UnknownBluesfest Launch 2014

Two major headliners are just the beginning of our very first Announcement for the 25th Anniversary Bluesfest!


Today Bluesfest Byron Bay, Australia’s multi award winning 5 Day Festival, held over the Easter long weekend (17 – 21st of April) at its dedicated site, the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, north of Byron Bay, opens the first of its many 25th Anniversary presents and it is an exquisite mix of Bluesfest returning favourites and cutting edge contemporary artists.

By announcing 4 weeks sooner than ever before, Bluesfest has broken its own record once again.

If this is only the beginning, Bluesfest 2014 promises to surpass all expectations.

The First Artist Announcement includes:

John Mayer and Dave Matthews Band


Erykah Badu- John Butler Trio

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Iron & Wine –  Michael Franti & Spearhead

Devendra Banhart – Morcheeba

Gary Clark Jr- KT Tunstall – Allen Stone- Valerie June- Nikki Hill

and many more to come!




“It’s our 25th Birthday! We are going to be celebrating this one as never before and will deliver you one hell of a line up and mark my words: This is only the beginning”!


Peter Noble adds:


John Mayer is finally coming back after 7 years to play at Bluesfest again. When it comes to guitar he is undoubtedly to me the most talented of all performing today, simply untouchable and I say that with all humility. I predict his new album ‘Paradise Valley’ – released last week, is going to be at the top of the charts worldwide this week – this is such a coup for us – and I am so proud to be presenting John on our big celebration year.

We are not stopping there – I have attempted to bring back Dave Matthews Band every year since they last played Bluesfest in 2005. They are one of the top grossing, most in demand bands in the world – as well as up there with the best of the best. Finally, they are coming back to Bluesfest, for not one, but two full length performances, and each night will be completely different as this super band never plays the same set twice! These performances are going to be magical and unmissable

I know their fans will be celebrating – and flying in from all over the world for these incredibly special performances.


The John Butler Trio has been one of the most special artists to play Bluesfest – we have been presenting him since just after the trio was formed – and we welcome him back – this is going to be his 10th Bluesfest performance and a good excuse for a special celebration.


Erykah Badu IS the current reigning Queen of Soul – and will play Bluesfest for the first time.

Michael Franti & Spearhead always delivers for Bluesfest and is coming back after three long years since his last show stopping dates on Bluesfest’s stages.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Iron & Wine and Devendra Banhart are at the forefront of the best of contemporary music today and will all be debuting at Bluesfest 25.

Morcheeba – the original line-up of the Godfrey Brothers and Skye Edwards plus a new album – it’s gotta be awesome, right?

Gary Clark Jr has been described as the best thing to happen in Blues since Stevie Ray Vaughan – even president Barrack Obama has called him – “The future of music”.

With the amazing KT Tunstall, Allen Stone, Valerie June  and Nikki Hill also announced – I can guarantee this – every one of these amazing artists are at the top of their game and are renowned for their great performances.”






Bluesfest is extremely proud to announce the return of songwriter and musician JOHN MAYER to its main stage after seven years. Mayer will be bringing his newly released album ‘Paradise Valley’ (August 2013) with him.


JOHN MAYER is a SEVEN time GRAMMY award winner – but the accolades don’t stop there. The list of nominations and global accolades are seemingly endless… and no wonder…with such classics as ‘Your Body is a Wonderland’, ‘Waiting on the World to Change’, ‘Gravity’, ‘Daughters’, ‘Belief’ and  ‘No Such Thing’,  scoring him awards and an ever-growing army of fans at every turn.


His first six albums, Room For Squares, Heavier Things, Continuum, Battle Studies, Born & Raised and the live set ‘Try’ as The John Mayer Trio have set JOHN MAYER on a pathway to dizzying career heights in a relatively short space of time.


He’s collaborated and played alongside an outstanding array of cross-genre musical talent including The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, Common, Buddy Guy, Katy Perry, B.B. King, Frank Ocean,  Eric Clapton, jazz artist John Scofield, the legendary jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, Taylor Swift, Zac Brown and Australia’s Keith Urban and Guy Sebastian.


BLUESFEST – get ready to welcome back the man who was seemingly born already strumming a blues progression – one of the great living legends – JOHN MAYER




There is only one type of Dave Matthews Band (DMB) fan and that is a hardcore one!

