2021 Lineup

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All Our Exes Live In Texas

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All Our Exes Live In Texas

ARIA Award-winning indie-folk band, All Our Exes Live in Texas, is a fantasy draft of Australia’s finest singer-songwriters. On mandolin, ukulele, accordion and guitar, the Exes are a powerhouse of musical prowess, known as much for their side-splitting banter and feminist politics as their devastatingly beautiful harmonies. With a top 10 debut album and a reputation as festival favourites, they’ve had multiple sellout tours around Australia and are carving up the USA and UK. Their captivating live show has earned them support slots for The Backstreet Boys, Passenger, Nathaniel Rateliff and Midnight Oil and more.

Ash Grunwald

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Ash Grunwald

Acclaimed as one of Australia’s finest storytellers and live performers Ash Grunwald is set to ignite the Bluesfest stages with his unique storytelling capabilities and an avalanche of rhythmic fury on guitar. Backed by his impeccable band, Ash Grunwald’s signature soul-drenched vocals have the power to move mountains and create positive change.

Australian Americana Music Honours

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Australian Americana Music Honours

The annual Australian Americana Music Honours are coming to Bluesfest Byron Bay for the first time in 2021! In the spirit of celebrating musicians all over the globe expect the AAMH to bring their A-game with a selection of some of the finest musicians here at our very own Bluesfest home ground. With a collection of selected artists set to perform two songs each – one of their own and one in collaboration with another musician from the line-up with a choice of songs that can be old, new, original or covers providing it is within the context of Americana Music.

Backsliders

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Backsliders

Over a century ago, north of the steamy Mississippi Delta, up in the hill country surrounding it, a certain strain of the blues manifested, a sound now regarded as part of the blueprint for modern music. It’s from this almost primeval sound that Backsliders take their sonic cues. That driving, repetitious groove, its minimal chord changes giving it a distinct feeling and focus, something Backsliders have proven adept at mastering, all whilst adding their own, unique Australian way to it.  Slide Guitarist, multi-stringed instrumentalist, songwriter and vocalist, Dom Turner, is the founding member of the group. Dom’s influences are many and varied – a blend of delta blues, piedmont blues, rock, dub and sounds of Asia. He is a highly regarded speaker on blues and roots music and has guested on Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) radio programs and presented music workshops at festivals and in universities both nationally and internationally.

Bluesfest Busking Competition & Winners

Bluesfest Busking Competition & Winners

Every year the cream of Australia’s street-corner talent rolls into Byron Bay to compete in the Bluesfest Busking Competition. Said to be the No. 1 busking competition in the country - winners get a prize spot on the Bluesfest stage (and so much more). Much is at stake for these aspiring stars and the quality is always platinum. Winners like Kim Churchill, Hussy Hicks, Minnie Marks and Marshall O’Kell have gone on to carve out successful careers in the music industry. Check out tomorrow’s stars – today.

Bon Iver

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Bon Iver

When Bon Iver released 'For Emma, Forever Ago' in early 2008 it introduced Justin Vernon as one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation and revealed a sound that was distinct — tethered to time and to place, to a season of contemplation and the crisp, heart-strung isolation of a northern Winter. Its successor, the self-titled 'Bon Iver, Bon Iver', brought something more frenetic, the rise and whirr of burgeoning Spring, of hope and sap and movement. In 2016’s '22, A Million', Vernon came to see something different again: “it was,” he says, “our crazy energy Summer record.” 

Briggs

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Briggs

From mattress-proofed recording studios in Melbourne, to LA’s most esteemed comedy writing rooms, Briggs has affirmed himself as one of the country’s most talented all-rounders in both music, TV and now publishing. From his break-out rap album ‘Homemade Bombs’ in 2009, Briggs almost instantly joined the vast number of his Yorta Yorta countrymen and women to have infiltrated the mainstream Australian psyche - as sports superstars, writers, activists, politicians, pastors, business identities and musicians.  Briggs’s forthcoming EP ‘Always Was’ includes the first single off the rank ‘Extra Extra’ and the most recent single ‘Go To War’ features the smooth voice of friend and collaborator Thelma Plum as they explore the idea of what it means to write from a place of having no recourse.
Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie

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Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie is the world’s foremost First Nations Artist. This Academy Award-winning songwriter and performer is touring constantly, but is also renowned as a trail-blazer, an educator, an innovative artist, a pacifist, a tireless activist focusing on the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and disruptor of the status quo. Her timeless and award-wining anthems include million sellers "Universal Soldier", "Up Where We Belong", "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" and "Until It’s Time For You To Go"  Buffy Sainte-Marie shows no sign of slowing down and on her latest album ‘Medicine Songs’  - fires up both new songs and old that she puts to work dealing with war, oppression, inequity, violence, bullying, racketeering and systemic greed, and balanced by some that come from the other side of that: positivity, common sense, romance, equity and enthusiasm for life.

