UPDATE 22/09/16: the lineup for Bluesfest 2017 has expanded following a second artist announcement.
Bluesfest may have only just wrapped for the year, but boss dog Peter Noble has already begun hatching plans for the 2017 event.
In a Facebook Q&A, the promoter revealed that next year’s instalment of the Byron Bay festival would feature “lots of legends, great Blues n Roots artists, many amazing emerging artists and a return to the festival of a number of the new favourites from this year”.
As well as answering fans’ burning questions about who might be – and who might not be – on the 2017 bill, Noble has also published a blog post about his recent US trip, revealing that he clocked up an impressive 24 meetings in just 17 days, including a pow-wow with the team from C3 Management, who run the juggernaut Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits festivals.
According to the Bluesfest boss, the 2017 event’s first announcement of artists will drop “somewhere in the late August, early September period”, while he reports that ticket sales are currently the highest that they’ve ever been.
“And it’s likely we are going to have to pull them off sale, in the near future, as we can not continue at the currently early bird price, and deliver the bill on offer,” he warned.
So what do we know about the Bluesfest 2017 lineup? Here’s all the hints that the boss has given us so far.
Who Could Be Playing…
The Peter Garrett-fronted Aussie rock veterans have just reunited, with plans to tour for the first time since their 2002 breakup (bar charity gigs at WaveAid in 2005 and Sound Relief in 2009), and Noble says “The guys from Midnight Oil have always said, that when they get back together, their first show will be at Bluesfest”.
Prophets Of Rage:
On the subject of the new supergroup featuring members of Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, Noble said: “I’d love to see prophets of rage come to Australia. I’ll take that on board.”
“Every Festival in the world wants Radiohead. Of course we have asked. We’ll let you know the answer when we get it.”
Eagles Of Death Metal:
“We’ll definitely be having them back …… if not in 2017 .. then the year after.”
“We love Sigur Ros…. they played Bluesfest a few years back … and we’d love to have them return.”
The Claypool Lennon Delirium:
Noble says he’s “really liking” the superstar project from Les Claypool and Sean Lennon at the moment, and reached out to fans to ask “how do you think they’d go” in Australia?
Band Of Skulls:
“We would love to have them back”.
“Keb Mo toured in 2015 and played Bluesfest, he has a very interesting new project – watch this space!”
“We try every year, maybe next year will be the one.”
Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Roger Walter or Neil Young:
On the subject of the juggernaut artists who’ve just been named on the bill for the monstrous new Desert Trip festival AKA “Oldchella”, Noble explained that Bluesfest’s budget isn’t big enough to book so many huge-name acts, however, “I’ll try to bring you one of them :)”
A blues-load of contemporary artists:
Noble also pointed out that – after the success of hosting Kendrick Lamar this year – getting new and relevant artists on the Bluesfest bill is a trend he wishes to continue.
“We have contemporary artists every year. The Kendrick Lamar booking seems to have focussed more people on that area of the festival. I book music that i believe is important. It doesn’t matter the genre,” the promoter said.
“Artists I am really liking include – The bluegrass artists Sierra Hull, Elephant Revival, The Strumbrellas, M Ward, Larkin Poe, Mayer Hawthorne, The Suffers… to name just a few.”
Who Won’t Be Playing…
John Mayer – Noble says Mayer is currently busy with Dead & Company, and “there are no plans for John to go out and do dates anywhere”.
Dave Matthews Band – After meeting with Dave’s current agent, Noble is “Sorry to advise there are no plans at the moment to tour Australia”.
Black Country Communion – Despite a planned reunion and fourth album coming in 2017, Noble says the Joe Bonamassa/Glenn Hughes/Jason Bonham supergroup have “no plans at this stage to return [to Australia]”.
Van Morrison – “Van Morrison has not been to Australia since the mid-80’s..He doesn’t like to travel far ….. and is on record as saying ‘I will never come to Australia. That doesn’t mean we don’t keep trying. In fact I was in Chicago the week before last meeting with his agent … who said: ‘You can make an offer but its a very long shot that he will accept it’..”
Lenny Kravitz – After Kravitz bailed out on his Bluesfest 2015 appearance at the eleventh hour citing “contractual scheduling conflicts”, Noble says he has “zero interest in presenting Lenny Kravitz in the future. Artists who cancel shows for unacceptable reasons are not on my agenda for the future”.
Tom Waits – “If you ever hear Tom Waits is playing – ANYWHERE … buy a ticket, pay whatever it costs .. and fly to the show. As this is probably your ONLY chance of ever seeing him. Not only odes he rarely play concerts.. he pretty much never plays festivals – anywhere.”