Bluesfest is incredibly excited to have the industry powerhouse play two shows at the 25th Anniversary of the festival and we know that the masses of fans, who have been requesting the jam-loving rockers presence at the festival year on year, will be too.
With a phenomenal career spanning 21 years, eight acclaimed studio albums, 11 major label released live albums, plus 26 Live Tracks releases, box office records and a worldwide adoring and somewhat fanatical fan base, DMB are certainly a force to be reckoned with.

The group’s latest album Away From The World (2012) is the eighth studio album and in true DMB style debuted at number one on Billboard 200. You can check out their second single ‘Rooftop’ here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZujfXV8uDo.

If eleven live albums are anything to go by DMB are a band that live to perform and they don’t disappoint. If you are not one of Dave Matthews Band ‘enthusiasts’, we are sure you will be by the end of their set.

Are you as excited as we are yet?





The Queen of Soul comes to Bluesfest for the very first time.


ERYKAH BADU isn’t easily forgotten. Whether for her attire, her music or her personality, once you encounter Erykah, she stays with you.  She first burst on the scene in 1997 with her debut album, a critical and commercial success called Baduizm. The album hit the No. 2 position on the Billboard Charts, the highest position ever for a first-time album.

ERYKAH BADU, is a four-time GRAMMY® Award winner and is widely regarded as the “First Lady of Neo-Soul” or the “Queen of Neo-Soul”. She effortlessly fuses a heady concoction of soul, hip-hop and jazz and cannot be contained to a single genre. She is often compared to jazz great Billie Holiday in lyrical delivery.

Self-described as a “mother first”, ERYKAH BADU is a touring artist, dj, teacher, community activist, holistic healer, doula, vegan, and conscious spirit. She is also an accomplished actor (Cider House Rules), director, record producer and editor.


For the reigning queen of soul and R&B, producing music that stands the test of time is reward enough.

She is no stranger to our shores… it’s a huge pleasure to welcome ERYKAH BADU to her first Bluesfest.




JOHN BUTLER has become a name synonymous with BLUESFEST, starting off on our smaller stages, his career and fame growing in tandem with that of the Festival. The John Butler Trio (JBT) are consistently one of the most requested artists to play at Bluesfest and we can’t wait to welcome them back for our 25th Anniversary celebration.

This multi-platinum selling, multi-ARIA award winning, multi-APRA award winning band is one of those rare acts who have managed to successfully straddle across mainstream and alternative radio airwaves simultaneously, continuing to pave the way for music released by independent artists in Australia.

Their success has become worldwide including sold out headline performances at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado and main stage performances at Glastonbury and Coachella.

A live set from the JBT is an awe-inspiring show which captivates the audience and always includes a good dose of those all time favourites including ‘Zebra’, ‘Something’s Gotta Give’, ‘Better Than’ and the incredible instrumental ‘Ocean’ which has brought tears to many in the sea of adoring fans at Bluesfest over the years and has been viewed online over 25million times. See the superb musicianship of the JBT come to life on stage this Bluesfest.




Feel good folk has never been more fun to dance to than with the truly unique Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (ESATMZ).

With live shows that are nothing short of joyous affairs, comparisons continue to be drawn to the soulfulness of The Supremes’ ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, the raw exuberant pop of The Beatles ‘Yellow Submarine’ and the psychedelic echoes of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Surrealistic Pillow’.

Upbeat and full of spirit, the band have embodied the communal essence on stage that has since defined a new sound that could quite easily slip into the golden era of the aforementioned comparisons.

“…they’ve got so much heart, they can crush hipster irony with one squeeze of the accordion.”Entertainment Weekly


If there was ever a band made for festivals this is it – the gospel chorus harmonies, raw, wailing vocals and deep-in-the-pocket rhythms saw them captivating Mumford and Sons fans on their tour here last year and winning over audiences at festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Leeds, Austin City Limits – next stop Bluesfest.
Come and join the family for what could only be described as a rambunctious affair and if you’re not already – it’ll only be a matter of songs before you’re converted and dancing the night away with the rest of us.




