Bluesfest Eyes Another City

Peter Noble, co-founder and director of the International East Coast Blues and Roots festival in Australia, revealed he’s negotiating to introduce the festival to another country.

"I’m now really excited to be heading overseas, looking to take the festival to new lands," he said. "I can pretty much guarantee there will one or two satellite events coinciding with Bluesfest next year – it might be New Zealand, it might be Singapore, it might be South Africa."

Noble founded the festival 18 years ago in the picturesque New South Wales location of Byron Bay. In recent times he expanded the concept across the country. But this has not hurt sales.

Over the Easter weekend, it drew a record 80,000 people, according to Noble. Acts included Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, John Mayer, Missy Higgins, Wolfmother, Bonnie Raitt, Bo Diddley, Taj Mahal, Tony Joe White, The Roots, Lee Scratch Perry, and Kasey Chambers.

At the same time, in Western Australia, the fourth annual West Coast Blues and Roots festival took place with 30,000 tickets sold over that event’s four days. It’s the second year the Byron Bay festival team partnered with the West Coast event. This year the Byron Bay festival partnered with the promoters of the Point Nepean Music Experience, outside Melbourne, and drew 15,000 over two days.

Noble said many of the headline artists are shared across all three events, "delivering better economies of scale to all concerned."