Byron Bay Bluesfest

Bluesfest 2017 Discovery Artists. Top 5 Staff Picks!

8 February 2017

Discovery artists are what we live and breath for at Bluesfest HQ - the excitement of knowing that we will come across new talent each and every year at the festival is a real buzz.

Over the years Bluesfest has discovered some artists who have gone on to become hugely popular in Australia, including Jack Johnson, Ben Harper.

In recent years, our festival goers have begged us to bring back  Beth Hart, Nikki Hill, St Paul and The Broken Bones, Rhiannon Giddens, Vintage Trouble, Con Brio, Kaleo – the list goes on!

Some of our staff members at Bluesfest share with you their Top 5 discovery picks - artists they’re busting to see at Bluesfest 2017.

Rusty, Bluesfest Marketing Manager

Sir Rosevelt

This is just what Bluesfest needs! A famous guy moving his talents sideways into a whole new genre, and with humour and excellence. One thing is for sure, Saturday night at Bluesfest will ROCK!

The Suffers

Discovering The Suffers is like discovering St Paul & The Broken Bones and Charles Bradley all over again. I can’t wait to see these guys blow the roof off the tent! Manifesting a dream collab – St Paul and The Suffers!


Who isn’t talking about this guy. From his first TV appearance on Jimmy Fallon - to Seal jumping up onstage, this guy is freaking people out with his insane voice and musical presentation, and incredible songs.


California Honeydrops

They have been supporting Bonnie Raitt in the USA, and having interviewed them for our Bluesblog , I’m pumped to see them cut loose at Bluesfest.

Max Jury

I also interviewed Max for the Bluesblog , not only a fabulous interviewee, his music is so evocative, and well just darned good….I wanna see this guy rock !!!!


Nadja – Bluesfest Artist Travel Manager

Snarky Puppy

Gonna check out the concentrated load of musical talent. My all times favourite Erykah Badu has collaborated with their keyboardist Cory Henry and Rashad Smith on drum machine.

Slightly Stoopid

Will for sure try to get a boogie in with those guys, as Reggae is good for da soul!! Jambalaya Stage is such a perfect pic for this band. Can already just see the tent groove out to those rootsy tunes.



I’m so intrigued. This young talented guy is channeling something…And I want to see him to find out what or who it is? What a voice!

The California Honey Drops

There is such a buzz around them and again, I would like to see what all the talk is about.. Heck, they must be good if they are supporting Bonnie Raitt.

Max Jury

So young and yet able to interpret his music with this depth and wisdom. Multi-instrumentalist too, very talented musician. Hoping to be blown away similar to Hozier’s gig a couple of years back.


Jess – Bluesfest Admin Manager

Laura Mvula

Can’t wait to see what outfits she’s going to match to her bright music!!!



So hot right now – I have his album on repeat!!!

Max Jury

Fave Song ‘ Numb’, it’s on the soundtrack to one of my fave romances last year – swoon!



The California Honeydrops

These guys will be a crowd favourite for sure!

The Suffers

Kam Franklin is a megababe and WHAT A VOICE! These guys are a force to be reckoned with! They’ll be playing 4 times at Bluesfest so if you miss them you’re going to “suffer” – ha ha!

Kimb – Bluesfest Touring Manager


This 25 year old is up for a 2017 Grammy! He has an incredible voice, slick production and banging moves and got plenty of attention at Coachella. I can see big things happening in his career and can’t wait to catch him on his first Aussie tour.

Nikki Hill

Rock and roll through and through!

Nikki Hill is the real deal and does some mean covers of ACDC. Here’s a great clip her at Bluesfest in 2015, she’ll be showing Sydney how to rock it this time too. One to watch!

Trevor Hall

‘Conscious’ vocals with groovy vibes. He reminds me of sitting on the beach during sunset with a couple of beers and the love of your life!? Lime Tree is a gorgeous tune. Here he is playing live in New York last year.

Davy Knowles

A young blues guitar wizzkid from Isle of Man! For blues lovers and serious musicians especially.

Max Jury

Another young one at 21; a multi-instrumentalist with a croony voice who recently supported Lana Del Rey and writes some gorgeous bluesy numbers.


Lia – Bluesfest Publicist Assist!

Corinne Bailey Rae

I had this number on repeat when it came out 10 years ago, so brings back very fond teen memories!

Laura Mvula

I'm enchanted by Laura as a hugely talented artist, but also as an incredibly powerful female role model in the music industry.


I'm an old school funk lover through and through and my fingers are crossed for Trombone Shorty to join them on stage for a surprise appearance.


Snarky Puppy

Can imagine these guys will be electric to see on stage and dance dance dance along to!

The California Honeydrops

Another bunch of funky groovers on the line up who I'm sure will inspire me to get my dance on...are you sensing a theme here - I'm mostly looking for those I can get in a good dance to?!


So…you takes your fancy this year! Don’t be shy to share with us below your picks.

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