It just doesn’t get any better than this! Making his Bluesfest début is the one and only Sam Beam , better known as his pen name, Iron and Wine and he is coming to Bluesfest with his full band. It’s been far too long (over 6 years) since Sam has played in Australia and with a brilliant new record in tow (Ghost on Ghost), the timing couldn’t be better.

“Pop music hadn’t seen anything like it since the heyday of Cat Stevens,” Rolling Stone


For many years Austin-based Iron and Wine has had an unaccompanied, singer and guitarist sound, however on this fifth studio album, an ambitious and fully realised mix has surfaced; borne from a collaboration of some truly talented musicians – where blue eyed soul melts into haunting folk.


Bearded before the ironically trendy masses, Sam has been creating some of the most engaging folk saturated pop around; brilliantly crafted, intricate melodies entwined with timeless stories whose meanings shift and change over the years. These songs have happily sat left-of-centre with a strong and passionate following, but this change in pace seems poised to explode if the press around the latest album is anything to go by;


Ghost on Ghost insinuates itself into the listener’s consciousness like a film—one that demands to be watched over and over. Professor Beam has made his first art movie, and it’s a stunner.” —Uncut


“Heavily seeped into the radio-friendly pop-folk sounds of the 1960s and ’70s, it recalls the spirit of the Beach Boys, Paul Simon and Fleetwood Mac … this is the feel-good album of the summer-The Sunday Age – M Magazine


The songs, the chords, the live performance will do just as the Rolling Stone have suggested “The best tunes here are the kind of dreams that will stay on your mind long after waking.”

Drawing from a beautifully varied catalogue – there is only one certainty; you’ll reminisce and tell stories about these two very special Bluesfest performances for years to come.



Singer, songwriter, guitarist, philanthropist and Bluesfest favourite, Michael Franti and his band Spearhead are back to celebrate our 25th Anniversary.


Franti will be bringing his tenth studio album All People with him, an album that has seen Franti look to his primary influences referencing a wide range of music icons including John Lennon, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, Marvin Gaye and The Clash.


One of the most positive and conscious artists in music today, Franti’s  musical journey started with his punk and hip-hop beginnings in his bands ‘Beatnigs’ and ‘The Disposable Heroes of HipHoprisy’ (who toured with U2 and Public Enemy.)


Although Franti’s sound has changed over time, he aims to make music that will stay relevant “I want to make music that is timeless”, “At this point in my life when I turn on the radio and hear my song it means a lot to me…”

Franti knows all about the power of music, along with his band Spearhead they have earned a reputation for the communal spirit they create with their extraordinary live shows and their Bluesfest performances over the years have been no exception.


We can’t wait to welcome back Michael Franti and Spearhead to the Bluesfest stage, it wouldn’t have been a complete 25th Anniversary without them.  There is bound to be some of those Franti moments we have seen over the years, your favourite songs, crowd sing alongs and who knows, maybe even another marriage proposal!





Making his long awaited Bluesfest début is the Caracas- Venezuela born and very avant-garde folk singer-songwriter & renowned visual artiste Devendra Banhart.

Sometimes an album just gets under your skin, you want to play it to everyone you know, but that would mean having to take it out of your CD player. Mala is such an album. Devendra is such an artiste.

Emerging in 2002 he was instantly coined by the media as part of the “new weird america”, “freak folk” movement, partly because of his flamboyant cross-dressing but mostly due to his left-of-centre approach to creating and playing music. Nothing is ever expected or predictable when it comes to this unique producer.


His music is mischievous, has an acute sense of humour and is full of satirical anti-romantic banter.

 ‘He filches from a variety of genres — Brazilian Tropicalia, glam rock, lounge jazz, Zeppelin-like psychedelia — but it never sounds awkward. He loosens the stitches on each to fashion his own unique costume.’ – LA Times

Banhart seemed slightly manic yet strangely endearing, the rare eccentric who could turn the lightest of larks into irresistible bits of tunes.’ – Pitchfork

Giddy grooves on a perfect summer afternoon from freak-folk’s irrepressible man-child.’ – Guardian.co.uk

A fantastic show that brought listeners on a journey through time, space, and a multitude of sounds. This is one musician that continuously manages to impress music lovers with his outlandish lyrics, unconcealed eccentricity, and amazingly talented songwriting skills.’ – Fasterlouder.com.au

His sound is intimate in scale but an eccentric mix of lyrical musings, falsetto warbling vocals, folk rhythms and vibrant melodies that have likened him to Van Morrison, John Lennon and Jeff Buckley before his very own sound became a reference point itself.

