Byron Bay Bluesfest

Our most popular artists return for our 30th Birthday!

1 August 2018

Our most popular artists return for our 30th Birthday!
And what a line-up it is! Gracing the Bluesfest stages next Easter long weekend we've got an epic first announcement featuring upcoming mover and shakers, bona fide legends, plenty of favourites returning by popular demand, a slew of Bluesfest newbies and some extra special exclusive performances.

Our 30th birthday is shaping up to be our biggest event ever! There’s something for everyone… and this is just the start. 

We've already broken sales records and are anticipating a sold out event. We advise everyone to get in while you can and
secure your 2019 tickets and accommodation add-ons now! 

Jack Johnson • Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals • Ray Lamontagne • George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic • Snarky Puppy • Kasey Chambers • St Paul & The Broken Bones • Nahko And Medicine For The People • Tommy Emmanuel • Colin Hay • Arlo Guthrie • Keb’ Mo’ • Tex Perkins • Allen Stone • Richard Clapton • Russell Morris • Kurt Vile & The Violators • Vintage Trouble • The Black Sorrows • The California Honeydrops • Trevor Hall • I’m With Her • Larkin Poe • Irish Mythen • Elephant Sessions • Greensky Bluegrass • Rockwiz Live

Scroll down for more info >>

Jack Johnson – Hawaiian singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, Bluesfest’s prodigal son, is making a long-awaited return to Bluesfest; having first played in 2001 – and most recently at our 25th birthday bash back in 2014. 

Since that visit Jack has released his 7th studio album, ‘All The Light Above It Too’ which peaked at #13 on the Billboard charts. Jack, with his wife Kim, founded the Kokua Hawaii Foundation to support environmental education in Hawaii’s schools and communities, as well as the Johnson Ohana Foundation to support environmental, art and music education worldwide. Jack Johnson’s album, tour profits, and personal philanthropic activities have resulted in over $30 million donated to charity since 2001. He last played at the 25th Bluesfest in 2014 - although he did sneak in a couple of guest appearances in 2015 with his buddies G. Love & Special Sauce, Donavon Frankenreiter and Jake Shimabukuro! So - who knows what special treat Jack Johnson has in store for us next Easter.

Jack Johnson plays Bluesfest on Sunday 21st April

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Beginning with his 1994 debut, Welcome To The Cruel World, Ben Harper began his career by releasing a string of eight studio albums over a decade and a half. This extraordinary run, featuring the Innocent Criminals, established him as a singularly powerful songwriter and performer with range across multiple genres and an unmatched ability to blend the personal and political. Massive, international sold-out tours, Top 10 debuts in the US, Gold and Platinum certifications worldwide, and a slew of TV appearances cemented Harper and the band's status as genuine global stars.

Ben Harper’s history with Bluesfest is very special - This will be his sixth appearance with the Innocent Criminals and twelfth appearance overall. Since his first appearance back in 1996 he has grown to be one of Bluesfest’s favourite sons. There’s always a special place at the Bluesfest for Ben Harper – and without fail – Ben Harper always delivers a something special for Bluesfest. Welcome home Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals.

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals play Bluesfest on Saturday 20th April

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Clarence Bekker Ray Lamontagne, Grammy-winning folksinger, who just released his seventh studio album, will bring his ‘Just Passing Through’ acoustic tour to Bluesfest for the very first time.  LaMontagne will highlighting songs from his vast and varying body of work, including ‘Trouble’, ‘Till The Sun Turns Black’, ‘Gossip In The Grain’, God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise’, ‘Supernova’, ‘Ouroboros’ and ‘Part Of The Light’. Joining Ray will be Wilco’s John Stirratton bass.  Ray Lamontagne will debut at Bluesfest on Easter Monday.

Ray Lamontagne plays Bluesfest on Monday 22nd April

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It’s going to be a sad but glorious cosmic farewell funk-a-thon as George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic perform at Bluesfest for the very last time. George Clinton will retire in May 2019 – making his Bluesfest appearance one of the last of his 60+ year career. This man has single-funkedly changed the face of modern music… and he is still a major influencer and inspiration for today’s Hip-Hop and R’n’B artists. Be sure not to miss his p-funk marathon farewell sets next Easter Sunday and Monday. He is sure to “Tear The Roof Off” and ‘Shake The Gate”!!

