Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly to headline rescheduled Bluesfest event

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Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly to headline rescheduled Bluesfest event

Photo by Awais Butt
Words by Will Brewster

Bluesfest has just revealed the lineup for its rescheduled 2021 event.

Following the heartbreak of that fateful April cancellation, Bluesfest Byron Bay has officially revealed the lineup for its recently-rescheduled 2021 event.

The festival, which is now slated to go down from Friday October 1 to Monday October 4 at its usual home at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, has retained all Australian acts who were originally locked in to appear at the April festival, and now features two very special headliners on the bill.

What you need to know

  • Bluesfest has just revealed the lineup for its rescheduled 2021 event, adding two special names to the bill
  • Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly headline the event, with all other Australian acts retained for the festival
  • Season tickets go on sale from 9am, Thursday May 20 via Moshtix

Keep up with the latest festival news, reviews and interviews here.

Leading the pack for the new additions to the lineup is none other than Midnight Oil, who are set to headline the opening night of the festival with their stunning live show for new release The Makarrata Project.

In a note released alongside the lineup, Bluesfest Director Peter Noble OAM said that having Midnight Oil appear at the festival was “a moment I have been waiting years to happen”, stating that “Midnight Oil headlined Bluesfest in 2002, just before their extended hiatus”.

“It has always been my ambition to once again present the ‘holy grail of Australian artists’ at Bluesfest and have approached them every year, redoubling my efforts since their reformation in 2017. And now, to have Midnight Oil headline our opening night and launch their new album – it’s a dream come true.”

However, Midnight Oil aren’t the only national treasures signing onto the new lineup – Bluesfest has also managed to net Paul Kelly to appear at the October festival, with the legendary Australian songwriter being locked in to co-headline the Saturday night festivities alongside Tash Sultana.

Both acts will be joining the likes of Jimmy Barnes, John Butler, The Cat Empire, Ocean Alley, Hiatus Kaiyote, Kate Miller-Heidke, Kasey Chambers, The Church and more, rounding out a blockbuster bill of Australian artists.

Throughout his statement to the press, Noble addressed the last minute cancellation of Bluesfest’s April event and expressed his confidence at the festival going ahead in October, saying, “We have shown a determination to overcome everything we had to face to reschedule, knowing that as an integral part of the Australian music industry, so many were counting on us.

“As we rise from the ashes of Bluesfest, Easter 2021, please come join us as we celebrate our indomitable determination to present live music in Australia safely, at a major event level. Let’s make history! We are back – we cannot be kept down – please join us.”

Check out the lineup in full below.

Midnight Oil
Paul Kelly
Tash Sultana
Jimmy Barnes
Ocean Alley
Ziggy Alberts
John Butler
Xavier Rudd
The Cat Empire
Pete Murray
Mark Seymour & the Undertow
Kate Ceberano
Kasey Chambers
The Waifs
The Church
Jon Stevens
Ian Moss
The Living End
The Angels
Ross Wilson and the Peaceniks
Russell Morris
Troy Cassar-Daley
Tex Perkins the Man in Black
Hiatus Kaiyote
Kate Miller-Heidke
Weddings Parties Anything
The Black Sorrows
The Bamboos
Ash Grunwald
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
Vika & Linda
Jeff Lang
Nathan Cavaleri
Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Kim Churchill
Henry Wagons
Garrett Kato
Mama Kin Spender
Dami Im
Pierce Brothers
Emily Wurramara
The Buckleys
Fiona Boyes & the Fortune Tellers
Ray Beadle
Pacey, King & Doley
All Our Exes Live in Texas
Hussy Hicks
Declan Kelly
Daniel Champagne
Little Georgia
Round Mountain Girls
The Regime
Electric Lemonade
Palm Valley
Byron Busking Competition

Season tickets are on sale from 9am, Thursday May 20 via Moshtix, with three-day and one-day passes and camping and VIP tickets going on sale soon. More info here.