Byron Bay’s muddy music party of cool cats, Bluesfest, is locked in for another year of funk, blues, rockabilly and relaxed jangly pop. After some controversy around gender imbalance in last year’s line-up (with festival organisers comparing the attitudes of those who commented on the issue to those of Nazi Germany), we’re excited to see some powerful lady-led acts taking over the stage at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm.
Quadruple threat author, poet, visual artist and singer Patti Smith is sitting up with the headliners. She’ll be joined by her band for a moving set with tracks from her early days like ‘People Have the Power’ and more recent, melancholy songs like the dreamy ‘Constantine's Dream’. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is returning to the festival after her 2017 set, and her fellow headliners include ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ superstars Crowded House (the sweat will be mingling with tears during ‘Fall at Your Feet’) and Dave Mathews Band, who’ll be crashing into all of us with their jingly rock.
Other exciting names on the bill include absolute guitar legend George Benson, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Brandie Charlie (we’re excited to belt out ‘The Story’), the jazzy rascals from the Cat Empire, soulful British trip-hoppers Morcheeba, and indie-folk warbler, Xavier Rudd. John Butler will also be making an appearance as a solo act rather than in the familiar trio, and we’ll get another dose of activism and inspiring pop from Indigenous North American artist Buffy Sainte-Marie.
The five-day festival will once again be taking place over the Easter long weekend, setting up a massive campground and providing dancing fuel (aka meals and beverages) and merch at more than 40 eateries and bars, plus another 45 market stalls.
Ready to rock closer to home? Check out these superb pubs and bars for live music in Sydney. Afterwards, head to these fab free parties that are raging around Sydney, no cover charge.