Chain

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Chain

The Godfathers of Australian blues, Chain featuring Matt Taylor and one of Australia’s finest, axeman, Phil Manning, have reached another milestone as they enter their 52nd year since forming in 1968. As the only blues band to have a number one on Australian charts ("Black ‘n’ Blue") as well as a number two ("Judgement") they also have the distinction of having possibly the longest permanently released album in Australian rock history. Chain’s new material retains the earthiness of the 70’s while including the insights and musicality expected from a lifetime of experience in the blues genre. With four decades of albums and live performances under their belts, it doesn’t get any more quintessentially Oz blues than this!
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

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Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

With both eyes on the future and the blues in his blood, 20-year-old guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is set to take the music world by storm.  His debut album, 'Kingfish', showcases Ingram’s blistering, raw and inspired guitar playing, soulful, deep vocals and songwriting. He tells stories with his solos, channelling the spirits of all the past masters while the music he makes is his own. Bluesfest is lucky to lock in this amazing new talent whose re-telling of the blues, whilst still proudly holding the torch of his predecessors, is shaking the genre to its core. 

Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles

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Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles

Cory Henry is among modern music’s most inventive minds. While mastering multiple instruments at a young age, he dominated the stage as a former member of Snarky Puppy. Cory’s name as a solo artist has risen to the top, performing in cities and festivals around the world including Okeechobee, Electric Forest, North Sea Jazz and Love Supreme Festival.  In 2018, Cory independently released his first collection of songs entitled 'Art of Love' and has worked with Lauryn Hill, Frank Ocean, J. Cole, Vulfpeck and many more. He was also selected by Quincy Jones to headline his curated "Soundtrack of America" series opening of The Shed in New York City.

Dami Im

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Dami Im

Dami Im is one of the most revered artists of the new millennium. A virtuoso on piano, she also has a Master of Music Studies in Contemporary Voice. The Australian singer-songwriter first came to national prominence when she won The X Factor. Her self-titled debut album & single 'Alive' both debuted at #1 on the ARIA charts. Since then she has released three more acclaimed studio albums & performed all over the world. In 2016 Dami became Eurovision Royalty when she earned the highest score ever achieved by an Australian entry, and her single "Sound of Silence" charted globally.

Daniel Champagne

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Daniel Champagne

Daniel Champagne exudes a natural ease on stage, as he sings poignant lyrics and beautifully crafted melodies that invariably whisk the heart up with grand romanticism. "Coupled with an exhilarating guitar talent that transcends mere acoustic playing to replicate a whole band, Champagne is just magical" (themusic.com.au). Daniel began writing songs at 12, training classically throughout his teens and performing solo wherever he could, honing his craft and developing what would become the dynamite live show that he is renowned for today. At 18 he left school and began traversing North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, New Zealand and of course homeland Australia. 

Emily Wurramara

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Emily Wurramara

Emily Wurramara’s childhood was one of water and music. Growing up on Groote Eylandt, days were filled with travel, fishing and extended family, a mother telling stories of dreams and dolphins that would one day become the seeds of Emily’s music. In almost the blink of an eye the young fresh faced artist who debuted her breakout EP 'Black Smoke' in 2016, has matured into a now seasoned award winning Indigenous performer and a proud new mum with her own stories to pass down to her daughter, K’iigari.

George Benson

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George Benson

We are so excited to welcome the legend that is George Benson to Bluesfest. Since 1977, George Benson, is recognised as one of the world’s greatest guitarists, has won 10 GRAMMY Awards – and has been nominated for an additional 15. His wins include Record of the Year for "This Masquerade" (1977), Best Pop Instrumental Performance for "Breezin" (1977) and "Mornin" (2007), Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for "On Broadway" (1979) and "Give Me the Night" (1981), and Best R&B Instrumental Performance for "Theme From Good King Bad" (1977) and "Off Broadway" (1981).  Following the success of his Quincy Jones-produced pop album 'Give Me the Night' in 1980, George Benson's string of pop hits includes "Love All the Hurt Away," "Turn Your Love Around," "Inside Love," "Lady Love Me (One More Time)," and "20/20."  In 1990, George Benson was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee College of Music. And in 2009 the National Endowment of the Arts recognised him as a "Jazz Master", the nation's highest honour in jazz. The momentum has never left him. As Benson’s ageless career has crossed over the decades, he’s walked a perfect tightrope, still commanding a fierce respect amongst the most discerning jazz audiences. 

Harts Plays Hendrix

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Harts Plays Hendrix

When he first blew the Bluesfest crowd sky-high with a life-changing ripping guitar-hero set in 2016 Harts was a name placed on the musical map forevermore.  Now in 2021, he returns with 'Harts plays Hendrix'.  Harts is the nom de plume of Indian-born, Australian-based musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer and music producer whose singular blend of funk, blues, psychedelic rock, jazz and indie electronic has drawn comparisons to Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and Lenny Kravitz among many others. Harts recently announced his latest project ‘Harts Plays Hendrix’ – an Australian theatre show paying tribute to the 50-year legacy of Jimi Hendrix which we simply cannot wait to welcome to Bluesfest this Easter!