Simply put this is one artiste you cannot afford to miss this Bluesfest.



Morcheeba are a British band that mixes influences from rock, trip hop, rhythm and blues and pop.

The trio are back with their original lineup, so get ready to hear the dreamy, soulful, down tempo sounds of the Godfrey brothers and the sweet, sensual vocals of Skye Edwards that we have loved since the 90’s. She is one of the most vocally gifted soul singers of today.

Morcheeba define the ‘chill out’ genre. With a music career spanning 18 years and millions of albums sold worldwide.

The perfect antidote to a big night, songs like ‘Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day’, ‘The Sea’,  ‘Even Though’ and ‘Otherwise’ have been played in café’s, lounge rooms and at Sunday sessions worldwide  and featured on endless compilations including the Café’ Del Mar series.

Morcheeba return with their eighth studio album ‘Head Up High’ which is set for release in October 2013. View the new video for single ‘Gimme Your Love’ from the album here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tyu8yRPlyIw&feature=player_embedded

We can’t wait to fall in love with them all over again at Bluesfest.



Way out in the desert, KT Tunstall found herself ……and we love the KT she found!!

It’s a long-awaited warm welcome back to BLUESFEST for KT TUNSTALL.

From the young busker who burst onto the UK’s ‘Later’ programme with Jools Holland way back in 2004 – pumping her ‘Wee Bastard’ loop machine into highly infectious rhythms and beats.  KT Tunstall has grown in voice and maturity through 4 albums and a swag of best-selling singles  to become an inspired alt-country singer-songwriter; now a world-class singer – with a rich and intimate vocal range that has enchanted critics, music buyers and fans alike.

The albums: “Eye To The Telescope”, “KT Tunstall’s Acoustic Extravaganza”, “Drastic Fantastic” and “Tiger Suit” spawned anthemic singles like: “Black Horse and The Cherry Tree”, “Other Side Of The World”, “Hold On”, “If Only”, “(Still A) Weirdo” and the Ivor Novello Award winning “Suddenly I See”.





“The next Hendrix …  churning his distorted strings into a euphoric moment of psychedelia” –  NY Times


Weaned on John Lee Hooker, Lightnin Hopkins, and T-Bone Walker in Austin, Texas, Gary Clark Jr fuses his deep blues influence with a love of classic hip-hop and contemporary soul. His voice weaves between a melodic lilt and a seasoned blues howl with his guitar licks dancing and dodging between and behind the beat as if the essence of Snoop and Dre loom in his head by way of the Mississippi Delta.


Gary Clark Jr exploded onto the music scene with an incendiary debut performance of his song “Bright Lights” at Eric Clapton’s 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival.

The result?

A fast-flowing flood of fans, with the likes of Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow, Ron Wood, Alicia Keys, Damian Marley, Citizen Cope and Questlove (The Roots) adding their voices to the growing legions of fans.
Funky, hip, and badass, GARY CLARK JR is a rocking soul man for a new generation.






“..Allen Stone has the best effing voice I’ve ever heard” MTV


“…his voice and energy reminds listeners of music legends like Stevie Wonder and Prince” CNN


After making such a huge impression at Bluesfest this year we had to have Allen Stone back.  Not only did the 26 year old manage to get everyone in the audience put their phones away, he captivated the entire crowd with his heartfelt lyrics and social morals not to mention he also sold out his entire Australian tour.


Stone is the son of a preacher man, and like many soul singers, he got his start in church. Surrounded by gospel music, Allen didn’t discover soul music until he was a teenager and started collecting classic albums from the 60’s and 70’s. It is no surprise that Stone has drawn comparisons to Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers (The New York Times)






Catchy, big melodies that just make you want to dance. This is everything you need to know about Valerie June, but we guarantee you’ll want to know more the minute you hear her vintage wail echoing around the festival.