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic play Bluesfest on Sunday 21st & Monday 22nd April

More info & tickets

I'm in! Take me to the tickets now!
+ so many more to come 
Take me to the tickets tickets please!
Coming for just one day?
??? You can now grab single day VIP and single day tickets for any day you choose. ???
Check out the playing schedule to find out when your favourite artists are playing. 
How sweet is that? 
A word from the Festival Director
Bluesfest is proud to make its first artist announcement for Easter 2019 (April 18th – 22nd), our 30th Anniversary Festival.  

And, what an announcement it is! 
“Our 30th Anniversary Bluesfest will be a MAJOR event in a long line of great festivals. We will only turn 30 once,” said director Peter Noble, “and we intend to make this edition truly memorable!” 
We have two of our most highly requested, as well as favourite artists ever headlining, and BOTH coming for exclusive performances.
Jack Johnson will return for his first performance since 2014, except for when he is in the area surfing and sitting in with friends, and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, since 2015, when they reformed after a seven-year hiatus, and played their premier festival performance at Bluesfest. 
Ben Harper’s first performance at Bluesfest 1996 remains one of the most important in the history of our event, and actually gave us the inspiration to move out of being a purely Blues festival and evolving into being Australia’s first Blues & Roots Music festival, even creating the genre. The artists inspired by Ben Harper in Australia include
John Butler, Xavier Rudd and many, many more: his influence on music is profound. 
Jack Johnson first played Bluesfest five years later in 2001, and once again Bluesfest has never been the same. Jack’s roots-based, surf lifestyle, environmentally aware music instantly struck a chord with our audience. 
Ben Harper and Jack Johnson remain year after year amongst the two most requested artists for a return play, and we have listened to our audience and bought them back for this special occasion. 
There are quite a few other favourites from over the years coming back, including
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic playing on his final Australian tour, before retiring. The influence of George and his incredible funk band on music is monumental. These shows are not to be missed. 

Kasey Chambers will perform ‘The Captain’ album in its entirety, as well as her other hits, on the 20-year anniversary of first playing it at her main stage festival debut at Bluesfest.  
Amongst the many other favourites returning will be
Rockwiz Live, Aussie legends Tommy Emmanuel, Colin Hay, Richard Clapton, Russell Morris, The Black Sorrows and Tex Perkins, plus internationals St Paul & The Broken Bones, Vintage Trouble, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Arlo Guthrie, Snarky Puppy, Keb’ Mo’, Elephant Sessions, The California Honeydrops and Trevor Hall, some of whom have not played on our stages in many, many years.  
First timers include the incredible
I’m With Her, Larkin Poe, Kurt Vile, Greensky Bluegrass, AND in saving some of the Best for last, the long-awaited return to Australia for his first performances since 2005, as well as his Bluesfest debut, an artist who truly has achieved greatness, Ray LaMontagne. He has been called a Singer’s Singer, and his albums contain an astonishing brilliance. His performance at Bluesfest 2019 will be highly anticipated.  
The preceding artists are only our first in a number of highly anticipated announcements of artists coming for our 30th, which will include Headliners, Blues and Roots and Indigenous artists playing across our stages AND at our
Boomerang Festival within a festival, plus so much more. 
Simply the best way to see Bluesfest is to camp on site for the whole five days, whether in your own tent or camper van, or at our Tent Motel, Rainbow Tipi or Flashcamp sites.  
We have broken all ticket sales records and anticipate a SELL OUT for Bluesfest 2019 already, so don’t delay... Get your tickets now! 

And thank you for coming with us on this incredible journey. Whether this is your first Bluesfest, or 30th... we promise you, the talent on our stages will always be the best we can present.  
Here we go!!

Peter Noble
Festival Director
Yeah, I want Bluesfest 2018 tickets!

That's right. Use zipPay to grab your tickets and add-ons for our 30th birthday extravaganza. Just select your tickets and select zipPay as your payment option at the checkout.