Bluesfest celebrates its 30th year with a roster of classic favourites and crowd-pleasing stars of the funk, blues, roots, country, and loosely-defined coastal chill pop genres. Notably, the three headliners are superstars of the festival, playing a huge part in its growing success over the years and essentially defining the sound Bluesfest would come to be known for.
Jack Johnson, the Hawaiian singer-songwriter with an environmental message, is a returning fave of the festival, as are Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, who first charmed the field of punters in 1996. Both Johnson and Harper epitomise the vibe Bluesfest has perpetuated for 30 years, so it is fitting for them to return to the enthusiastic crowds who make a pilgrimage to Byron Bay every Easter. Also making their return is George Clinton and the ever evolving Parliament Funkadelic. Clinton has announced that he will be retiring in 2019, stopping touring and performing from May next year. So, this is Australia's legitimate last chance to witness the joyful weirdness from seeing a P-funk show live.
Taking place over the Easter long weekend in 2019, this year's festival will be settling in to the lush grounds of the Tyagarah tea tree farm. With multiple stages, a variety of on-site accommodation options, food and market stalls and a landmark anniversary binding it all together it's bound to be a popular iteration of the festival. The line-up is also packed with other Australian and international gems. Kasey Chambers will be performing her debut album The Captain in its entirety, Grammy winner Ray Lamontagne will be folk singing away with Wilco bassist John Stirratt, and a smorgasbord of Oz rock legends like Tommy Emmanuel, Colin Hay, Richard Clapton, Russell Morris, the Black Sorrows and Tex Perkins will all be flinging their hits around. Other highlights include Snarky Puppy, St Paul and the Broken Bones, Vintage Trouble, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Arlo Guthrie, Keb’ Mo’, Elephant Sessions, the California Honeydrops and Trevor Hall, with many more to be announced.
Want to see some blues and roots but stay in Sydney? Here's our guide to the best pubs for live music in Sydney. And, if you do make the trip to Byron, have a peruse of our guide to how to not be a dickhead at music festivals.