Ladies to the front

While no-one knows exactly when these four words were first strung together in this particular order, it was an American punk rock girl band called Bikini Kill who popularised the phrase. The band were particularly active in the 90s and instrumental in the Riot Grrrl movement, the meaning was quite literal: they were asking guys at their gigs to make way for the girls to come forward.

Initially, the aim of the movement and the wider community created was to carve out space for women to excel in the typically male-dominated punk scene without needing to sacrifice the more ‘girly’ parts of themselves.

Since that time the term has evolved to become more inclusive. To support all women in the music business and particularly those who take to the front end of the stage.  And we here at Bluesfest are proud of the 2021 line up of Ladies to the Front.

PATTI SMITH

One word; LEGEND!

KASEY CHAMBERS

 A Bluesfest discovery 21 years ago – Kasey has been a regular Bluesfest family member since day one and is the youngest woman to be inducted into the ARIA hall of fame. She has carved her own path to the top while making way for Australian women in the business to do the same.

THE BAMBOOS

Lead singer Kylie Auldist is often described as the “high priestess of soul”. She was born to sing and possess a voice that can run the gamut from soaring vocal pyrotechnics to heart-wrenching tenderness. Her onstage presence is truly joyous.

DAMI IM

Australia’s Dami Im is one of the most revered pop artists of the new millennium. The Australian singer-songwriter walked off The X Factor stage in 2013 victorious and strode, into the #1 spot on the ARIA charts and has proudly placed Australia on the Eurovision map!

ROSHANI

Using loop pedals to lay down the 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. Her music is as captivating and uplifting as her life story.

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 earning her praise from Phil Emmanuel who labelled her Australia’s top female guitar player.

TORI KELLY

From YouTube sensation to American Idol and landing two GRAMMY Awards this songstress and her crown of curls bring her sweet siren songs to our tea-tree paradise.

THE WAIFS

Folk-rock WA sisters Vikki Thorn and Donna Simpson are the mesmeric members of this legendary Australian band who have won four ARIAs from 16 nominations and have had a career spanning 25 years.

EMILY WURRAMARA

Singing in both English and her traditional language, Anindilyakwa, Emily Wurramara is fully steeped in the sand, salt and concrete of her family, community, culture, islands and all of the souls that have played a part in her journey so far. A true Sista!

MORCHEEBA

One of the most groove-oriented acts in the mid-’90s female-fronted trip-hop act hits Bluesfest with what’s sure to be a funk-filled set. Boasting one of the most recognisable voices on the planet, seeing Morcheeba live is a spellbinding experience.

LP

Part Feist and part Joan Jett, genre-bucking Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter LP will be making her Australian debut to us eager Bluesfest fans. LP has written lyrics for Heidi Montag, Cher, Leona Lewis, Rihanna and Christina Aguilera to name a few.

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE

Disruptor of the status quo, Buffy Sainte-Marie has been a trailblazer and a tireless advocate, an innovative artist and with her Indigenous leadership role has made her a unique force in the music industry.

LARKIN POE

Rebecca & Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe are singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist sisters creating their own brand of Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll: gritty, soulful, and flavoured by their southern heritage. Originally from Atlanta and currently living in Nashville, these Blues babes are descendants of tortured artist and creative genius Edgar Allan Poe.

THE WAR & TREATY

Singer Tanya Blount and her husband Michael Trotter, Jr. fell in love on stage and created The War & Treaty. Watching her weave her love-web is a compelling experience time after time.

LITTLE GEORGIA

Ashleigh Mannix delivers beautiful harmonies and compelling lyrics amongst a sea of acoustic folk songs and crazed out electric jams. Little Georgia is a must-see on your list of acts to discover at Bluesfest.