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7 Must-See Gigs You Don’t Want To Miss At Bluesfest

By Bronte Holding
15th Apr 2019

bluesfest 2019

Dust off your docs and bust out your band tees, because Byron Bay’s iconic Bluesfest is back for its 30th year, and it’s going to be bigger than ever. Held over the entire Easter long weekend, Bluesfest will be bringing good times and good music to the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm. With over 200 live acts over five days, camping space for 6000 people, five fully licensed bars, beer gardens, food courts, and over 100 market stalls, it’s going to be a big one. 

But with hundreds of acts, its hard to know which ones you need to be in the mosh for (and unfortunately, it’s impossible to be at all of them). So, here’s our list of the seven must-see artists at this year’s Bluesfest.

Ocean Alley | Thursday 18 April

Following the recent success of their smash hit Confidence, which took out the number one spot in this year’s Triple J hottest 100 countdown, the boys from Ocean Alley are on top of their game. Hailing from the northern beaches of Sydney, this band’s sound is hard to describe, but can be summed up as a fusion of cruisy psych, reggae, and rock. A pretty cool mix if you ask us. You may also know and love them for their viral cover of Baby Come Back for Triple J’s Like A Version, or their other hits Happy Sad and Knees. Whether you know them or not, one thing is for sure. This band is going to absolutely smash their Bluesfest gig, and you’re going to want to be there to see it.

When: 8:30pm
Where: Mojo Stage

Norah Jones | Friday 19 April

Making her Bluesfest debut this year, nine-time Grammy award winner Nora Jones has definitely earned her spot on the must-see list. During her career, Jones has sold over 50 million albums worldwide, and has collaborated with big names such as Willie Nelson, Ray Charles and The Foo Fighters. Her unique combination of jazz, soul, rock, folk and country makes her songbird sound so incredibly unique, and we can’t wait to see what she brings to the stage at Bluesfest 2019.

When: 6:30pm
Where: Crossroads Stage

Hozier | Friday 19 April

Irish heart-throb and chart-topping song-writer Hozier is bringing his moody tunes to our backyard and we couldn’t be more excited. Combining indie rock, soul, blues and folk, Hozier’s unique sound is almost impossible not to recognise after the multi-platinum success of his hits Take Me To Church, Someone New, and Cherry Wine. He will be performing off the back of his recent European and North American tour, which has received stellar reviews. This is going to be one performance you don’t want to miss.

When: 8:10pm
Where: Crossroads Stage

Tash Sultana | Friday 19 April

Of course, our list wouldn’t be complete without including Aussie icon and festival queen Tash Sultana. This self-taught songstress has sold out venues across the world with her unique and mesmerising one-woman-show act. Recently taking home an ARIA for best blues and roots album of the year, Sultana’s career has been success after success. From taking out multiple spots on the Triple J countdown to headlining some of the biggest festivals around the world, this girl can do no wrong. Be sure to get to her gig if you’re after a big sound, bluesy guitar riffs and a truly amazing live performance. You won’t be disappointed.

When: 10:30pm
Where: Mojo Stage 

Gary Clark Jr. | Friday 19 and Sunday 21 April

Hailed as the best Blues guitarist of this era, Gary Clark Jr. will be making his third Bluesfest appearance in 2019. Raised on traditional blues and soul music while growing up in Austin, Texas, Gary Clark Jr. combines his roots with classic hip hop, resulting in some super cool tunes. With several Grammy award nominations up his sleeve and performances with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and B.B King on his resume, this guy really knows how to work a stage. Whether you’re a long-time fan or you just like grooving out to some smooth blues, this is the gig for you.

When: 8:30pm (Friday) and 8:00pm (Sunday)
Where: Mojo Stage 

Jack Johnson | Sunday 21 April

Performing only at Bluesfest this year, Hawaiian singer-songwriter Jack Johnson is making his long-awaited return, after his debut performance at Bluesfest in 2001 and more recently in 2014. His childhood of surfing and playing guitar on Hawaiian beaches is clearly reflected in his laid-back, coastal, chill tunes, and quite frankly we can’t get enough. The perfect music for any occasion, Johnson’s smooth voice and killer guitar skills make him one of the best artists at Bluesfest. Known for his much-loved hits Better Together, Banana Pancakes, Upside Down, and Good People, Johnson’s tunes are notorious for their cool, relaxed sound, making him the perfect Sunday night gig.

When: 8:00pm
Where: Mojo Stage 

Julia Stone | Monday 22 April 

One half of brother-sister duo Angus and Julia Stone is going solo at Bluesfest this year. After the success of her debut solo album The Memory Machine in 2010, Stone has been creating some pretty amazing stuff. After singing with the likes of The Flaming Lips and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Julia is no stranger to the stage, which shows through her amazing performances. She’s also currently working on her next album, so be prepared for some big things coming in the future. 

When: 3:45pm
Where: Mojo Stage

Looking for more sweet tunes? Check out the hottest tracks from Australia and New Zealand's very best emerging and established artists.

Image Credit: Unplash 

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