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Bluefest 2017 Lineup is here!

The 28th Annual Bluesfest is set to be one for the records, with the first lineup announcements now released!

With record pre-sales for next year already recorded, the multi award-winning festival will see debuts from upcoming new artists, exclusive Bluesfest performances, as well as the return of some of the gig’s most requested artists.

Held over the Easter long weekend, Bluesfest 2017 will tantalise audiences with up to 12 hours of tunes a day, running Thursday 13th to Monday 17th April at its lush 120 hectare home, just outside Byron Bay.

Headlining next year’s event include names such as the Zac Brown Band, Patti Smith and her Band (performing Horses), The Lumineers, Buddy Guy and many, many more!

The extravaganza that is Bluesfest will also boast an abundance of food and market stalls, numerous bars, parking and on-site camping options, making it one not to miss.

Festival director Peter Noble OAM says that they are only getting started with this first release of artists.

“We are pleased and honoured to be announcing absolute legends, some of whom are ONLY playing at Bluesfest. In addition we are presenting some of the most leading edge contemporary artists of today, and of course, the return of much admired favourites, including ones from Bluesfest 2016.”

bluesfest-lineupThe first 2017 Bluesfest artist announcement includes:


All 5, 3 & 1 day festival and camping tickets are now on sale through or by phoning the Bluesfest office on 02 6685 8310.

Get to know the 2017 Bluesfest lineup….

Zac Brown Band
The three-time Grammy winners and multi-platinum artists are returning to Bluesfest with their latest platinum-certified album JEKYLL + HYDE. Having become one of music’s most heralded acts, Zac Brown Band have sold over 8 million albums to date, as well as earned an historic series of 15 number 1 hit radio singles, becoming only the second artist to top both the country and active rock formats. Other platinum-selling albums include Uncaged, You Get What You Give, The Foundation, and their 2013 project The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1.

Patti Smith and her Band
2017 will mark Patti Smith’s first ever Bluesfest performance, which comes 8 years since her last Australian show, and nearly 41 years since the release of her first, and most celebrated recording Horses. The album has come to be regarded as an influential and ground-breaking recording that continues to resonate and show relevance to generations of musicians and artists to this day. Smith will honour the longevity and lasting influence of Horses with a special Bluesfest show centred around the album.

The Lumineers
The band from Denver, Colorado, return to Bluesfest after audiences fell in love with the in 2013. Exploding onto the scene with their monster single, ‘Ho Hey’ (which spent a staggering 62 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #3) and its follow-up, ‘Stubborn Love’The Lumineers return after spending a solid 3 years touring 6 of the 7 continents around the world. They will be hitting Byron with the eagerly anticipated sophomore album Cleopatra.

Performing exclusively at Bluesfest, the 80 year old iconic blues guitarist and singer is one of the most pivotal forces in music history. Buddy Guy was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in 2014, having received 7 Grammy awards, 34 Blues Music Awards (the most of any artist), a 2015 Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Billboard magazine Century Award for distinguished artistic achievement, and the Presidential National Medal of Arts. The legendary Buddy Guy released his latest studio album Born To Play Guitar in 2015, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Blues Albums chart.

Bonnie Raitt
Yet another Rock and Roll Hall of Famer on the Bluesfest line-up, the inimitable Bonnie Raitt has become an institution in American Music, proving that she is more than just a best-selling artist, respected guitarist, expressive singer and accomplished songwriter. Returning after her last performance at Bluesfest 2013, the 10 time Grammy winner is set to shine with her twentieth album Dig In Deep (2016), the follow up to her critically acclaimed Slipstream (2012). 

Mavis Staples
One of the greatest gospel, soul and blues singers of all time, Mavis Staples is returning in 2017 for 4 exclusive Bluesfest performances. Managing to remain a leading voice in a career that has spanned over 60 years, she recently toured with Bob Dylan on his U.S. Summer tour and released her latest album Livin’ on a High Note in 2016.

Billy Bragg
Following much speculation, Billy Bragg will in fact be making his debut at Bluesfest in 2017. He has been a fearless recording artist, tireless live performer and peerless political campaigner for over 30 years. Billy Bragg has collaborated with the likes of Wilco, Natalie Merchant and more recently Joe Henry on their new album Shine a Light.

Jethro Tull
Ian Anderson, known throughout the world of rock music as the flute and voice behind the legendary Jethro Tull, is bringing his band back to Bluesfest next year. By the mid-seventies, Jethro Tull were one of the most successful live performing acts on the world stage, rivalling Led Zeppelin, Elton John and even the Rolling Stones. After a lengthy career, Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull have released 30 studio and live albums, selling more than 60 million copies since the band first performed at London’s famous Marquee Club in February 1968.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Another Bluesfest favourite making a return in 2017 is the incredible Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. The bigger version of the band will once again be led by Troy Andrews, who began his career as a bandleader at the young age of six, toured internationally at age 12, and spent his teens playing with various brass bands throughout New Orleans and touring worldwide with Lenny Kravitz. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are set for another non-stop party of an improvisational mix of hard-edge funk, hip hop, rock and Jazz, fuelled by a blistering horn section.

Gregory Porter
The Grammy winning Jazz, soul, and gospel singer, will make his Bluesfest debut after performing his first ever Australian shows this September celebrating Take Me To The Alley (2016), the much-anticipated follow-up to his sensational 2013 Blue Note debut Liquid Spirit. His passion and dedication has led to Gregory Porter signing with Blue Note Records, collaborating with renowned musicians including Van Morrison, Stevie Wonder, and fellow Bluesfest 2017 performer Laura Mvula.

Snarky Park
Snarky Puppy
 has gone from the best kept secret to one of the most respected names in instrumental music. The band seamlessly fuses a deep knowledge and respect for musical tradition with sonic and conceptual innovation in a way that is able to reach the most critical or most carefree audience. Snarky Puppy is led by bassist/guitarist/composer/arranger Michael League, whose creative innovations in music have seen the band perform regularly with artists like Erykah Badu, Snoop Dogg, and Justin Timberlake among others.

St. Paul & The Broken Bones
After they brought the house down at their phenomenal Bluesfest debut in 2016, a campaign followed to bring them back in 2017.The return of the recently expanded Alabama soul eight-piece led by the charismatic Paul Janeway also comes with the release of their sophomore album Sea of Noise this September. The band is sure to raise the roof once again at Bluesfest 2017.

Beth Hart
Returning for her third string of exclusive Bluesfest performances, the Grammy nominated singer-songwriter will be returning with her new album Fire On The Floor (2016), set for release in Australia in October. Fire On The Floor is the follow up to Beth’s 2015 release Better Than Home, a critical and commercial smash that topped the iTunes Blues Chart and was crowned #4 Best Blues Album Of The Year by Mojo magazine

Laura Mvula
One of the most exciting musical talents to come out of the UK, soul singer-songwriter Laura Mvula is bound to win over many hearts next Easter when she takes to the stage. The classically trained vocalist’s debut album Sing to the Moon (2013) earned her a string a prestigious award nominations and wins, whilst her sophomore album The Dreaming Room (2016) has been nominated for a 2016 Mercury Prize for Album of the Year.

Roy Ayers
Hailed as the Godfather of Neo Soul, Roy Ayers returns to Bluesfest 12 years on from his last performance at the festival. He has been noted as a key figure in the acid jazz movement, is the number 1 vibraphone player and one of the most sampled artists in history. Some of his most noteable songs include ‘Everybody Loves The Sunshine’‘Searchin’, and ‘Running Away’.

Brooker T.
Another Bluefest debutant, Brooker T. will delight audiences with his presentation and journey through soul, blues and R&B. It will be a rare opportunity to see the classic Stax Records repertoire  performed by the man who wrote so many of the songs and played on the original recordings.  His set will include songs such as; ‘Green Onions’ (Booker T. & the MG’s), ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ (Otis Redding), ‘Mr Big Stuff’ (Jean Knight), ‘Gee Whiz’ (Carla Thomas), ‘Respect’ (Otis Redding/ Aretha Franklin), ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’ (Albert King), and ‘Time Is Tight’ (Booker T. & the MG’s).

Andrew Bird
Music innovator Andrew Bird is coming to Bluesfest for the first time in 2017. The singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist will be hitting the stage off the back of his most recent release Are You Serious (2016), featuring contributions from Fiona Apple and Blake Mills.  Classically trained, Andrew Bird is known to attract adoring fans that connect with his personal and relatable lyrics, and audiences can expect to hear a mass whistle-along at his Bluesfest debut.

Rickie Lee Jones
The 2 time Grammy winner will be making her Bluesfest debut in 2017. Rickie Lee Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1979 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona over 15 critically acclaimed albums.  Defying convention with her sometimes brazen sexuality and the mixed bag of jazz, rock and what has come to be known as ‘confessional’ songwriter performances, her latest album The Other Side of Desire (2015) was written, recorded and rooted in the city of New Orleans, where Jones lives.

