Sampa the Great, Archie Roach tribute lead new additions to Byron Bay Bluesfest 2023

The festival returns this April with a line-up that also includes the Doobie Brothers, Elvis Costello, Counting Crows, Bonnie Raitt, Beck, Mavis Staples, Lucinda Williams and many more

Byron Bay Bluesfest organisers have revealed the sixth artist announcement for the festival’s upcoming 2023 event, with Sampa the Great and a tribute to the late Uncle Archie Roach leading the new additions.

The festival is set to run this year from April 6 to 10 at Byron Events Farm, with a line-up led by the likes of The Doobie Brothers, Elvis Costello, Counting Crows, Bonnie RaittJackson BrowneJason IsbellBeck, Mavis Staples, Lucinda WilliamsGang of Youths, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard and Tash Sultana.

Sampa will make her Bluesfest debut at this year’s festival, having been “truly discovered on a worldwide basis”, festival director Peter Noble said in a statement. “She plays all the major festivals these days, including Glastonbury, Coachella, Primavera, Lollapalooza and Newport Jazz Festival.


“Now for the first time, she’ll be appearing at Bluesfest on Easter Saturday. A Sampa the Great show is full of surprises, incredible dancing, and she isn’t afraid to walk the walk.”

The tribute to Archie Roach – who passed away at the age of 66 last year – planned for the festival has been organised in association with the Archie Roach Foundation, and previously took place as part of Woodford Folk Festival.

“There was a standing ovation for this incredible outpouring of love,” Noble said of the experience. “The whole room was crying, it was incredibly emotional, and I am so proud to have this tribute at Bluesfest.”

Other new additions to Bluesfest’s 2023 line-up include Sticky Fingers, Melbourne 13-piece Fools and Gold Coast singer-songwriter Jerome Williams. Tickets for next year’s Byron Bay Bluesfest are on sale now – find them here. This year will also see Bluesfest hold its first-ever editions in Melbourne and Perth.

“For the first time since 2019, Bluesfest is presenting a fully international festival experience like the legendary ones we did before the COVID-era,” Noble in a statement when revealing Bluesfest 2023’s first line-up announcement last year.

After its 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to COVID-19, Bluesfest returned in April last year, with a predominantly Australian line-up that included Midnight OilPaul KellyJimmy BarnesThe Teskey BrothersCrowded HouseAmy Shark and more.

The sixth line-up announcement for Byron Bay Bluesfest 2023 is:


Sticky Fingers
Sampa The Great
A Heartfelt Tribute to Uncle Archie (In association with the Archie Roach Foundation)
Jerome Williams

Stay tuned to NME for more Australian music festival news.

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