Bluesfest Exclusives: The National, UB40

After its 100,000-plus attendance gave Bluesfest Byron Bay rankings in Pollstar’s Mid-Year report’s worldwide concert grosses and ticket sales for a festival site, the event is determined to keep up the momentum for its 2016 return March 24-28. 

Its first artist announcement of 15 acts saw Australian exclusives by The NationalJoe Bonamassa and UB40 (featuring Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue).

Making their Bluesfest debuts are Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, gospel-jazz siupergroup The Word, Rhiannon Giddens, Detroit-born Janiva Magness, Alabama’s St. Paul & The Broken Bones and British ska pioneers SelecterShakey Graves and Mali’s Songhoy Blues. They join Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Cat EmpireCity And Colour, and Allen Stone.

Bluesfest director Peter Noble promised more major names. He said he was “negotiating currently with many of the world’s greatest artists” and added, “we started this festival as music fans, and we are still music fans.”