Sticky Fingers | Credit: Facebook

Bluesfest Has Now Removed Sticky Fingers From Its 2023 Lineup

Following a storm of backlash and multiple artist withdrawals, Byron Bay’s Bluesfest has announced the decision to remove controversial Sydney band Sticky Fingers from its 2023 event.

In a statement to the media this afternoon, festival organisers said, “We are sad to announce that Bluesfest has decided that Sticky Fingers is to step off the Bluesfest 2023 line-up”. 

“We apologise […] for our mistaken belief that forgiveness and redemption are the rock on which our society is built.” 

The statement continued: “Bluesfest cannot, sadly, continue to support Sticky Fingers by having them play our 2023 edition, and we apologise to those artists, sponsors and any others we involved in this matter through our mistaken belief that forgiveness and redemption are the rock on which our society is built.”

However, despite caving to public pressure and ousting Sticky Fingers, Bluesfest continued its defence of the band.

“The narrative that they continue to deserve to be cancelled, as well as anyone who publicly supports them, is difficult to accept, wherein a portion of society and media passes eternal judgment toward those, in this case, a diagnosed mentally ill person whom we feel doesn’t deserve the continued public scrutiny he’s being given,” the festival’s statement said.

“We thank everyone who has contacted us and advised their support in this matter, especially those suffering from a mental illness who feel they cannot have their illness supported in a manner whereby they feel included in society.”

Bluesfest’s statement also drew attention to Sticky Fingers’ apparent beneficence, albeit without providing concrete details. “Sticky Fingers has done so many good deeds that have never been reported, including building and funding recording studios and music education programs in disadvantaged regional communities.”

The festival’s statement concluded: “We will now move on, put this behind us and continue to plan and present our best-ever edition of Bluesfest… proudly.”

The controversy stems from Sticky Fingers’ history of alleged antisocial behaviour, including accusations of racism, sexism and transphobia made against singer Dylan Frost, as well as incidents of violence and disorder, and the band’s perceived lack of accountability or contrition.

Zambian artist Sampa the Great quietly exited Bluesfest’s 2023 lineup after learning of the band’s involvement, while King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard took a public stand and withdrew from the lineup in protest.

Bluesfest 2023

  • Sampa the Great
  • Sticky Fingers
  • A Heartfelt Tribute to Uncle Archie
  • Fools
  • Jerome Williams


  • Bobby Alu
  • Buttered
  • Clarence Bekker Band
  • Coterie
  • Dami Im
  • Daniel Champagne
  • Dog Trumpet
  • Electric Cadillac
  • Frank Sultana
  • Frank Turner
  • Hussy Hicks
  • Lisa Hunt’s Forever Soul
  • Loose Content
  • Ray Beadle Stax of Blues
  • Roshani
  • Round Mountain Girls
  • Steve Poltz
  • Steve ‘n’ Seagulls


  • Paolo Nutini
  • The Angels
  • Ash Grunwald
  • Backsliders
  • The Bros. Landreth
  • Eugene ‘Hideaway’ Bridges
  • Trombone Shorty & The Orleans Avenue
  • Yirrmal


  • Beck


  • Allison Russell
  • Counting Crows
  • The Doobie Brothers
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Nightsweats
  • St Paul & The Broken Bones
  • Vintage Trouble


  • 19-Twenty
  • Beth Hart (Exclusive)
  • The Black Sorrows
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Buddy Guy
  • The Cat Empire
  • Chain
  • Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram
  • Elvis Costello & The Imposters
  • Eric Gales (Exclusive)
  • Femi Kuti & The Positive Force
  • Gang Of Youths
  • Greensky Bluegrass (Exclusive)
  • Jackson Browne
  • Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
  • Joe Bonamassa (Exclusive)
  • Joe Camilleri Presents a Star-Studded Tribute to The Greats of The Blues
  • Jon Stevens
  • Kaleo (Exclusive)
  • Keb’ Mo’
  • King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
  • Lachy Doley And The Horns Of Conviction
  • Larkin Poe
  • LP
  • Lucinda Williams
  • Marcus King
  • Mavis Staples
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Nikki Hill (Exclusive)
  • Robert Glasper
  • RocKwiz Live
  • The Soul Rebels & Friends with Special Guests Talib Kweli • GZA • Big Freedia
  • Southern Avenue (Exclusive)
  • Spinifex Gum Feat. Marliya
  • Steve Earle & The Dukes
  • Tash Sultana
  • Xavier Rudd

Dates & Venue

Thursday, 6th April–Monday, 10th April – Byron Events Farm, Tyagarah NSW

Tickets are on sale now via the official website.

Further Reading

Bluesfest Boss Issues New Statement Following Sampa the Great Withdrawal

Sampa the Great is the Latest Artist to Pull Out of Bluesfest

Bluesfest’s Peter Noble Releases Statement Regarding His Decision to Give Sticky Fingers a “Chance at Rehabilitation”

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Cancel Bluesfest Performance

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