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BYRON BAY BLUESFEST - Playing Schedule and Final Acts Announced

After months of excitement and anticipation, the wait is over. There’s just a matter of weeks to go, the full line-up and daily playing schedules for Bluesfest 2019 are here! With over 200 artist performances playing over 300 hours of incredible live music, we are ready to celebrate our 30th Anniversary this Easter. We’ve so many acts across multiple genres playing, who do you want to see? Grab your mates and get planning now!

Commenting on the release and complete line-up for Bluesfest’s 30th Anniversary, Festival Director Peter Noble OAM said “As Bluesfest approaches a sell out over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there will be thousands of ticket buyers attempting to fit in all the artists they want to see today as Bluesfest announces its highly anticipated playing schedule for our 30th Anniversary festival. It’s perhaps our most heavily booked event so far. It will be a 12-hour daily marathon from noon until midnight over five stages of both headliners and the best emerging artists. To add to this, we have announced more great artists today including Playing for Change and the winners of last year’s Busking competition Sametime. 

New Zealand’s incredible Māmā Mihirangi & the Māreikura recently delivered such a powerful performance at Folk Alliance in Montreal that most of those in attendance were crying with joy. I have only ever experienced something that strong a few times. Don’t miss out on Māmā Mihi’s unique performance. After three Glastonbury performances, Lucy Gallant will return to Bluesfest with her powerful original songs from her new album. 

I cannot believe our 30th Anniversary is just around the corner. Thank you to everyone who has come over the years, I’m looking forward to seeing you all here in Byron Bay to celebrate with some of our favourite artists in the world this Easter”.

We are super excited to reveal more incredible artists who will be joining us next month. We’re dancing on our feet with the thoughts of it! Joining Jack Johnson, Iggy Pop, Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals, Paul Kelly, The Saboteurs (Jack White, Brendan Benson, Jack Lawrence & Patrick Keeler), Tash Sultana, Hozier, David Gray, Ray LaMontagne, Norah Jones, Julia Stone, Kasey Chambers and MANY MORE are: 

Playing for Change

Clarence Bekker Band

Ward Thomas

Glenn Cardier and The Sideshow

Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf

Māmā Mihirangi & the Māreikura

Lucy Gallant


Nocturnal Syndrome

Plus over 70 more acts across five stages, over five days!

Easter 2019 is just around the corner and we cannot wait to celebrate our 30th Anniversary with over 80 of our favourite artists in Byron Bay. Showcasing music from across the world, Bluesfest has over 200 performances on five stages over five days.

Multimedia movement created to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music, Playing for Change are back to share their powerful live performance with everyone at Bluesfest this Easter 2019. The idea for this project arose from a common belief that music has the power to breakdown boundaries and overcome distances between people. The unique fusion of influences and music from more than seven countries allows for an extremely special performance. United in purpose and in chorus, everyone is touched by music’s unifying power!

Clarence Bekker has a gift. He can connect with the audience from the very first seconds of every show. As an international Soul-R&B, Dance and Reggae music singer-songwriter, he has toured the World. His particularly dark, deep and vibrant voice channels a powerful universe of emotion, making of Mr. Bekker an authentic and contagious orchestrator of happiness on stage. Since 2016 he joined the best musicians in Barcelona starting his own project: Clarence Bekker Band. The amazing group has toured the USA, Europe and Australia besides their musical residence at Jamboree Jazz Club in Barcelona where they sold out every show since more than two years now. In 2019 the band will release their new CD meanwhile they keep touring and offering the audiences one of the most powerful voices in modern music.  

The twin sisters known as Ward Thomas were the first British country act to ever hit No. 1 in the UK album charts. Stepping away from what they see as the constant, malevolent influence of social media Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas are cutting down on their social media posts with a ‘No scroll Sunday’ this year. With a huge rise in Country music fans in Australia, Ward Thomas are back after a cracking performance at CMC Rocks. Their latest release ‘Restless Minds’ shows the girls who are learning to sit with uncomfortable feelings, rather than finding distractions. 

There are aspects of Glenn Cardier’s story that could best be described as the stuff of legend. He appeared at Sunbury, Australia’s first iconic Rock festival over 45 years ago as well as performing in those early years with the likes of Frank Zappa, Harry Chapin, John Hammond and Spike Milligan. Glenn Cardier and the Sideshow perform for a third time at Bluesfest. His resurrection as a songwriter and performer since 2000 has been amazing. Cardier’s long-standing band, The Sideshow provide a powerful backdrop underpinning the dark humour of Cardier’s lyrics. 

