The Byron Bay Bluesfest is a premier Australian music festival with a significant cultural and economic impact on Byron Bay and the North Coast region of NSW. Synonymous with Byron Bay, the festival has operated for over 31 years, annually generating significant direct and indirect economic activity for Byron Bay and surrounding North Coast regions to the tune of $234.4M (2019).
It is the most highly awarded festival in the Australian entertainment industry and commended as a safe, fun, family-friendly event regularly attracting up to 40,000 unique attendees from overseas and across Australia.
The festival is held over five days at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, in Byron Bay NSW, North of Sydney each Easter long weekend. Event facilities include seven performance stages, nine licensed bars and two undercover food courts. There are many independent food and market stalls, car parking for over 7,000 vehicles and camping for up to 6,500 people.
In 2019 total operating expenditure by Bluesfest Group to stage Bluesfest was $23.9 million (up 22.1% from 2018). This included 43.6% increased expenditure directly in the Byron Shire and a 20% increase in the Northern Rivers. 37,191 unique visitors attended Bluesfest 2019 (up 9.2% from 2018).
Local communities derive direct positive benefits from participation in the event, for example, local food vendors and service providers, local artists and transport operators. Flow-on impacts from Bluesfest 2019 to other industries across Byron Shire are substantial and include $25.7 million for Arts and Recreation Services, $20.8 million for Accommodation and Foods Services and $14.3 million Retail Trade.
Bluesfest is Australia’s most highly awarded festival, below a summary of the most notable awards.
1 WIN at the Keeping the Blues Alive Award Memphis 2018 for Bluesfest Director Peter Noble
1 WIN at Rolling Stone Australia Award for Bluesfest Director Peter Noble for his services and contribution to Australian Music
8 WINS at the NSW Tourism Awards for Major Festivals and Events – (5 Gold, 3 Silver)
Induction into the NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame in 2019 after winning Gold in the NSW Tourism Awards three times in a row
5 NOMINATIONS for NSW for Major Festivals & Events at the Australian Tourism Awards (2 Silver, 1 Bronze)
7 WINS at the Australian Event Awards for Australian Event of the Year
6 WINS at the North Coast Tourism Awards for Major Festivals & Events
4 WINS at the Helpmann Awards for Best Contemporary Music Festival (Ceremony for Australia’s most talented and celebrated performers and industry)
1 WIN at the Helpmann Awards for Best International Contemporary Concert
9 NOMINATIONS at the Pollstar Awards (USA) for International Festival of the Year including for the 30th Anniversary in 2019
Our vision is to be the festival of choice for artists and patrons, delivering a unique festival experience through a ‘one of a kind’ event that resonates with all participants.
We seek to elevate music, arts and culture in Australia and in our local Northern New South Wales region. Through the Bluesfest experience, we aim to heighten consciousness, create joy and generate a more sustainable environment for future generations.
Bluesfest is committed to returning in 2021 and beyond and is keeping a fluid plan around Government regulations to enable this. Bluesfest is working on multiple scenarios to ensure a quality event and safety for patrons, artists and staff at all times.
BUY A BLUESFEST 2021 TICKET AND SUPPORT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
With buying a Bluesfest 2021 ticket, you are investing not only into Bluesfest and its future but into the Australian Music Industry. Bluesfest is taking the lead into stepping into the future, as unknown it is at this stage. Bluesfest is committed to present an event in 2021 to ensure the music industry remains alive!
Bluesfest is a proud independently owned and operated company and recognises that the Bluesfest fans are crucial and fundamental to the success of the event.
BLUESFEST 2021 TICKETS
Tickets to Bluesfest 2021 can be purchased via Bluesfest’s ticketing provider Moshtix. Click HERE to see all ticket options and add-ons such as VIP, camping or parking. Full Terms and Conditions for Bluesfest 2021 tickets HERE.
ECONOMIC IMPACT REPORT
In 2019 the total economic output in NSW as a result of Bluesfest was $234.4M with a Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $136M for all visitors and $71.9M for interstate / overseas visitors only. These statistics align to those from previous years. The average daily spend of $304 for all visitors ($291 for interstate/overseas visitors) is in addition to Bluesfest tickets and reflects the significant disposable income of Bluesfest’s audience.
View the full Economic Impact Report for 2020 HERE.
For comparison, you can also view the full Economic Impact Report for 2019 HERE.
SPECIFIC PLANNING DURING COVID19 PANDEMIC
Whilst government regulations are still in place for organised gatherings of Bluesfest’s scale, Australia prepares for a Live Music Comeback and Bluesfest is adapting its planning to allow for a safe event and the continuation of the festival and the associated businesses of the Bluesfest group of companies.
BLUESFEST 2021 TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The festival is operating under the current Public Health Order given by the NSW Department of Health. Full Terms and Conditions for Bluesfest 2021 HERE.
WHAT ARE CURRENT GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS
The current NSW Public Health Order [dated 30th June 2020 (original order) with the latest amendment made on 11th September 2020], allows major recreational outdoor venues with space for up to 40,000 people to operate to up to 25% capacity. All events must be seated. Bluesfest has an approved capacity of 30,000.
The NSW Government have also released Border Control Public Health Order. See HERE for latest info concerning NSW borders and entry.
LIVE PERFORMANCE AUSTRALIA
Bluesfest is a member of Live Performances Australia and adheres to its Ticketing Code of Practice.
To eradicate any risk for the customer, should the event be again cancelled by government, Bluesfest 2021 ticket income will be held in a locked bank account, to guarantee ticket refunds.
Bluesfest 2021 will be covered by contingency insurance, that includes adverse weather, however, an extension for Covid-19 is no longer available. All 2021 ticket income is held in a locked bank account to guarantee refunds in case of cancellation due to government regulations.
Bluesfest is committed to present International talent, should travel bans be lifted, and Artists are willing to self-isolate upon arrival to Australia for two weeks if this should still be a health requirement.
Bluesfest is in negotiations with artist management for bands to fly in with a smaller than usual tour parties. Usually, Artists travel with their band and their own tech crew. For 2021 Bluesfest is working toward providing bands with local tech and production crew to reduce the number of people in the Artist’s tour party.
Should travel restrictions not be lifted in time for international Artists to fly to Australia, Bluesfest will substitute those Artists with Australian talent, ensuring the high level and quantity and quality of music over the five days Easter Long Weekend.
COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN
Should the current social distancing measurements remain in place April 2021, Bluesfest is committed to providing the necessary facilities to ensure the safety for its patrons, artists and staff.
Bluesfest is receiving helpful advice from the NSW Department of Health on creating a COVID-19 Safety Plan. Furthermore, Bluesfest has engaged a risk assessment company to include the COVID-19 Safety Plan into the event’s overall safety and risk management plan and to assist with the realisation of those compliances.
Bluesfest’s medical centre will be extended to allow for additional safety requirements set by the NSW Department of Health.
Current government regulations permit events within a seated, outdoor environment that allows for the current social distancing measurements. Should those regulations still apply in April 2021, Bluesfest will provide the needed structure for such requirements and is presenting plans for outdoor stages, with a seated front of house area. Bluesfest’s current Development Consent and its required independent noise assessments confirm, that the planned outdoor set up operates within the permitted noise impact associated with a major event.