Valerie June’s combination of country moonshine and Deep South soul make her a major star-in-waiting’Evening Standard


A moment worth waiting for…her voice that really lingers in the memory’The Observer

Stunning’ – Daily Telegraph

Born to sing’Sunday Times Culture


Tennessee native Valerie June is a self-taught musician, singer and songwriter who came to the fore after a mesmerising debut UK TV performance on Later…With Jools Holland and it has snowballed from there.


Her timeless sound is a stunningly emotive amalgamation of blues, folk, gospel, soul, Appalachian and bluegrass (including irresistible banjo) that seems to sit outside of any defined musical era. Like a potent distillation bubbling on a Prohibition-era porch, Valerie June makes self-styled “organic moonshine roots music”, music for the porch parties of today, a party where she strums her guitar, plucks her banjo, opens her mouth and delta-blues-country stridently sashays out, a striking peal somewhere between Dolly Parton and Billie Holiday.


Her new album, Pushin’ Against a Stone (which entered the Billboard 200 Charts at 41) saw her collaborating, writing and producing with Dan Auerbach (multi-Grammy winners The Black Keys & Dr. John) and Kevin Augunas (Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Sinéad O’Connor, Florence & The Machine) to create a truly unique sound.


The album also features another Grammy award winner, the legendary Booker T. Jones. The debut single, Workin’ Woman Blues, is a riot, a brand new bona-fide blues-pop anthem, but it’s only the beginning. Watch her official video from the single “You Can’t Be Told” here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DC0wz3m_v2M


Live, she has toured with the Rolling Stones, Jake Bugg and Ryan Bingham, receiving rave reviews at SXSW and has been described by The Guardian as;

One to watch… emanating warmth as only a Tennessee native can. Teetering in high heels, her hair a tumble of Medusa coils, she lays down her guitar and turns on her megawatt southern smile…[her voice] really lingers in the memory: pitched somewhere between rough-edged blues and the soaring melodies of soul and gospel, it’s the sound of hot afternoons on Memphis porches, of cookouts and church choirs and late-night Nashville jam sessions.”

You won’t be able to walk past her stage – then her songs will stay with you, her voice will haunt you and you’ll find yourself grinning from ear to ear. As Rhythms Magazine wrote in July 2013, ‘It would be a complete travesty if Valerie June is not on next year’s Bluesfest lineup!” – we couldn’t agree more – So Bluesfest here she is.


You may not have heard yet about Nikki Hill, but after she hits the Bluesfest stage you will never forget her. Those who have seen Nikki Hill sing her heart out agree she isn’t just another newcomer on the scene, this is a ‘whiplash’ moment. Where did this fireball come from? Why haven’t I heard of her before?

Hill draws on vintage female rhythm and blues influences such as LaVern Baker, Etta James and Ruth Brown, as well as some of her favorite male singers Otis Redding and Solomon Burke, her tough vocal style fits with contemporary sensibilities yet evokes all the great blues shouters of previous decades.

She has been hailed “The Southern Fireball”, “the new soul sensation” and even “the new Queen of Rock and Roll”. North Carolina born Nikki Hill’s career is rising fast and she is only in her twenties. Nikki will be playing the Bluesfest stage for the first time with her guitar-playing husband Matt Hill and their band.

Her musical roots began while singing in gospel choirs at church as a child. A stint living in nearby college town Chapel Hill introduced her to many different styles of music and the awareness of music (and more importantly, unique and non-mainstream music) as a possible career.  Making a name for themselves worldwide, Nikki and her band deliver a high energy show and take all the flavours of American roots music to deliver a sound that reminds us all why we love rock n’ roll.

“Hill is a petite powerhouse, with a booming that is as sweet and luscious as it is gritty and raw”

“Turning heads with her vintage dresses, head scarves, and full-sleeve tattoo, just as Etta James did with her signature bleach blonde hair, the St. Louis-transplant brings new life to a classic sound.”

– Portland Monthly

Nikki will be bringing her new album with her, ‘Here’s Nikki Hill!’ If you haven’t heard of Nikki Hill yet, you soon will, and once you see her perform, you won’t forget her.


Bluesfest playing schedule is available on www.bluesfest.com.au

Single day tickets go on sale with first announcement.

All Festival and Camping tickets are on sale through www.bluesfest.com.au or by phoning the office on 02 6685 8310

Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster on www.ticketmaster.com.au

No comments yet.