Byron Bay Bluesfest

Part 1 Bluesfest First Announcement Alumni - Why They’re Not To Be Missed in 2017!

31 August 2016

With some media calling the first around of artists “ …the Strongest First Announcement Ever" - Noise11, we couldn’t help but look back at some of the Bluesfest alumni artists on the 2017 first announcement and why you can’t miss them in 2017.

#1. Zac Brown Band

Last Bluesfest performance was….

Three-time Grammy winners and multi-platinum artists Zac Brown Band are no strangers to the Bluesfest audience and have built a strong and loyal following of fans in Australia over the years they’ve been coming to Bluesfest. They were last seen at Bluesfest 2015 – and geez, did they deliver!

It was a huge year for them with a bunch of onstage cameos with Keb Mo, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue for the Bill Withers Track ‘Use Me’, with Jack Johnson and G Love for The Bob Dylan cover ‘I Shall Be Released’ as well as mixing up the set list with some smashing and unexpected covers of Led Zeppelin’s’ ‘Kashmir’ and Queen’s ‘ Bohemian Rhapsody’ and finishing the set with their classic hit ‘Fried Chicken’. 

What's been happening for the Zac Brown Band since their last Bluesfest visit….

They’re currently in the middle of their Black Out The Sun Tour in the USA, playing to record breaking crowds.

Early 2016, Zac Brown Band was honoured at The Recording Academy’s 2016 GRAMMY’s on the Hill Wards, receiving the Recording Artists’ Coalition Award for their musical achievements and commitment to philanthropic causes.

Did you know - they also have their own festival in Mexico called ZZB Castaways . These guys are always full of surprises!

And back in 2015, Zac Brown Band performed at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame with Tom Morello.

Why they are a must see at Bluesfest in 2017...

Without a doubt, the Zac Brown Band has one of the best live shows in the business – their musicianship is known as being incomparable. You don’t have to be a country rock fan to appreciate or see why these guys sell-out arenas and stadiums all around the world. With an enormous catalogue of hits, a unique bunch of covers up their sleeve, flawless vocals and plenty of energy, you will walk away feeling privileged to have attended their show.

The best thing is you never really know what to expect but you know it will be all about the music! Expect no less at Bluesfest 2017 on Saturday 15th April and Monday 17th April.

#2. The Lumineers

Last Bluesfest performance was…..

In 2013 it was love at first sight when The Lumineers performed their debut Bluesfest set. It was said they “led one of the loudest and somehow tireless audience sing-alongs of the weekend during hit Ho Hey” – The Beat Magazine!

What's been happening for The Lumineers since their last Bluesfest visit…..

After ‘Ho Hey’ (which spent a staggering 62 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #3) and its follow-up, ‘Stubborn Love’ (recently featured on President Barack Obama's Spotify playlist), The Lumineers spent a solid three years touring six of the seven continents!

During that time, The Lumineers, whose original members Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites founded the band in Ramsey, New Jersey back in 2002, earned a pair of Grammy nominations (Best New Artist, Best Americana Album) and sold an impressive 1.7 million albums in the U.S., and 3 million worldwide.

It took four years for The Lumineers to follow up their platinum-plus, multi-Grammy-nominated, self-titled debut which spent 46 weeks on the Billboard 200 and peaked at #2 and now The Lumineers will be returning to Bluesfest to showcase their latest release, Cleopatra ….and we just can’t wait!!

Why they are a must see at Bluesfest in 2017?...

Selling out multiple dates and playing arena and amphitheatre shows all around the world, The Lumineers are the perfect fit for contemporary music lovers at Bluesfest in the folk-rock genre. Get ready for the sing-alongs on Good Friday at Bluesfest 2017.

#3. St Paul and The Broken Bones

Last Bluesfest performance was…

“They raised the roof” “ Best band I saw at Bluesfest 2016” “One of the 5 best acts I have ever seen at Bluesfest” “ I haven’t stopped raving about them – please bring them back” “ One of the real highlights from Bluesfest 2016 – I went to all 3 of their shows”

These are just some of the similar 1000+ comments we received when pledging to bring back St Paul and The Broken Bones to Bluesfest 2017 after their 2016 performance!

What's been happening for St Paul & The Broken Bones since their last Bluesfest visit….

Paul and the guys ( now an eight piece band) have gone to another level. They are selling out theatres everywhere, playing to huge festival crowds including one of the main stages at Glastonbury 2016. It’s their time and the word is spreading how ridiculously incredible their live show is..

