With the dust only just settled on a very successful Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016, festival boss Peter Noble isn’t wasting any time in securing acts for next year’s instalment of the iconic blues, rock, folk, soul, and roots event.
Noble, who recently completed a whirlwind tour of America, scouting acts for the Bluesfest 2017 lineup, has now taken to Facebook for a live Q&A, during which he was quizzed by eager Bluesfest fans on who we can expect on the bill.
Noble was pretty forthcoming with his answers, revealing quite a few names he’s put up a bid for and confirming a few names we definitely won’t be seeing at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm next Easter, like John Mayer and Dave Matthews.
According to Noble, the promoter met with Dave Matthews’ agent, who informed him the band have no plans to tour Australia at the moment and that goes likewise for Mayer, who is busying himself with Dead & Company.
Van Morrison and Tom Waits, two names who’ve long been on Noble’s bucket list, also won’t be coming. Waits has more or less retired from performing and Van Morrison’s agent said the chances of the singer accepting Noble’s offer is “a very long shot”.
Don’t expect Lenny Kravitz either. The rocker canceled his appearance this year and Noble now has “zero interest in presenting Lenny Kravitz in the future. Artists who cancel shows for unacceptable reasons are not on my agenda for the future”.
So who can we actually expect to see? Well, nothing’s been locked in just yet, but Noble did relay the fact that “The guys from Midnight Oil have always said, that when they get back together, their first show will be at Bluesfest”.
Noble has also put bids out for Radiohead and Stevie Wonder, the latter of which Noble vies for every year. He also mentioned loving The Claypool Lennon Delirium, the collaboration between Primus chief Les Claypool and Sean Lennon.
Of course, one of the main items on Noble’s agenda is moving Bluesfest into the next generation and booking more contemporary acts. We saw that pay dividends this year with the somewhat controversial booking of rapper Kendrick Lamar.
For 2017, Noble has considered booking Prophets of Rage, the new collab between members of Rage Against The Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill; Sigur Ros; a return from Eagles of Death Metal; M Ward; The Strumbrellas; and Mayer Hawthorne.
Noble was also asked if we can expect any of the artists set to play the new Desert Trip festival in the US, which includes Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, and Neil Young, to which he replied, “I’ll try to bring you one of them :)”