Bon Iver, Patti Smith and Jimmy Barnes to headline Bluesfest 2021

The first lineup announcement includes 50 artists

In a historic first, organisers of Byron Bay Bluesfest 2021 have made their biggest ever first lineup announcement today (July 8), revealing a bumper bill of 50 local and international artists.

Headlining next year’s event are Bon Iver, Patti Smith and Her Band and Jimmy Barnes.

Also billed in the first reveal are George Benson, John Butler, Xavier Rudd and The Cat Empire. Find the list of all 50 artists below.


The announcement comes after Bluesfest 2020 was cancelled at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak just days away from the event’s start back in April.

In March festival organisers confirmed the dates for the 2021 edition, which is set to take place from April 1 to 5.

While many artists from the 2020 lineup are included, there are some new additions, including Michael Franti & Spearhead, The Teskey Brothers and Weddings, Parties, Anything, who will give their first live performance since 2012.

In May, organisers revealed that 60 artists had been confirmed as returning or new additions to Bluesfest. A second artist announcement is expected in spring.

Early bird tickets for the April Easter Weekend festival in Byron Bay went on sale last week, with sales for general tickets opening today.


Last week, festival director Peter Noble commented that organisers are working on different plans for different scenarios that may be permitted when live entertainment makes a post-pandemic return.

“If we find that the internationals can’t come, we will add more Aussies,” Noble said in a statement. “If we find the internationals can come, we might add more internationals.

“What our team is dedicated to doing is everything it takes to present Bluesfest Easter 2021 in a manner where it will be our most legendary festival yet.”

Tickets for Bluesfest 2021 are on sale now.

The Bluesfest 2021 first announcement lineup is (in alphabetical order):

Ash Grunwald
The Bamboos
The Black Sorrows
Bon Iver
Buffy Saint-Marie
The Cat Empire
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles
Dami Im
Daniel Champagne
Emily Wirramara
George Benson
The Gypsy Kings
Harts Plays Hendrix
Henry Wagons
Hussy Hicks
Jimmie Vaughan
Jimmy Barnes
John Butler
John Mayall
Kasey Chambers
Kool & The Gang
Larkin Poe
Little Georgia
The Marcus King Band
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Nathan Cavaleri
Pacey, King & Doley
Patti Smith and Her Band
Pierce Brothers
Ray Beadle
The Teskey Brothers
Tori Kelly
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Troy Cassar-Daley
The Waifs
The Wailers
Walter Trout
The War & Treaty
Weddings, Parties, Anything
Xavier Rudd