Joan Osborne
Having rightfully earned a reputation as one of the great voices of her generation, the multi-platinum selling recording artist and 7 time Grammy Award nominee is returning with her soulful vocals and noted song interpretations. Joan Osborne  has performed alongside many notable artists, including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and fellow Bluesfest 2017 performer Patti Smith to name a few. Osborne’s latest solo recording, Love and Hate, is one of the most personally charged, creatively ambitious efforts of her two decades plus recording career.

Turin Brakes
Turin Brakes
 will celebrate their Bluesfest debut in 2017, showcasing the band’s latest work from their 7th studio album Lost Property, which was released in January 2016. Sixteen years of touring across continents have sealed Turin Brakes reputation as a fearsome live act, able to hold any size crowd with the sheer chutzpah of their no-hidden-tricks raw and direct onstage presence.

The Strumbellas
Juno Award winning Canadian band The Strumbellas are also making their Bluesfest debut in 2017. Their hit ‘Spirits’ (2016) went to #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart and worldwide has been streamed 43+ million times on Spotify. 2014 saw the six-piece folk rockers lay claim to the SiriusXM Indies award for Folk Group of the Year, the Ottawa Folk Festival’s Supernova Rising Star Award and nabbed the Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Album of the Year. In their latest album Hope (2016), the band has harnessed a vivid alternative rock sound that was itchin’ to get out of them.

Jake Shimabukuro
Another Bluesfest favourite, Hawaiian ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro is returning in 2017. His music has redefined the ukulele for the 21st century, and has led to collaborations with the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Ziggy Marley and more. Jake Shimabukuro will be bringing material from his latest album Nashville Sessions, set for release in September.

With this group standing out among New Orleans’ best as one of the funkiest bands to ever arise from the Crescent City, Bluesfest 2017 is in for a treat. They will be releasing a live album in 2016 featuring an array of special guests including Mike Gordon, John Popper, Art “Poppa Funk” Neville, John Oates, Lukas Nelson, and more. The Bluesfest audience will get on the funk, watching Dumpstaphunk toss around lead vocal and four-part harmonies ignited with a deep, gritty groove that dares listeners not to move.

Nikki Hill
The queen of soul, who can also rock out with the best of them is coming back by popular demand. This blues shouter and growler is a bona-fide rock’n’roll diva that has audiences wrapped around her finger. After wowing the crowds at Bluesfest in 2015,  Nikki Hill and her band have been touring extensively following the independent Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists (October 2015). Raised in the church choir and steeped in R&B and garage rock rumble, Nikki Hill is a spitfire with the soul-drenched voice of Etta James and the tattooed, beehived-hair aura of Cramps’ guitarist Poison Ivy.

Irish Mythen
True power inspires awe, and Irish Mythen packs a lot of it – lyrical, musical, and personal – into a relatively small frame. After Bluesfest 2016 fans were requesting the return of this globetrotting troubadour, her impactful and impressive live show will once again be one of the highlights of the festival. A tour-de-force that finds Irish combining her contemporary and catchy anthems with traditional tunes borrowed from her homeland, woven together with a signature blend of edgy humour and heartfelt storytelling.

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Kendall Davies Intern Journalist

About Kendall Davies Intern Journalist

Kendall Davies is an intern journalist in her final year of completing a double degree in Journalism/Business at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. With a passion and love for travel, Kendall has ventured around the globe on many occasions- travelling through Europe, the UK and Ireland, Thailand, Singapore, the east coast of Australia and Whitsundays, and most recently Canada and Mexico. She dreams to one day live overseas in New York, and work as a travel or fashion journalist amongst the hustle and bustle of the “Big Apple”. Since she picked up the travel bug at the age of 9, Kendall looks forward to planning and prepping for her next adventures, wherever in the world they may be.
Kendall Davies Intern Journalist
Kendall Davies Intern Journalist
Kendall Davies is an intern journalist in her final year of completing a double degree in Journalism/Business at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. With a passion and love for travel, Kendall has ventured around the globe on many occasions- travelling through Europe, the UK and Ireland, Thailand, Singapore, the east coast of Australia and Whitsundays, and most recently Canada and Mexico. She dreams to one day live overseas in New York, and work as a travel or fashion journalist amongst the hustle and bustle of the “Big Apple”. Since she picked up the travel bug at the age of 9, Kendall looks forward to planning and prepping for her next adventures, wherever in the world they may be.