Midnight Oil confirm their 13th album will be launched at Bluesfest 2021

The album was announced with the working title ‘Show Of Hands’

Midnight Oil have confirmed a 2021 release for their 13th studio album, saying it will be debuted onstage during their headlining appearance at the Byron Bay Bluesfest this November.

The band announced the album on Twitter last month, giving it the working title ‘Show Of Hands’.

“We wanted you to hear it first from us that our new album will be launched with an appearance at Bluesfest in Byron Bay on October 1,” the band wrote. “We’re looking forward to being part of this great festival’s welcome return.


“This new batch of songs was recorded at the same time as ‘The Makarrata Project’ but explores different territory. We’ve given it the working title ‘Show Of Hands’. Expect to hear more about the album and Australasian touring plans in the months ahead.”

The 2021 edition of the Byron Bay Bluesfest will take place over the long weekend spanning Friday October 1 through Monday 4. It was initially scheduled to happen over the Easter long weekend in April, but was cancelled one day out from its commencement after a COVID-19 case was recorded in Byron Bay.

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.

Midnight Oil released their 12th album, ‘The Makarrata Project’, last October. It came as the band’s first studio material in over 18 years and featured a sprawling cast of collaborators from Indigenous Australian backgrounds, such as Dan Sultan, Gurrumul Yunupingu, Alice Skye and Kev Carmody.


The album’s lead single, ‘Gadigal Land’, was recently bestowed the peer-voted APRA Song of the Year Award. Midnight Oil performed the track live at the 2020 National Indigenous Music Awards.

‘The Makarrata Project’ also delivered the single ‘First Nation’ featuring Jessica Mauboy and Tasman Keith, who both joined the band for a performance of it on ABC’s The Sound.

Also last year, Midnight Oil became the first band in history to be be awarded the Peace Foundation Gold Medal for human rights.