Bluesfest’s fifth artist announcement today of Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, supergroup Infectious Grooves, Katie Melua and The Waifs, amongst others, adds more star power to an already stellar lineup.

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals will be playing exclusively for Bluesfest, and Infectious Grooves is a supergroup that includes Robert Trujillo on bass (Metallica), Mike Muir – on vocals (Suicidal Tendencies), Jay Weinberg on drums (Slipknot), Dave Kushner on guitar (Velvet Revolver), and Dean Pleasants on guitar (Suicidal Tendencies).

The best-selling British and European female artist in the 2000s, Katie Melua, returns to Australia for the first time in almost 20 years, and Aussie favourite Brad Cox won a Golden Guitar for ‘Top Selling Country Album of the Year’ last year.

Artists included in the fifth artist announcement are:

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals EXCLUSIVE
Infectious Grooves
(Robert Trujillo • Mike Muir • Jay Weinberg • Dave Kushner • Dean Pleasants)
Katie Melua • The Waifs • Brad Cox
Yirrimal • Dirty Honey • Jerome Williams
Ben Swissa • eMDee • Perry Street Park
Da Manager

Today’s announcement of Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, combined with the already announced Jack Johnson, who are both playing exclusively, has a very Bluesfest feel about it and is the perfect addition to the 35th-anniversary celebration.

A word from our Festival Director, Peter Noble OAM

“It’s our 35th birthday coming at Bluesfest, and it’s gonna be hot!

Not only is Bluesfest the most highly awarded festival in Australia, but it is also the only Australian festival to be nominated 9 times in the “Best International Music Festival” category, Pollstar Awards (USA). Bluesfest is Australia’s most awarded music festival and has been recognised as one of the TOP 10 Festivals of the Decade worldwide by industry bible Pollstar in 2021.

For those of you who don’t already know, Bluesfest is not just a Blues music festival. Yes, it has Blues at its heart, but a little like the Woodford Folk Festival, it stretches the genre into (anything that fits).

Over the years, not only have the greatest Blues artists in the world played, such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Bonamassa, Taj Mahal, and so many others, but it is also the festival that first presented the Dave Matthews Band, Kendrick Lamar, as well as Bob Dylan on a festival stage, James Brown, Patti Smith, Paul Simon, Robert Plant, IGGY POP and so many more including the first Australian festival appearance of both Jack Johnson and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals.

There is simply no other festival quite like Bluesfest.

For our fifth and (probably not) final artist announcement, we are proud to present the artist who has done more to bring Bluesfest to the masses, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, for their first performance in Australia in five years. Ben first played Bluesfest in 1996.

No other artist who has played Bluesfest has had such an influence on the Australian music industry outside of B.B. King. We wouldn’t have John Butler Trio, Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls, Angus and Julia Stone as they are today if it wasn’t for his influence.

Ben and his band’s performances at Bluesfest are legendary. This is an experience not to be missed on Easter Sunday.

Another genre-bending artist announcement is Infectious Grooves, featuring past and present members of Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, Velvet Revolver, and Slip Knot. They are a true funk punk supergroup. Again, Bluesfest has featured, in the past, great genre-bending funk bands such as Fishbone and Funkadelic. And here’s another one to funk your mind up.

The highest-selling female artist of the 2000s in Britain and Europe is the incredible Katie Melua, on her first Australian tour in 20 years. We also have Aussie favourite Brad Cox, who last year won a Golden Guitar for ‘Top Selling Country Album of the Year’ in 2023.

The Waifs are one of the favourite bands ever to play Bluesfest. We have Nhulunbuy-based Yolgnu singer Yirrmal, who is, to many, regarded as having the greatest voice in indigenous music today. His father was a critical member of Yothu Yindi. His 2023 Bluesfest performance was so good we are bringing him back again.

LA band Dirty Honey is the next big thing, managed by the same team as The Black Crowes and the Counting Crows. Bluesfest prides itself in presenting bands for the first time that go on to become one of the world’s biggest bands, and we think Dirty Honey is the next big thing. Don’t miss them.

Out of the small group of white didgeridoo players who have mastered the instrument, none are as energetic as eMDee from Humpty Doo. He plays multiple didgeridoos at the same time. He is a must-see artist and one that we so rarely get to present outside of the Northern Territory.”

About Bluesfest Byron Bay

Bluesfest will occur over 5 days from Thursday, 28 March to Monday 1 April 2024 at the Byron Events Farm, Tyagarah, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

5-Day, 3-Day and 1-Day tickets, including festival entry, camping & add-ons, parking and VIP, are on sale now via the Bluesfest website.

Bluesfest is Australia’s most awarded music festival and has been recognised as one of the TOP 10 Festivals of the Decade by industry bible Pollstar in 2021. From its humble beginnings in 1990, the festival now takes place at the beautiful Byron Events Farm (formerly the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm), regularly attracting an audience of over 100,000. Located just 10 minutes north of Byron Bay, NSW, Australia, Bluesfest is well-situated and surrounded by the charming village of Mullumbimby and the beach towns of Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads.