots Music Festival.

It showcases music from around the world annually on the Easter long weekend on 120 hectares at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just north of Byron Bay, NSW.

Bluesfest presents over 200 performances with up to 7 stages over 5, 12 hour days, as well as camping for up to 6,000 people, 5 licensed bars, over 100 food and market stalls, undercover food courts, beer gardens, and children’s entertainment.

Bluesfest presents the biggest names in music to Australian audiences each year including Bob Dylan, Hozier,  Paul Simon, Gary Clark Jr., Angus & Julia Stone, Robert Plant, Alabama Shakes, John Mayer, Jurassic 5, James Brown, Zac Brown Band, Joss Stone, David Gray, Trombone Shorty, Angelique Kidjo, John Legend & BB King, to name but a few.

From a modest crowd of 6,000 when it began in 1990, Bluesfest now attracts an audience of over 100,000.
It is regarded as the foremost destination festival in Australia & renowned for being a safe, fun, family-friendly event.

BLUESFEST IS
• synonymous with Byron Bay & its culture
• award-winning
• internationally renowned
• a safe & relaxed festival
• so much fun!

SERVICES & FACILITIES 

  • 5 Undercover Performance Stages & 1 Busking Stage
  • 5 licensed bars
  • CAR PARKS: free car parking for day festival holder.
  • SEATING: yes you can bring your own portable chairs.
  • Food stalls
  • Market stalls
  • Merch Shop
  • Artist signing
  • Undercover food courts with seating
  • Undercover coffee tent with seating
  • Child Activities daily
  • Breastfeeding and Nappy Change Area
  • EFTPOS Facilities
  • First Aid
  • Disability Access- parking, toilets and camping (more information on our info page here )
  • Cloak Room
  • Information stall
  • On site Camping with shower and toilet facilities. Click HERE for Camping info
  • Shuttle bus services from town centre and surrounding towns
  • Phone charging facilities
  • Big screens in both the Mojo and Crossroads areas

THE JOURNEY SO FAR

1990- 1992
Venue: The Arts Factory, Byron Bay aka ‘The Piggery’ The first Bluesfest was held in 1990 at the Byron Bay Arts Factory. The event ran for four days and attracted 1500 blues music fans per day. It was then known as The East Coast Blues Festival. At the time, organisers never imagined their event would shape the way people would come together to enjoy live music and grow into the festival it is today.

1993 - 1996
Venue: Belongil Fields, Byron Bay
In 1993, Bluesfest moved to Belongil Fields and has been an outdoor event ever since. That year the festival ran for just 2 days, had 2 stages and included 24 artists. 1994 saw the festival grow into a 3 day event.

1997 – 2007
Venue: Red Devil Park, Byron Bay
Between 1997 and 2007 the festival was held at Red Devil Park, where patrons marvelled at the transformation of a sport field into a music event. 2002 was the first year Bluesfest grew to a five day event.

2005 – 2006
Bluesfest wins Robert Helpmann Award for Best Contemporary Music Festival

2005
Bluesfest Touring is launched

2007 – 2013
Bluesfest wins A Greener Festival Award for seven consecutive years

2008 – 2009
Venue: Belongil Fields, Byron Bay
In 2008 Bluesfest needed more space to grow so it moved back to Belongil Fields. The 2008 event attracted a sell-out crowd of 80,000 patrons over 5 days.

2009
Peter Noble takes sole ownership of Bluesfest Pty Ltd

2010
Bluesfest wins Australian Event of the Year & Best Cultural & Arts Event, Australian Event Awards

2010 - 2015
Venue: Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm
Bluesfest celebrates its 21st birthday by moving to one of the most beautiful festival sites you could imagine: a Tea Tree farm complete with honey making bees and a koala population that melted our hearts and became another purpose for us to fight for as part of social responsibility. The location has the capacity for over 100,000 people and camping for 6,000 and is now the permanent home of Bluesfest.

2011
Bluesfest wins Gold at NSW Tourism Awards for Majors Events & Festivals

2013

Peter Noble collaborates with leading cultural creative and Bundjalung woman Rhoda Roberts, producing the inaugural Boomerang Festival: a ground-breaking Indigenous festival for all Australians.
Bluesfest wins: Silver Best Cultural, Arts or Music Event, Australian Event Awards, Gold Major Festivals & Events NSW Tourism Awards, Gold Major Festivals & Events North Coast Tourism Awards, Gold Best Regional Event Australian Event Awards, Best Contemporary Music Festival Australian Helpmann Awards, Business Excellence Award, North Coast Tourism Awards, The International A Greener Festival Award

2014
Bluesfest celebrates its 25th Anniversary and reaches its highest ever attendance
Record breaking $55,000 raised for Cystic Fibrosis $125,000 raised for charity
Bluesfest wins Best Contemporary Music Festival Australian Helpmann Awards, Gold Major Festival & Event North Coast Tourism Awards, Silver Major Festivals & Events National Australian Tourism Awards
Peter Noble wins the Rolling Stone Award for his contribution to the music industry

2015
Bluesfest wins Pan Australian Festival of the Year Award at Canadian Music Week

  
ARTISTS SAY:

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“Somehow Byron Bay festival (Bluesfest) has given me a microphone that projected out to the world stage. It is the most important festival of my life” – Ben Harper

“The Bluesfest is one of those festivals an artist dream about playing. When we first played in 2000 it was one of those pivotal life changing moments for us. To this day it is still one of my favourite shows and it literally launched my band nationwide”- John Butler