Henry Wagons

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Henry Wagons

Henry Wagons is the mad professor of song. His fierce intellect was, once upon a time, hurtling toward a career as a philosopher, then derailed by a record deal, a thirst for whisky and insatiable passion for making music. With a career in music that has spanned nearly 20 years, he has made six albums as benevolent dictator of the band Wagons and also two solo albums, as well as taking part in a slew of diverse side projects which includes hosting acclaimed weekly radio program "Tower of Song" on national broadcaster Double J. Henry is a creative force that is now truly reaching the full extent of his powers.

Hiatus Kaiyote

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Hiatus Kaiyote

Self-termed future soul band Hiatus Kaiyote -- akin to a progressive neo-soul group with a little left-of-center hip-hop production -- formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2011. Fronted by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Nai Palm, the band also features bassist Paul Bender, drummer Perrin Moss, and keyboardist Simon Mavin (also of the Bamboos). They self-released their short debut album, Tawk Tomahawk, in 2012, and gradually won support from a wide swathe of taste-making DJs (such as Gilles Peterson) and fellow artists (beginning with Taylor McFerrin and later including Questlove and Erykah Badu). One of the most-exciting and dynamic live bands, their music has been sampled by Beyonce & Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak and Drake and has earned them a Grammy-award nomination. 

Hussy Hicks

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Hussy Hicks

Critically acclaimed Australian act, Hussy Hicks are a tour de force featuring Leesa Gentz’ powerhouse soul vocals and Julz Parker’s revered guitar skills. Prolific and accomplished musicians, Hussy Hicks have honed their sonic dexterity over the past 12 years with six studio albums, multiple industry awards and more than 1,000 live shows under their belts, from Australia’s biggest blues, roots and folk festivals to 15 plus international tours, which now sell out across Europe.  Known for their emotive lyricism, energetic live shows and fiery, frenetic instrumentation, it’s no surprise Hussy Hicks have staying power. From Gold Coast Artist of the Year and Album of the Year wins to Queensland Music Award and Golden Guitar nominations, their critical accolades extend even further, with guitarist Parker being touted by Australian legend, Phil Emmanuel as "Australia’s top female guitar player" and voted fifth in Bluesfest’s Guitar Hero fan poll, among Santana and BB King.

Ian Moss

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Ian Moss

Respected as one of Australia’s iconic musicians, Ian Moss delivers an unforgettable sound – not only as a telling soloist on guitar but especially with his silken voice, ringing with clarity and resonating with pure soul. While primarily recognised as an axeman of tenacity and sweet melodic sensibility, Ian’s distinctive vocal is the essential signature of his soulful, bluesy muse – as it has been since his first tentative foray into music during the early 1970s. 
Born and raised in Alice Springs, Ian started playing guitar in local teenage bands but moved to Adelaide after failing one of his high school years, planning to repeat in the big city. Fate intervened when he answered an advertisement for a guitarist in a shop window in 1973, joining the band that was to become a legend in Australia and that made such an undeniable impact that they are now etched in the Australian music psyche forever. That band was Cold Chisel. 

Jimmie Vaughan

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Jimmie Vaughan

Four-time GRAMMY Award winner and legendary performer, Jimmie Vaughan is returning to Bluesfest 2021. Starting his musical career at the young age of 14 when he ran away from home to play guitar in a band, Vaughan has since gone on to tour and perform with a string of iconic artists including Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton. Together with his younger brother Stevie Ray Vaughan (since deceased), Jimmie founded and performed in the band, The Fabulous Thunderbirds before releasing his first solo album 'Strange Pleasure' in 1994. 

Jimmy Barnes

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Jimmy Barnes

James Dixon Barnes of Glasgow via Adelaide was just 16 when he joined the band Cold Chisel in 1973. Raised on tough soul music and gutsy rock, Jimmy bought his monumental passion and a versatile vocal style to this five-piece band who would eventually become the most powerful live act in the heyday of Australian pub rock.   When Jimmy went solo in 1984 his debut 'Bodyswerve' topped the charts, as did his 1986 album, 'For the Working Class Man'which gave him a signature tune and cementehis place at the centre of a generationHe spoke directly to and for them. Few Australian lives have been bigger than Jimmy Barnes. His story filled two books. His music has been our national soundtrack for forty years and his iconic status in the history of Australian rock’n’roll is reflected in the fact that he’s beeinducted into the ARIA Hall Of Fame ... twice.  
John Butler

John Butler

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John Butler

John Butler, singer-songwriter, producer and activist has been a member of the Bluesfest family for nearly 20 years. His songs speak of love, activism, wellness and inspiration – a message to us all of the more beautiful world that is possible. This time around, John Butler will be performing solo and will be featuring his 2018 album, ‘Home’ as well as classic songs from his timeless repertoire.
John Mayall

John Mayall

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John Mayall

John Mayall first came to Bluesfest in 1991 for the second Bluesfest. The man whose name is synonymous with the blues, and especially the UK blues scene, is finally returning after an absence of six years. Credited with some of the greatest blues line-ups, his band The Bluesbreakers included the likes of Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, John McVie, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor,  Jon Hiseman, and Keef Hartley. Now, a staggering 62 albums down and in his 80’s, this self-professed "road dog", who hates a day off and carries his own gear at gigs, is working harder than ever and touring at a level someone half his age would find daunting.  

