Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly added to Bluesfest’s October 2021 lineup

The two acts will join Tash Sultana and Jimmy Barnes as co-headliners

Bluesfest has revealed its updated lineup for 2021, a week after announcing it would be rescheduled to October, with new additions of Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly.

Bluesfest was cancelled a day before it was scheduled to kick off back in April after a new COVID-19 case was detected in Byron Bay.

Midnight Oil and Paul Kelly join Tash Sultana and Jimmy Barnes as festival co-headliners, while the rest of the lineup remains the same as the intended April event.


Midnight Oil previously headlined the festival in 2002, just before their extended hiatus. In a statement, Bluesfest director Peter Noble said he had been pushing for Midnight Oil to play at the festival for years now.

“It has always been my ambition to once again present the ‘holy grail of Australian artists’ at Bluesfest and have approached them every year, redoubling my efforts since their reformation in 2017,” he said.

“And now, to have Midnight Oil headline our opening night and launch their new album – it’s a dream come true.”

Kelly’s appearance at Bluesfest will mark the eighth time the legendary artist has headlined the festival. His performance will follow on from his regional tour taking place throughout July and August.

Other acts featured on the lineup include John Butler, The Living End, Briggs, Hiatus Kaiyote, Kate Miller-Heidke, Ash Grunwald, JK-47 and Emily Wurramara, among others.


Elsewhere in the announcement, Noble reiterated the need for some kind of business interruption scheme to give organisers the confidence to begin locking in events again.

“It is clear that without a major music events insurance scheme, many many events will choose not to launch. This is the time that major events need investment from government; more than we have ever received.”

Earlier this month, the NSW opposition introduced a motion in state parliament to give Bluesfest a targeted grant after its abrupt cancellation.

Bluesfest will be held from October 1-4. Tickets go on sale this Thursday (May 20) through Moshtix.