“It is my favourite festival to play in the world, & the best audience I’ve played to in the world”
– Donavon Frankenreiter

MEDIA SAYS:
“For this is what Bluesfest does so well these days: puts together as varied and exciting a bill as any you’ll find around the world.”- SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

"...a festival like no other in the country" -SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

“Byron Bay Bluesfest has long since outgrown the restrictions of its title. Even its old blues and roots moniker falls short of describing the wealth of genres and hybrids that jostle for position over five days every Easter.” -
THE AUSTRALIAN

"While festival after festival in this country falls at the wayside, there are a few bastions of light that hold strong and Bluesfest Byron Bay is one of the brightest of those burning torches" - MAX TV

"day one's line-up of eclectic and sensational acts was strong evidence on why this festival continues to not only stay strong, but grow year after year" - MAX TV

"none really stand up to the Mecca of the north, Bluesfest" / "the Byron Bay extravaganza yet again stunned punters with its incredibly expansive line-up" -TONEDEAF

“once more Bluesfest shows just why it has become such an imperative fixture on the Australian music calendar with its rich and luxurious potpourri of all the different strains of the blues and roots oeuvres, delivered in beautiful surrounds and attended by hordes of actual music devotees.” -THE MUSIC

“Easter just would not be the same without the annual pilgrimage to hear the music of both the past and the future delivered with reverence and conviction by some of the planet’s finest musical purveyors.” - THE MUSIC

PATRONS SAY:
“You guys are responsible for the best festival in Australia and I think top ten festivals in the world. It's Perfect …keep up the good work” – Facebook fan

THE TEAM

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It takes a great many dedicated professionals & passionate music fans to produce such a successful event as Bluesfest. There is currently 19 permanent staff in the core management team.

Roles span across Ticketing, Touring, Accounts, Contracts, Site Management, Production, Stalls Coordination, Travel & Accommodation, Marketing, Administration & much more.

At festival time the office transforms into a bustling hub of over 40 people working toward the pointy end, and on-site there is over 600 people working around the clock for over a week to deliver you the very best festival experience we can.

THE MAN BEHIND IT ALL IS…

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Peter Noble; a music industry professional for over forty years whose significant contribution to the industry has been recognised with a multitude of accolades including, most recently, the Rolling Stone Award for his services to Australian Music.

Drawn to music from an early age, the Sydney-born bassist played in Rock, Soul and Blues bands during the 60’s & 70’s, taking leading roles with artists including Clapham Junction, and Marcia Hines.

Following extensive national and international touring, Peter settled in the USA and set up Portland Oregon’s first International Jazz Festival, and was house booker at legendary venue ‘The Earth’.

Peter returned home to Australia at the beginning of the 80’s, and became a pioneer for Blues touring in Australia. As a direct result of Noble’s efforts, Soul, Jazz, Blues and Reggae artists were finding a home, a promoter, and a wide audience in Australia for the first time.

He began booking international acts in the inimitable Byron Bay (NSW north coast) with the East Coast Blues Festival in 1990, and became a director in 1993.

Peter coined the term “Blues & Roots Music Festival” in 1996 to encompass the growing reach and flavour of the festival – a term which would soon find common usage throughout the Australian music industry - typified when within 12 months the ARIA Awards created a Blues & Roots category as one of their major awards.

He became a pioneer for Blues, Jazz, Roots and Indie Music touring in Australia, as well as running AIM Records, which was nominated for two Grammys (Best Tropical Latin Album (Vocal or Instrumental ) for Greetings From Havana - Cubanismo and Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience which won the Grammy for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album in 2008 and earned AIM the accolade as the first and only Australian independent label to win a Grammy Award.

Noble has worked in many areas of the music business including record producing, touring artists through his company Bluesfest Touring, artist management, setting up the Australian Aboriginal Artists Agency in the early 70's, event site development, and festival presentations throughout Australia and South East Asia. In 2015 the Australian Music Industry Directory listed Peter in the Top 20 of most influential people in the Australian music industry.

Noble’s long-standing dream to produce an Indigenous festival was realised in 2013 when he collaborated with leading cultural creative Rhoda Roberts, producing the inaugural Boomerang Festival: a ground-breaking Indigenous festival for all Australians held at the home of Bluesfest, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, to extensive acclaim.

As the Director of Byron Bay's multi-award winning music festival, Peter is passionate about social and environmental responsibility and is immeasurably philanthropic; continually supporting myriad charities and community groups, and ensuring his events uphold their commitment to environmental conservation and animal welfare. This is reflected in the festival winning six International A Greener Festival Awards since 2007.

Bluesfest is respected for creating ongoing employment and contracts for individuals and small businesses in Byron Bay and the Northern Rivers; a small regional part of Australia with limited employment opportunities. It contributes over $40 million annually to the NSW economy, and has provided countless opportunities for local musicians, artists and business people through performance platforms, stalls, and networks.

Further, he has built a multi million dollar touring company in Bluesfest Touring, which tours over forty international artists per year, with ongoing partnerships with some of the world’s most successful and revered musicians including Robert Plant, Ben Harper, Joan Armatrading, Michael Franti, and Charlie Musselwhite.

An invaluable force in the Australian and international music industry, Peter Noble is a tireless entrepreneur and ardent music aficionado whose work has shaped what is now cemented as one of the largest and revered music events in the world.

He spends his time working and living between Byron Bay and Bali, and says “Life truly is an amazing adventure which I take on with wild enthusiasm on a daily basis”.

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