Kasey Chambers

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Kasey Chambers

Music seems to be a part of Kasey Chambers DNA, with 12 award winning albums under her belt since the release of 'The Captain' in 1999, Kasey’s brilliant songwriting and world-class performance have earned her a rightful position on the global country artist stage. Often described as a genre-defying singer and songwriter, she wears the honesty of country music on her sleeve, and has become one of the most popular and acclaimed artists of her generation in Australia while winning a devoted cult following in the rest of the world. In 2018 Kasey’s exceptional career was honoured by being the youngest female ever to be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Kasey and her band will play all of her much-loved songs from ‘The Captain’ and ‘Barricades & Brickwalls’ all the way through her career to now, in a very special festival performance not to be missed.

Kev Carmody

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Kev Carmody

Kev Carmody is a National Treasure. He is one of Australia’s pre-eminent singer-songwriters, a wordsmith whose often politically charged and socially aware lyrics early in his career found him described as “Australia’s black Bob Dylan”. Of Indigenous Australian and Irish heritage, both cultures famous for oral histories in song, Kev was born to be a story-teller. His best-known composition (with Paul Kelly) is ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow’, based on the story of The Gurindji Strike and Vincent Lingiari as part of the struggle for indigenous land rights and reconciliation. Kev began writing songs in the mid 1960’s but did not record his first album until 1987. This week Kev releases ‘Cannot Buy My Soul’ – the original 2007 seminal album, coupled with new songs featuring brand new collaborations with some of this country’s best artists; Kasey Chambers & Jimmy Barnes - who are both also performing at this Bluesfest, as well as Courtney Barnett, Mo’Ju & Birdz, Kate Miller-Heidke, Alice Skye and Electric Fields.

Kim Churchill

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Kim Churchill

Kim Churchill is set to release part two of a collection of recordings created in four very different corners of the globe! From the graffiti splashed streets of Berlin, Kim moves to the dense green rainforests of British Columbia on Canada's west coast. 'Forgetting’ is the second EP from his new project where each song taps into the people and environments of some of his favourite parts of the world. He has spent a significant amount of time travelling around Canada - it has become his second home. The vast juxtapositions of landscape were what drew Kim to record in Canada, specifically on Vancouver Island. Kim is a Bluesfest favourite and former winner of the Bluesfest Busking Competition. 

Kool & The Gang

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Kool & The Gang

Get ready to get your hips shaking to some funky classic 80s and 90s hits such as "Hollywood Swinging", "Ladies Night", "Get Down On It", "Cherish" with Kool & the Gang and their horn-driven jazz, soul, R&B, funk and disco! Since forming as a jazz ensemble in the mid-60s, Kool & the Gang have done it all. Their grooves have endured like few others, sampled by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Nas and Janet Jackson among countless others while "Jungle Boogie" and "Celebration" are peerless as party mix staples. Get those dancing shoes on Bluesfesters, "there’s a party goin’ on right here…!" 
Larkin Poe

Larkin Poe

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Larkin Poe

Larkin Poe left Bluesfesters breathless after each dark, dynamic performance so it’s no wonder we are rapt to have the dynamic sister duo of Rebecca and Megan Lovell return in 2021. Larkin Poe has opened the door to a dark, portentous blues that has an enjoyable yet sinister and threatening tone, not unlike their ancestor, Edgar Allan Poe ….. Often referred to as "The Little Sisters of The Allman Brothers" make no mistake - these girls ROCK !!! Don’t miss Larkin Poe and their beguiling mix of gothic soul and outlaw country. 

Little Georgia

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Little Georgia

No strangers to the road, Australian folk-rock duo Little Georgia have spent the last 3 years touring relentlessly and sharing their music all around the globe. Known for their powerful live performances collaborators Justin Carter and Ashleigh Mannix deliver beautiful harmonies and compelling lyrics amongst a sea of acoustic folk songs and crazed out electric jams. 

LP

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LP

LP’s song "Lost On You" has been #1 in 18 countries, her songs are streaming more than 4 million times a day, and her fan base now reaches all corners of the globe. Her music blends vulnerability, swagger, and steely hooks and she is now making her long-awaited Australian debut this April. Get ready for what will be one of the standout performances of the weekend from this uniquely talented artist. 

