What’s On? Byron Bay Bluesfest 2017: 13-17 April
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 2017 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, 13 April – 17 April) 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.
2017 Bluesfest Lineup Highlights
There are so many artists on each year’s Bluesfest lineup that it is impossible to name all of them. The big news is that Patti Smith and her band are concluding their final Australia festival appearances with a performance of their album, “Horses” on Thursday, and Patti Smith will take the stage again on Friday for a special acoustic set. Friday night also features Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefers, giving their only Australian performance in 2017. Other major acts include the Zac Brown Band, Santana and Nas with guests the Soul Rebels. But it doesn’t stop there, tons of other amazing acts will be coming to Byron Bay for the 2017 Bluesfest, including Mary J Blige, The Doobie Brothers, Bonnie Raitt, Jethro Tull, The Lumineers, Courtney Barnett, Buddy Guy, Beth Hart and Neil Finn.
Just like last year, people attending the Byron Bay Bluesfest also will gain access to the Boomerang Festival, an Indigenous celebration that will include performances that will run Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Bluesfest. Performers include Oka, Yirrmal, Leonard Summer and Tenzin Choeygal. Purchasing Bluesfest tickets gives 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 $620 for one adult to $280 for adult with camping add-on. There are also three-day and one-day passes available from $440 for Friday, Saturday and Sunday down to $179 for Thursday only. Children ages 6-14 have special pricing and do need a ticket.
To and From the Bluesfest
The Byron Bay Bluesfest 2017 offers shuttles for attendees from Byron Bay proper, Suffolk Park, Lennox Head, Brunswick Heads, Ocean Shores, and Mullumbimby areas. Fares are $5 each way or $10 flat fee on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
2017 Bluesfest App
Before you go to the Byron Bay Bluesfest, you might want to download the 2017 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.
Kids Bluefest Program
There are a number of kids’ activities happening at Bluesfest 2017. Two sessions are available everyday from 2-3 pm and 5-6 pm, and keep in mind that all children must have a parent or guardian with them (it’s not a babysitting service!). Mr. Bunsqueak the Clown and Miraculo the Magician have been in the business of entertaining children for 10 years. Kids also can look forward to Shorty Brown’s bubbles, balloons and much more when they attend one of his sessions. And finally, Susi from Sparkles Makeup will be doing face painting as well as Loomband bracelets, glitter tattoos and hair wraps.
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!
**Featured photo of Vintage Trouble (who also will be playing at the Bluesfest 2017) is courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/sbucknellphotography/ and https://www.facebook.com/bluesfestbyronbay