Punters were left sorely disappointed on the Easter long weekend when just 24 hours before kicking off, Bluesfest was cancelled amid coronavirus concerns.
It was the second time the pesky pandemic had forced the Aussie festival to cancel, dampening music fans’ hopes of catching a myriad of awesome local and international acts billed to play at the popular event.
But now, Bluesfest organisers have come through with the glorious news that the fezzy will reopen its gates this October long weekend, and with that, a bunch of extra acts added to the already-stellar lineup – including Australian rock legends Midnight Oil.
The rockers will be headlining Friday’s event, while Paul Kelly will headline Saturday, October 2nd.
Tash Sultana and Jimmy Barnes will also return as headliners for Saturday and Sunday, with all the headliners performing full shows of between 90 and 120 minutes.
Festival Director, Peter Noble OAM today announced: “Who would have thought after the cancellation of Bluesfest last Easter by a Public Health Order, less than 24 hours before our gates were due to open, due to one local case of transmission, that sent shockwaves through our industry, and traumatised everyone who had been working on presenting Bluesfest at Easter, that six weeks later we would be announcing our re-scheduled festival, and a week later, today our artists.”
“This October, Bluesfest will be the first major festival to return, since COVID-19 struck, with a multi-day, multi-stage, camping event and almost all the artists due to play at Easter will return to play.
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He continued: “This is so special for me to announce – a moment I have been waiting years to happen. Midnight Oil headlined Bluesfest in 2002, just before their extended hiatus.
“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. And now, to have Midnight Oil headline our opening night and launch their new album – it’s a dream come true.”
Promoters first revealed the exciting news of the rescheduled event over Twitter last week, saying: “It’s finally here! The announcement you have all been waiting very patiently for.”
“Bluesfest 2021 will be back this year over the October long weekend – Friday, 1st of October to Monday, 4th of October.”
It was a welcome contrast to the news the day prior to the festival was originally set to begin in April, when organisers were forced to dish out the devastating news that the festival would be put on hold due to a local outbreak at a hens night.
“After consultations with NSW Health and the NSW Minister for Health, Brad Hazzard, sadly they have arrived at the decision that it is in the interests of the safety of everyone the festival be cancelled over the Easter period and rescheduled to a later date,” the event organisers wrote at the time of the cancellation April.
Peter Noble said of being forced to suddenly cancel earlier this year: “We had to get off our back and onto our knees, then learn to crawl and walk again.
“That was one of the most traumatic things that ever happened to any cultural event in the history of Australia.”
While Bluesfest 2021 will now run as a four-day event as opposed to five, the addition of these amazing Aussie artists is sure to make up for it.
Ticket holders will also be able to transfer their passes for the new event or obtain a refund, and for those keen to get amongst the music, season tickets are on sale 09:00 am Thursday 20th May via Moshtix.
For all the latest information on the line-up or artists, you can check out the official website here.
You can read more about this topic over at the Live Music Observer.