Mama Kin Spender

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Mama Kin Spender

 Mama Kin Spender is a lightning bolt moment between two long-time friends, co-writers and mischief-makers: Mama Kin and Tommy Spender.  Both artists in their own right, this dynamic collaboration delivers something greater than the sum of their parts. Their song writing prowess sits front and centre, while Spender’s brilliant production sensibilities bring an effortless sophistication to their tracks. It’s a stripped back duo of brooding guitars, primal drums and howling harmonies, illuminated by a chorus of singers arranged by Virginia Bott (Brighter Later, First Chorus Band of Singers). They will be joined for one of their performances at Bluesfest by Mullumbimby's own 'Midnight Choir'. 

Melbourne Ska Orchestra

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Melbourne Ska Orchestra

Melbourne Ska Orchestra are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the stage. Audiences will be blown away by up to 25 musicians performing at a time, and the joyous, energetic vibe of a Melbourne Ska Orchestra gig is one that must be seen to be believed. Multi-instrumentalist and band leader Nicky Bomba enthuses, “With so many band members, we’re a bit like a soccer team! Our live shows are a community experience. It's imperative for us to make a solid unifying connection with our audience. We hold the live performance in high esteem, as it’s an ancient ritual where humans come together celebrating life through the wonder of music. It’s a bit of a spectacle to behold.”

Michael Franti & Spearhead

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Michael Franti & Spearhead

Michael Franti is a globally recognised musician, humanitarian, activist, and award-winning filmmaker revered for his high-energy live shows, inspiring music, devotion to health and wellness, worldwide philanthropic efforts and the power of optimism.

Throughout his multi-decade career, Franti has earned Billboard No. 1s with triumphantly hopeful hits Sound of Sunshine” and Say Hey (I Love You),” five Top 30 Hot AC singles, eight Top 25 AAA Singles and three Billboard Top 5 Rock Albums.

Away from the concert stage, his 2019 self-directed documentary Stay Human” won an array of awards at film festivals worldwide and influenced his writing for his most recent album 'Stay Human Vol. II' (Thirty Tigers), which debuted at No. 1 on both the Americana and Independent Album charts to global critical acclaim.

Hi non-profit foundation Do It For The Love has fulfilled over 3,300 wishes for those with life-threatening illnesses, veterans, and children with severe challenges and touching the lives of over 12,000 people to date. Franti also owns SOULSHINE Bali, a 32 room top-rated yoga retreat hotel located in Ubud, Bali.

Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission

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Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission

On the back of a successful autobiographical book ('These Are the Days') and an expansive highlights album ('These Are the Songs') in 2018 Mick and the full Roving Commission band travelled to Memphis Tennessee to produce the album 'Coldwater DFU' – rated by many as a career defining piece of work. Not content with the critical acclaim received for that release Mick is forging ahead with a graphic novel to accompany the record ('Coldwater Chronicles'), an animated film clip for the track "Anything You Recognise" and a delightful covers record 'Bipolar Request' – the by-product of a crowd funding campaign where people could pay for song requests.
Morcheeba

Morcheeba

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Morcheeba

Such was the joy and bliss of Morcheeba’s visit to Bluesfest in 2018 .. that we wanted to bring them back as soon as possible. With a music career spanning 22 years and millions of albums sold worldwide, Morcheeba are pioneers of British trip-hop and soul. Morcheeba define the chill out genre and are the perfect antidote to a big night, songs like “Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day”, “The Sea”,  “Even Though” and “Otherwise” have been played in café’s, lounge rooms and at Sunday sessions around the world. It’s always special when Morcheeba take to the Bluesfest stage.

Nathan Cavaleri

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Nathan Cavaleri

Many were oblivious to the career Nathan Cavaleri lead beyond prime time Australia. By age 12, he found himself the centre of a bidding war between the labels of Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna. By age 16, he’d toured with B.B. King and played at the Kennedy Centre in front of The Clintons with Etta James and Bonnie Raitt. All after winning his battle with leukemia! Whether it was signing a CD for Jimmy Page, or being called “The Bomb” by Dr Dre, Nathan viewed the world just as any kid would, with childish naivety. It’s only now that he has experienced the depths of adulthood adversities, is he reflecting on his past accomplishments in awe as if it was lived by another.

Pacey, King & Doley

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Pacey, King & Doley

Three Legends come together! Pacey, King and Doley.  The Sydney Blues Society 2019 Best Male Vocalist and Best Song Writer Shane Pacey has had a stellar 4-decade career fronting The Bondi Cigars, Foreday Riders and Shane Pacey Trio. He is loved by audiences all over this land.  Sally King is blessed with an irresistibly authentic voice and vibrant stage presence. Whether singing her own songs or putting a unique stamp on classics, audiences warm instantly to Sally’s passion.  2019 Sydney Blues Keyboard Player of the Year Clayton Doley is a killer boogie woogie player and a super funky Hammond player who has played with some of the biggest names in the business including Steve Cropper, Joe Bonamassa and Harry Manx.  Backed by stellar rhythm section David Green on Bass and Davo Fester on Drums.  
Patti Smith & Her Band

