Bluesfest Announce 2021 Lineup With Patti Smith, Jimmy Barnes & More

Bluesfest Announce 2021 Lineup With Patti Smith, Jimmy Barnes & More

patti smith, jimmy barnes
L: Patti Smith. Photo by Christian Alminana/FilmMagic. R: Jimmy Barnes: Photo by Brigitte Engl/Redferns.

There’s a tried and tested saying in entertainment – the show must go on. And, despite these difficult times being bound by an uncertain future, the organisers of the Byron Bay Bluesfest have begun to take their first steps towards making that happen with a first round announcement of acts for 2021. The lineup reveal comes just a few months after organisers were forced to cancel the 2020 event entirely due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Now, the festival sharing one of its biggest bills to date, thanks to many artists from the 2020 event signing on to appear next year instead. After being forced to cancel their own headline tour of Australia this year, US folk band Bon Iver heads the bill, followed closely by Patti Smith and Her Band, who were on top of this year’s cancelled bill and also forced to cancel their headline sideshows.  

Patti Smith | “Because The Night”

Meanwhile, Australian rock icon Jimmy Barnes will make an appearance for the first time since Cold Chisel played at the 2012 Bluesfest. Other high-profile international acts announced so far include George Benson, Kool & the Gang, The Gipsy Kings, Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Wailers, and John Mayall; while John Butler, Xavier Rudd, The Cat Empire, Kasey Chambers, The Waifs, and more, round out the local representation.

A home front exclusive has also been announced with Weddings, Parties, Anything, who will appear live for the first time since 2012 – when Mick Thomas stated it would be the band’s last ever performance. Thomas will also appear with his other current band, Roving Commission.

“When Bluesfest 2020 was ordered by the Government to shut-down 2020 we immediately put our noses to the grindstone within days of the cancellation and got on with 2021,” Festival Director, Peter Noble OAM explained. “This Artist Announce is a testament to that fortitude.”

“As this country’s most highly awarded music festival, we are working with Government to find the best possible outcomes for Bluesfest 2021. We want to present another great event, one that is safe and with best-practise protocols implemented on every level. We need it, the music industry needs it and the greater community needs it. Together we will find the most prudent pathway to revive the live music industry, an industry that is aching to get back to work ASAP.”

Noble conveyed his gratitude to the international artists who have so far signed onto the 2021 Bluesfest lineup, despite the uncertainty of international travel restrictions that are still in place, ensuring that a strong lineup of local talent on hand to deliver a world-class event.

“I am so grateful to all the international artists who want to return and be a part of 2021 Bluesfest, to all the Australian artists and to everyone in our industry supporting us in leading the way back to live music,” Noble explains.

“Many of 2020s line up want to return, so we fulfilled that and included some surprises like Bon Iver, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jimmy Barnes and The Teskey Brothers to name a few. It’s a long way to next Easter and by that time travel restrictions are sure to be different.”

“In the case of no international travel I’ve programmed a damn good line up of locals and a vibrant festival experience so people can come out and play. Last week’s Early Bird ticket sales proved to me that people are keen for next year’s Bluesfest.Yes the future is uncertain for everyone, but humans need enjoyment, a place they can feel comfortable and trust they are in good hands, and Bluesfest is, and has always been that.”


Bluesfest 2021 Lineup

Bon Iver
Patti Smith and Her Band
Jimmy Barnes
George Benson
The Teskey Brothers
John Butler
Xavier Rudd
The Cat Empire
Kool & the Gang
The Gipsy Kings
Kasey Chambers
The Waifs
Troy Cassar-Daley
Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Wailers Perform Songs from Legend
The Black Sorrows
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Tori Kelly
Buffy Sainte-Marie
The Marcus King Band
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Jimmie Vaughan
John Mayall
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
Larkin Poe
Weddings, Parties, Anything – Exclusive Show
Harts Plays Hendrix
Ash Grunwald
The War & Treaty
Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles
Walter Trout
The Bamboos
Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Dami Im
Pierce Brothers
Emily Wurramara
Ray Beadle
Henry Wagons
Hussy Hicks
Pacey, King & Doley
Daniel Champagne
Nathan Cavaleri
Little Georgia
Bluesfest Busking Competition & Winners
The Australian Americana Music Honours

Thursday, April 1st – Monday, April 5th, 2021
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay, NSW
More info: Bluesfest

While a second lineup announcement is expected to arrive later in the year, tickets to Bluesfest 2021 are on sale now via the festival’s official website, here.

Listen to Patti Smith on Spotify:

Listen to Patti Smith on Apple Music: 

Related Posts