Why they are a must see at Bluesfest in 2017...

“…limelight-stealer of 2016’s Bluesfest was St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Gob-smackingly good soul that rollicked audiences with unadulterated joy and delight. Janeway’s captivating vocals and showmanship paired with a wall of world-class musicians and tight arrangements surely makes them one of the greatest soul bands on tour right now.” TONEDEAF !

Yep, think this review say it all. They’ll be back with a new album and material as well playing three HUGE nights – Thursday 13th April (opening night), Saturday 15th April and closing on Monday 17th April at Bluesfest – don’t miss one if not all three of their performances.

#4. Beth Hart (exclusive)

Last Bluesfest performance was…

Vocal powerhouse Beth Hart gained a reputation as one of the ‘buzz artists’ at Bluesfest in 2014 and 2015, and will be returning in 2017 for two Bluesfest exclusive performances

What’s been happening for Beth Hart since her last Bluesfest visit..

Beth has been busy not only touring but working on a new album Fire On The Floor (2016) - set for release in Australia this October. Fire On The Floor is the follow up to Beth’s 2015 release Better Than Home, a critical and commercial smash that topped the iTunes Blues Chart and was crowned #4 Best Blues Album Of The Year by Mojo magazine.

It looks like another Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa album is on the cards (after recording in Las Vegas over the last few months) plus performing with Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Steve Tyler + others at “ Jeff Beck and Friends, a Celebration of 50 years” concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

Why Beth Hart a must see at Bluesfest in 2017...

Beth Hart’s two performances Saturday 15th and Monday 17th April at Bluesfest are the only Australian shows in 2017. With a new album, Beth will be on fire this Easter! With Beth and Buddy Guy sharing the Saturday at Bluesfest, wonder if we may see a Blues duo with the pair?...

#6. Buddy Guy (exclusive)

Last Bluesfest performance was..

Buddy Guy has a long history of both performing at Bluesfest and touring the country. He last joined the festival for the 25th Anniversary in 2014, and previously in 2012, 2010, 2008, 2006 and 2002 as well as his first Bluesfest Tour in 1990 ( the same year Bluesfest began).

What been happening for Buddy Guy since his last Bluesfest visit....

Buddy Guy was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2015 he received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Billboard magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. Early 2016 he received a GRAMMY for Best Blues Album ‘ Born To Play Guitar’ - this man doesn’t rest! He has also just wrapped up the Experience Hendrix Tour – celebrating the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix and has also just kicked off a tour with Jeff Beck in the US.

Why Buddy Guy is must see at Bluesfest in 2017..

“ King of the Blues, Buddy Guy who at 80 years old is still delivering incredible live performances. His two exclusive plays at Bluesfest will be the only opportunity to see him in Australia” – Peter Noble.

With seven Grammy Awards, 34 Blues Music Awards (the most any artist has received), there truly is no greater live Bluesman performing on this planet today than Buddy Guy. He is a legend. He is one of the great Blues guitarists. He is The KING OF BLUES! Join Buddy for the Blues at Bluesfest on Saturday 15th April and Sunday 16th April.

#7. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

Last Bluesfest performance was…

It’s been two years since Trombone Shorty and Orleans Ave last raised the roof at Bluesfest – taking to yet another level.

What's been happening for Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave since their last Bluesfest visit..

Troy ‘Shorty’ Andrews has been on the road, sharing the stage with Daryl Hall, John Oates, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings in 2016 and jamming with the Zac Brown Band at their festival Castaways in Mexico in 2016 as well as supporting The Foo Fighters in 2015.

Shorty was part of the crew performing at the White House this year to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue are also regulars on the USA festival circuit, most recently at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Music aside, he’s also launched a lively (children’s) picture book autobiography about how he followed his dream of becoming a musician, despite the odds, until he reached international stardom.

Why they are a must see at Bluesfest in 2017..

If it’s a good time you’re after, then look no further than Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave. A firm Bluesfest favourite ….these gifted entertainers bring their high-octane, supercharged sets to Bluesfest 2017 on Opening Night and Good Friday. It’s going be one ‘helluva’- funk, hip hop, rock and Jazz, fuelled by a blistering horn section and Andrews’ on-stage charm and trombone and trumpet mastery make these performances not to be missed!


Next time – Part 2: Jethro Tull, Mavis Staples, Bonnie Raitt, Jake Shimabukuro, Nikki Hill, Irish Mythen


All 5, 3 & 1 day festival and camping tickets are now on sale through or by phoning the Bluesfest office on 02 6685 8310!


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