Having initially been forced to cancel the 2020 edition of the event due to COVID-19-related restrictions on public gatherings, Bluesfest instead focused their efforts on the 2021 version of the festival, which was originally scheduled for April.
Just 24 hours before the event was set to take place though, the rescheduled festival was once again cancelled, with organisers announcing that it would instead be held in October. Now, history has once again repeated itself, with Bluesfest Festival Director, Peter Noble OAM revealing another rescheduled event.
“It is obvious that we cannot present Bluesfest in a safe manner in October, so we have re-scheduled back to our usual timing with dates over the Easter Long Weekend next year; a time we expect things to be returning to normal,” Noble explained in a statement.
“We are a resilient bunch. We have worked so hard since May 2019 to make Bluesfest happen and, guess what, we are not giving up,” he continued. “We are immensely proud of who we are: we are proud of the Bluesfest name and what that represents, immensely proud, and we are already looking forward to Easter.
“I thought this decision would be hard to make, but it was the reverse. The safety and protection of our loyal Bluesfesters, our festival staff, our performers, our volunteers, stallholders and suppliers is paramount, and I will not put anyone at risk right now. So the decision to re-schedule was a ‘no-brainer’.”
The October 2021 edition of Bluesfest was set to feature the likes of Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, and Jimmy Barnes as headlining artists, with Noble noting that the vast majority of previously-announced artists will be carried over to the 2022 festival.
Explaining that “only two or three can’t make it” to next year’s event, the lineup now includes the likes of FAT Freddy’s Drop, Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald, John Williamson, C.W. Stoneking, and Rockwiz Live, with more names to be announced.
“I am confident that, by the end of this year, Australia will have achieved at least a 70-80% vaccination rate and will have achieved at least ‘Stage Three’ in the plan to open up the whole country,” Noble concludes. “Lockdowns will be consigned to history. Perhaps we may even see international artists returning. IF THEY CAN COME WE WILL BE PRESENTING THEM!”
Ticket-holders for the October 2021 event have been advised that their current tickets will be valid for the newly-announced festival, though refunds are available for anyone unable to attend the new dates.
Bluesfest 2022 Lineup
Fat Freddy’s Drop
The Living End
Mark Seymour & the Undertow
Vika & Linda
All Our Exes Live in Texas
Ross Wilson and The Peaceniks
Tex Perkins The Man in Black
Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald
Weddings Parties Anything
The Black Sorrows
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
Mama Kin Spender
Fiona Boyes & the Fortune Tellers
Pacey, King & Doley
Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Round Mountain Girls
Byron Busking Competition
Thursday, April 15th – Monday, April 18th, 2022
Byron Events Farm, Tyagarah, NSW
More info: Bluesfest