Patti Smith and Her Band

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Patti Smith and Her Band

Just when we thought it was all over, the legend that is Patti Smith calls and says: I’d like to do it all over again. I’m ready if you are!” Patti Smith and her Band conquered Bluesfest in 2017. They then went on to win a Helpmann Award that year for Best International Contemporary Concert!  Best-selling author, performance poet and visual artist, Patti Smith’s list of artistic accomplishments don’t end there. She is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, recipient of the Polar Music Prize, a human rights activist and also holds the honour of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres  from the French Ministry of Culture.  How could we refuse?  So, with open arms, we welcome back the Godmother of punk, Patti Smith and her Band, to Bluesfest 2021! No questions asked!

Pierce Brothers

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Pierce Brothers

Pierce Brothers have taken their unique brand of folk music from busking on the streets of Melbourne to touring the world. Comprising of twin brothers Jack and Pat Pierce, the multi instrumentalists have been shaking dance floors and selling out rooms across UK, Europe, Canada, USA and their native Australia. Their irremissible energy and world class live show has generated a word of mouth buzz not seen for some time.  Having established themselves as a figurehead of the folk, blues & roots community here in Australia and abroad, the band have toured relentlessly – honing their craft and gaining fans across the globe as they go. The band’s music has grown with them over the years and has seen them release two Top 10 ARIA EPs 'The Records Were Ours' and 'Into The Dirt', receive over 7 million global streams (1.7 million in Australia since Jan 2015), as well as over half a million YouTube views. The Pierce Brothers released their full-length debut album 'Atlas Shoulders' last year to rave reviews. The album came in at number #13 on the ARIA charts and was produced by GarreKato.

Ray Beadle

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Ray Beadle

Ray Beadle is the genuine article, his music comes deep from the heart and soul, stirring emotions in people with his guitar genius. Ray’s music is rich with a deep history of the blues; Rich from 20 years of experiences garnered from performing nationally and internationally; Ray has a deep understanding of his instrument and how to make it stir something within the listener. He knows that’s what the blues is about. Recently returning from Memphis where he competed in the International Blues Challenge as a solo act, making it to the finals where 8 out of 90 acts were able to perform at the Orpheum Theatre.

ROSHANI

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ROSHANI

From dirt poor beginnings in Sri Lanka to explosive multi-instrumental one-woman prodigy, the music of ROSHANI is as captivating and uplifting as her life story. Her father the village drummer, her mother the singer, impoverished and with no hope, had to give ROSHANI up for adoption. At 6 weeks old fate led her to the other side of the world, to a musical family living in music capital Tamworth. Roshani’s music defies pigeonhole, timelessly crossing genre. Using loop pedals to lay down guitar, harmonica, keys, percussion and a voice that gives you goosebumps, Roshani developed her one-woman show while living in her van, busking on the streets and travelling wherever the wind took her.

Russell Morris

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Russell Morris

With a staggering 50 year career and counting, Russell Morris returns with his brand new album, Black And Blue Heart. Russell Morris is one of Australia's most enduring singers. A major pop star in the late '60s, he went on to become one of the country's first singer/songwriters. Morris' career started in September 1966 with the formation of the Melbourne group Somebody's Image, which rose to prominence with a local hit version of the Joe South song "Hush”. Russell’s successful Blues trilogy spans the years 2012 – 2018 and spectacularly re-launched his career. The trilogy features the Platinum selling ‘Sharkmouth’, the ARIA nominated ‘Van Diemen’s Land’ and the ARIA Award winning ‘Red Dirt – Red Heart’. His 2019 current release ‘Black and Blue Heart’ was produced by Nick DiDia and Bernard Fanning and features a co-write with Eddie Rayner [Split Enz].

Tash Sultana

Saturday
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Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana is an explosive global producer and artist who has commanded attention worldwide since homemade videos went viral on YouTube. ‘Tash’ was soon selling out major arenas, a string of sold out world tours and headlining the world’s biggest festivals – no mean feat for an emerging artist who went from recording songs on a go pro in a bedroom in 2016. Since Tash’s grandfather gifted a guitar at the age of three, the artist developed a love for self teaching an array of different instruments around the guitar knowledge which they had been taught as a young kid during primary school. Quickly developing a unique style that has seen Tash breaking record attendances around the world. Tash plays over 12 instruments (guitar, bass, drums/percussion, piano/keyboard/synth/oud, trumpet, saxophone, flutes, pan pipes, sitar, harmonica, beat production) with guitar as their main love, a self trained vocal that reaches over a 7-key range and a live show that needs to be seen to be believed.

