What’s On? Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016: 24 – 28 March
If it’s Easter weekend, then you can count on one thing in Byron Bay: It’s Bluesfest time. This five-day Byron Bay festival of music started in 1990 and now presents more than 200 performers on around seven stages with music playing from noon to midnight every day. That’s a lot of music to take in!
The Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016 brings in every kind of musician from big international superstars to local bands, and it’s not just blues, there’s something for all music fans from country to reggae, gospel to rock. Over the years, audiences attending the Byron Bay Bluesfest have been treated to performances by Bob Dylan, John Mayer, Zac Brown Band, John Legend, BB King, Paul Simon, Dave Matthews Band, and Lucinda Williams. That’s just a small list, check here for the previous years’ lineups.
The Byron Bay Bluesfest is held each year (this year, 24 March-28 March) at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, located north of Byron Bay proper. The almost 300 acres provides space for over 100,000 people who annually come to the fest.
2016 Bluesfest Lineup Highlights
There are so many artists on each year’s Bluesfest lineup that it is impossible to name all of them. Highlights from the contemporary side: Kendrick Lamar, The National, D’Angelo, The Decemberists, City and Colour, Modest Mouse, Allen Stone and Grace Potter. In the legends genre, audience members will be treated to Brian Wilson performing “Pet Sounds,” Tom Jones, Jackson Browne, The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, Taj Mahal and Russell Morris. Joe Bonamassa and Tedeschi Trucks Band as well as Jason Isbell, The Selecter, The Original Blues Brothers Band, Shakey Graves and St. Paul and the Broken Bones are among the many blues and roots performers.
This year, people attending the Byron Bay Bluesfest also will gain access to the Boomerang Festival, an Indigenous celebration that will include music, dance, workshops and talks that will run all five days of Bluesfest. Purchasing Bluesfest tickets give you access to all Boomerang programming as well.
Speaking of tickets, there are a variety of options available, but Bluesfest tickets are selling out quickly. There are five-day passes still available with prices from $575 for one adult to four adult five-day tickets for $2,200. If you prefer to add on the VIP Lounge, then a five-day pass will run to $330 for one adult. There are also three-day and one-day passes available from $420 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday down to $159 for Thursday only. Children ages 6-14 have special pricing and do need a ticket.
To and From the Bluesfest
The Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016 offers shuttles for attendees from Byron Bay proper, Suffolk Park, Ballina, Lennox Head, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores and Bangalow. Fares are $5 each way on Thursday and $10 each way on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
2016 Bluesfest App
Before you go to the Byron Bay Bluesfest, you might want to download the 2016 app for your iPhone or Android. The app allows you to view all the artists for both Bluesfest and Boomerang Festival with a daily playing schedule. You can create personal alerts for any artist you want to see to make sure you get there in time to see the performance. In addition, there’s an event map to keep on track to whatever stage you’re heading to next. Learn more and follow the links to download.
Kids Bluefest Program
There are a number of kid’s activities happening at Bluesfest 2016. Byron Bay’s favourite clown, Shorty Brown, will be performing everyday of the festival from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Boomerang dance circle as well as roaming around the festival. In addition, the Washed Up Project teaches kids how to make a turtle from reclaimed and washed up materials. Another activity for the kids is the weaving workshops, which will be held daily in the healing tent. An area specifically for breastfeeding and nappy changing will be available in the Boomerang section as well.
Food, Markets and Charity Stalls
When you get hungry, if you need a break from the music, or you just feel like wandering the grounds, head over to the stalls. There you’ll find a vast array of food stalls that should suit any kind of taste. Either while you’re eating or after you finish, take a stroll through the market stalls and find some treasures to take home after your holiday in Byron Bay. Also, don’t miss out on checking out the charity stalls where you can learn about everything from the Koala Awareness to cystic fibrosis.
Stay at Broken Head over the Byron Bay Bluesfest Weekend
Choose affordable Byron Bay accommodation where you can crash after a long, busy day at Bluesfest such as Broken Head Holiday Park. You can easily grab the shuttle from Suffolk Park to the Byron Bay Bluesfest for any or all of the days, but staying here gives you the chance to relax in a quiet setting away from the busy festival grounds. Our picturesque location and excellent facilities won’t disappoint, and we bet you’ll appreciate a little time away from the festivities!