The first round of artists playing Byron Bay Bluesfest 2019 has just been announced.

For its 30th anniversary some of the festival’s favourite artists are returning. Top of that list is Hawaiian singer Jack Johnson. Also coming are Johnson’s frequent tour mates, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals. These are the only shows both these acts will be playing in Australia.

The not-to-miss act at the festival is legendary funk master George Clinton and his band Parliament Funkadelic. After a 60-plus-year career, Clinton will retire from performing live in May 2019. Luckily Clinton will play two sets at the festival.

Australians leading the pack include The Black Sorrows, Kasey Chambers and Tex Perkins.

Other highlights include American blues musician Keb’ Mo’, psych rockers Kurt Vile & the Violators and the classic R’n’B vibes of the Californian Honey Drops.

In the past year festivals including Falls Festival and Jumanji have been criticised for having line-ups dominated by acts led by men. Only five acts in this first Bluesfest announcement are led by women. It will be interesting to see the final balance of acts when the full festival announcement is released.

Full first announcement below.

Byron Bay Bluesfest is happening at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm from April 18 to 22, 2019. Tickets here.

Byron Bay Bluesfest 2019 First Announcement

Jack Johnson (exclusive)
Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals (exclusive)
Ray Lamontagne
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic (final shows)
Snarky Puppy
Kasey Chambers
St Paul & the Broken Bones (exclusive)
Nahko and Medicine for the People
Tommy Emmanuel
Colin Hay
Arlo Guthrie
Keb’ Mo’
Tex Perkins
Allen Stone
Richard Clapton
Russell Morris
Kurt Vile & the Violators
Vintage Trouble
The Black Sorrows
The California Honeydrops
Trevor Hall
I’m With Her
Larkin Poe
Irish Mythen
Elephant Sessions
Greensky Bluegrass
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