The Bamboos

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The Bamboos

Bandleader Lance Ferguson and his nine piece Melbourne funk/soul outfit The Bamboos have come a long way since forming in 2001. Initially inspired by the instrumental raw funk of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, they made waves internationally and were quickly labelled as one of the greatest funk and soul bands of our time. But while many would be happy to simply soak up the praise and keep on keeping on, The Bamboos have proven that they are more than meets the eye; over five acclaimed albums, their evolution in sound and style has consistently confounded and exceeded expectations, pulling the rug from under the feet of those who like to pigeonhole.  Across their five studio albums to date - ‘Step It Up’ (2006), ‘Rawville’ (2007), ‘Side-Stepper’ (2008), ‘4’ (2010) and 'Medicine Man' (2012) – the metamorphosis of The Bamboos has been full of twists and turns, and it continues apace.

The Black Sorrows

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The Black Sorrows

Fronted by long standing Australian musician Joe Camilleri, The Black Sorrows began playing semi-acoustic sets around Melbourne and released several laid-back albums which consisted of Van Morrison, John Lee Hooker, and Ray Peterson covers, as well as originals. The album 'Dear Children' marked a change in fortune for the Black Sorrows. After being issued independently, it was picked up by CBS and peaked at number 18 on the Australian national charts. Legends!
The Cat Empire

The Cat Empire

Thursday
  • Thursday

The Cat Empire

Formed in Melbourne, Australia and an absolute favourite at Bluesfest, The Cat Empire make a welcome return to Bluesfest.  Bound together by a love of music since their teens, The Cat Empire have made their name crafting infectious, genre-embracing anthems, releasing them on chart-topping, multi-platinum selling albums, and playing hundreds of world-class, awe-inspiring shows a year.  It seems The Cat Empire's brand of feel-good, high-energy, smile-inducing, euphoric root- pop has a global address when it comes to the winning of hearts. 2021 sees them back with a swag of favourites and some new tracks.  Get ready to dance yourself crazy!

The Gipsy Kings

Monday
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The Gipsy Kings

The Gipsy Kings (the real ones!) featuring co-founders Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo are sure to get Bluesfesters hips shaking in 2021. The band who captured the world’s imagination 25 years ago with their self-titled album became a genuine phenomenon around the globe. Flamenco – rumba – pop – The Gipsy Kings break through the genres with their anthems "Bamboleo", "Volare", "Djobi Djoba"!
Marcus King Band

The Marcus King Band

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The Marcus King Band

Who wouldn’t welcome back the incredible The Marcus King Band after a sell-out Australian tour and packed out performances at Bluesfest’s 30th Anniversary? This young musical phenomenon delivers soulful americana inspired by rock'n’roll and, together with his band, creates a blistering unit that has honed their synergy through endless touring.

The Teskey Brothers

Sunday
  • Sunday

The Teskey Brothers

It’s fair to say The Teskey Brothers have come a long way since shows in small Melbourne bars just a few years ago. The four friends from Warrandyte have seen a meteoric rise in popularity, amassing a legion of fans all around the world with their timeless recordings and stunning live shows. Onstage The Teskey's pull out all stops, conjuring a rare soulful energy and raw emotion that has fans queuing for tickets across USA, Canada, UK and Europe. Josh Teskey’s once-in-a-generation voice defying belief as the band ignites around him. In 2019, The Teskey Brothers played four nights at Melbourne’s Forum Theatre and recorded the shows to analogue tape. The resulting live album debuted at number 1 on the ARIA Album chart this year and has been described by American Songwriter magazine as “a near perfect live recording”.

The Waifs

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The Waifs

Aussie trio, The Waifs will be hitting the road again to make their way to Byron Bay this Easter. The bands country roots have shone through over the years as they journeyed across the country in their well-travelled transit van winning them loyal fans along every step of the way over a quarter of a century later. Get ready for some more classic sing-along hits including "London Still", "Lighthouse" and many others.

The Wailers Perform Songs From ‘Legend’

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The Wailers Perform Songs From ‘Legend’

The Wailers are true living legends. To see them, to be there in the room with them, is to take a real slice of music history and heritage. For a limited time The Wailers will be performing classic cuts and huge hits from Bob Marley’s incredible back catalogue. When Bob Marley, the man himself, instructs you to "keep The Wailers together", musicians and music fans alike take note. A stunning line up, featuring genuine reggae royalty and heir to the throne, Aston Barrett Jr (son of the legendary "Familyman"), keyboardist Tyrone Downie, and Saxophonist Glen DaCosta, will conjure the spirit of reggae in the way that only they can in a show that is absolutely not to be missed. Josh David Barrett achieves the seemingly impossible by confidently stepping in to Bob Marley’s shoes to provide a truly fantastic lead vocal. The essence of 70s rebellion, the true spirit of reggae performed by the people who helped forge the era-defining sound and by those raised under their tutelage. Living legends, reggae royalty carrying the flame - now you can be a part of the legacy. When The Wailers come calling, you listen. 
The War & Treaty

The War & Treaty

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The War & Treaty

The War and Treaty were absolutely one of the discovery artists of last year’s Bluesfest. So it was a "no-brainer" to ask lovebirds Michael and Tanya Trotter to return next Easter. The War and Treaty deliver live shows and records that make the hairs on the back of necks stand up. Their music and stories bring tears and goosebumps, but ultimately, more is at work. Facades melt away. Walls are torn down.  The War and Treaty are a must-see!