Known for her raspy vocals and high energy performance, Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf take listeners on a journey back to the days of psychedelic rock and epic rock vocals. After a residency at NYC’s Rockwood Music hall and a couple of sell-out tours of Europe, the bands’ dream came true as they scored an opening slot for George Clinton in Washington DC. This soon led to 62 performances with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic to cities across the States and Europe. Having been compared to Janis Joplin mixed with Etta James and Mick Jagger in one, Miss Velvet & the Blue Wolf’s multifaceted performance at Bluesfest is sure to earn them some new fans down under! 

Often referred to as the Queen of Live Loops, Māmā Mihirangi & the Māreikura will be joining us in Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm this Easter. Songstress with a toolbox full of musical magic, Māmā Mihi is one of the world’s first international touring female loop artists. With a show curated to celebrate the power and talent of Māori women, it is guaranteed to be a stunning performance to remember with a contemporary mix of Māori music, instruments, language, stories, costumes and lighting. An artist-activist and a born entertainer, Mihirangi’s naturalness, infectious laughter and her authenticity means she doesn’t take herself too seriously. The refreshing aspect of her performance is the love and joy she has of live-improvisation and spontaneous crowd participation; her fearlessness and inclusivity draw her audience into the heart of her performances and into to the spirit of the magic she creates.

Treasured Byron Bay local, Lucy Gallant is hailed as one of the most talented indie artists on the scene. The British-born virtuoso plays an array of instruments, skilfully producing intricate, high-energy rhythms on the Cajon, while simultaneously singing and playing guitar, drums or ukulele. Gallant’s unique voice soars with rhapsodic range, conveying a full spectrum of emotion in her songs. From light-hearted and ethereal to intense and edgy, her vocals propel passion as visceral and versatile as her lyrics.

After winning the 2018 Bluesfest Busking Competition, brother duo Sametime are returning to Bluesfest 2019 but this time taking to the main stages! Tim and Sam Aitken come from the Sunshine Coast. Their performance is one which is sure to portray the progress these young buskers have made over the past twelve months, with their guitar and Cajon supporting their freakishly good sibling harmonies. 

Up next is Bluesfest Busking Competition Grommets winner from 2018 Nocturnal Syndrome (formerly known as Neon Inferno). This young kid is sure to rock the main stages of Bluesfest which his superb musical skill. 

For full artist bios see

The Bluesfest 2019 line-up so far:

Jack Johnson - Iggy Pop - Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals - Paul Kelly

The Saboteurs (Jack White, Brendan Benson, Patrick Keeler, Jack Lawrence)

Tash Sultana

Hozier - David Gray - Ray La Montagne

Norah Jones - Julia Stone- Kasey Chambers

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul

Mavis Staples - Gary Clark Jr.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic

Tommy Emmanuel - Snarky Puppy - SIX60

Meshell Ndegeocello - Colin Hay - Imelda May

Kurt Vile and the Violators - Keb' Mo'

Allen Stone - St. Paul and The Broken Bones 

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Melbourne Ska Orchestra - Ocean Alley

Archie Roach - Shakey Graves - Arlo Guthrie

Nahko and Medicine for the People - Tex Perkins

I’m With Her - Ruthie Foster - Richard Clapton

Russell Morris - Flogging Molly - Backsliders

The Marcus King Band - Fantastic Negrito - Samantha Fish

The War and Treaty - Deva Mahal - Larkin Poe

The Black Sorrows - Vintage Trouble - Pierce Brothers

Mojo Juju - Trevor Hall - Irish Mythen - Anderson East

Melody Angel - Hussy Hicks - Thando

The California Honeydrops - Elephant Sessions

Caiti Baker - Little Georgia

Benny Walker - Dallas Woods – Amaru Tribe

RockWiz Live

Full Boomerang Festival (First Nations Festival within Bluesfest) 2019 line-up:

Baker Boy

Archie Roach

Yothu Yindi & The Treaty Project

Mojo Juju - Benny Walker

Dallas Woods - DOBBY

Mission Songs

Brotherhood Of The Blues

Malu Kiai Mura Buai

Rako – Tenzin Choegyal


Te Kopere Maori Healers

Jugun Dandi Weavers

Saltwater Dubay

The 2019 playing schedule is available on


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