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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Bluesfest Has Cancelled Its 2021 Festival and Will Now Return for Easter 2022

After multiple setbacks in 2021 due to the pandemic, the beloved blues and roots festival will now return to Byron Bay over the 2022 Easter long weekend.
By Sarah Ward
August 18, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
August 18, 2021
  shares

For the second year in a row, Bluefest won't unleash a lineup of blues and roots tunes upon Byron Bay. After its 2021 event was originally cancelled just days out from its usual Easter slot, and then later postponed to October, the long-running fest has announced that it's now abandoning plans to go ahead this year. Instead, it'll return in 2022 — three years after its last festival, given that its 2020 event was also scrapped due to the pandemic — and will once again settle into its traditional Easter long weekend period.

"It is obvious that we cannot present Bluesfest in a safe manner in October — the safety and protection of our loyal Bluesfesters, our festival staff, our performers, our volunteers, stallholders and suppliers is paramount," said festival organisers in a statement.

"So, we have re-scheduled to our usual timing with dates over the Easter long weekend next year in April 2022 — by this time, we expect things to have returned much more back to normal.... There is confidence that, by the end of this year, Australia will have achieved at least a 70–80 percent vaccination rate and will have achieved at least 'stage three' in the plan to open up the whole country. Lockdowns will be consigned to history. Perhaps we may even see international artists returning — if they can come, we will be presenting them."

Music lovers and festival-goers, mark Friday, April 15–Monday, April 18 in your diaries, with Bluesfest 2022 set to be a four-day event. Once again, it'll take over Byron Events Farm (formerly Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm) just outside Byron Bay. And, on-stage, it won't be lacking in company.

Bluesfest has confirmed a number of artists on its 2022 lineup, including a range of names that were meant to grace the stage this year. Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly and Jimmy Barnes will still lead the bill, with John Butler, Xavier Rudd, Pete Murray, Ian Moss, Mark Seymour & The Undertow, Kate Ceberano, Kasey Chambers, The Waifs, The Church, Briggs and Kate Miller-Heidke among the other names still locked in for the next fest.

And, a selection of new acts have jumped onto the roster so far, including Fat Freddy's Drop, Josh Teskey and Ash Grunwald, John Williamson, CW Stoneking and Rockwiz Live. More are set to be announced in the months leading up to the fest.

Bluesfest joins a long list of major events affected by the pandemic two years running, including Vivid Sydney, the Sydney Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Ekka in Brisbane and the Royal Melbourne Show.

Folks with tickets for the now-cancelled October festival will still be able to use them at the 2022 event.

BLUESFEST 2022 LINEUP:

Midnight Oil
Paul Kelly
Jimmy Barnes
Fat Freddy's Drop
John Butler
Xavier Rudd
Pete Murray
Ian Moss
Kate Ceberano
Kasey Chambers
The Waifs
The Church
Jon Stevens
The Living End
Mark Seymour & The Undertow
The Angels
Russell Morris
Kate Miller-Heidke
Vika & Linda
All Our Exes Live in Texas
Ross Wilson and The Peaceniks
John Williamson
Troy Cassar-Daley
Briggs
Tex Perkins The Man In Black
Josh Teskey and Ash Grunwald
CW Stoneking
Rockwiz Live

Bluesfest 2021 has been cancelled, and Bluesfest 2022 will take place from Friday, April 15–Monday, April 18. Tickets are on sale now — for further information, head to the Bluesfest website.

Top image: Joseph Mayers.

Published on August 18, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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