Tori Kelly

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Tori Kelly

GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist and vocal powerhouse Tori Kelly honours her deepest musical passion and delivers an R&B-infused, infectiously melodic take on classic gospel with her Kirk Franklin-produced album, 'Hiding Place', which was released in September 2018. Whether you’re a die-hard fan since day one or a recent listener, there’s no doubt Tori Kelly makes an impression on everyone for the passionate and authentic way she instantly commands any stage she steps into. Get ready Australia!

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Thursday
  • Thursday

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Part Jimi Hendrix, part James Brown and all New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews is a singular artist who puts his own spin on traditional American musical forms.  Andrews is the bandleader and frontman of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a nine-piece hard-edged funk band that employs brass-band beats, rock dynamics and improvisation in a jazz tradition. NPR hailed him as New Orleans’ brightest new star in a generation, and New York Magazine says “Trombone Shorty takes in a century-plus worth of sounds—ragtime and jazz and gospel and soul and R&B and hip-hop—and attacks everything he plays with festive fervor.” His 2017 Blue Note debut 'Parking Lot Symphony' contains multitudes of sound—from brass band blare and deep-groove funk to bluesy beauty and hip-hop swagger—and plenty of emotion all anchored by stellar playing and the idea that, even in the toughest of times, as Shorty says, Music brings unity.” 

Troy Cassar-Daley

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Troy Cassar-Daley

Troy Cassar-Daley’s passion to pen stories about this land and what lies at the heart of it has been a driving force in his career which has encompassed 10 studio albums. Troy’s natural authenticity is in the bloodline of his music that endears him to his ever-growing number of fans from every walk of life. Having bagged numerous accolades over the years including 37 Golden Guitars, four ARIAs, two APRA Country Song of the Year Awards among many others, it is with open arms that we welcome Troy to the Bluesfest 2021 lineup.
Walter Trout

Walter Trout

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Walter Trout

Having been described as a "stellar performer" by numerous media publications after his 2018 performance, American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, Walter Trout is making a welcome return to Bluesfest Byron Bay. For over five decades, Walter Trout has performed to adoring fans around the globe and is now often called the beating heart of the modern blues/rock scene. The list of icons that have inspired Walter’s work include BB King, John Mayall, Joe Bonamassa, Chuck Berry and countless others. Renowned as an icon in blues music circles, this performance is not to be missed.  

Weddings Parties Anything

Sunday
  • Sunday

Weddings Parties Anything

The last time they pulled on the boots was 2012 when they were inducted into The Age EG Hall of Fame in their home town Melbourne. In spite of this absence the demand for them to reunite has remained strong and so, for the people in the band it’s simply a matter of the time feeling right. In the wake of a catastrophic year such as 2020 the chance to be part of something as classic, iconic and enduring as Weddings, Parties, Anything was just too tempting. It will be the classic final line-up of the band that has played more shows and lasted longer than any other of the permutations that constituted "the Weds". From their iconic 'Scorn of the Women' to their fully crafted and realised swan song 'Riveresquethe band’s set promises to be a whirlwind ride through a back catalogue as familiar and evocative as it is inspired and relevant to turbulent times. 
Xavier Rudd

Xavier Rudd

Sunday
  • Sunday

Xavier Rudd

Xavier Rudd has captivated audiences for two decades. Nothing compares to experiencing Xavier Rudd in concert. Every show is a unique and exciting experience. His socially conscious indie-folk has been a vessel for his spirit, narrating the journey of a composer with a gift for channelling life into song. Over the course of nine studio albums and eight live records his beloved songs of spirituality, humanity, environmentalism and human rights have resonated with the Bluesfest audience and he’ll for sure get a warm, loving reception when he takes the stage in 2021.

Ziggy Alberts

Saturday
  • Saturday

Ziggy Alberts

Ziggy Alberts is a singer-songwriter who gives new meaning to the term independent artist. At only 25 years old he has released five records, founded his label Commonfolk Records, played sold-out tours across the world, effortlessly amassing millions of listeners, worldwide. Ziggy creates honest and personal music that explores his relationships both with others and the planet – a subject close to his heart as a surfer and environmental enthusiast. In 2018, Ziggy released his fifth record ‘Laps Around The Sun’ which was premiered on Billboard Magazine and was ‘Feature Album of the Week’ on triple j. In the first week after its release, the album charted to #2 on the ARIA Australian Artist Album Charts. In 2019, Ziggy was awarded ARIA Platinum certification for his album tracks ‘Love Me Now’ and ‘Laps Around The Sun’; one Platinum certification for his Four Feet in the Forest (EP) and, Gold certifications for six singles in his catalogue.