Bluesfest’s fifth artist announcement today of Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, supergroup Infectious Grooves, Katie Melua and The Waifs, amongst others, adds more star power to an already stellar lineup. 

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals will be playing exclusively for Bluesfest, and Infectious Grooves is a supergroup that includes Robert Trujillo on bass (Metallica), Mike Muir – on vocals (Suicidal Tendencies), Jay Weinberg on drums (Slipknot), Dave Kushner on guitar (Velvet Revolver), and Dean Pleasants on guitar (Suicidal Tendencies).

The best-selling British and European female artist in the 2000s, Katie Melua, returns to Australia for the first time in almost 20 years, and Aussie favourite Brad Cox won a Golden Guitar for ‘Top Selling Country Album of the Year’ last year. 

Artists included in the fifth artist announcement are:

Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals EXCLUSIVE
Infectious Grooves 
(Robert Trujillo • Mike Muir • Jay Weinberg • Dave Kushner • Dean Pleasants)
Katie Melua • The Waifs • Brad Cox
Yirrimal • Dirty Honey • Jerome Williams
Ben Swissa • eMDee • Perry Street Park
Da Manager

Today’s announcement of Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, combined with the already announced Jack Johnson, who are both playing exclusively, has a very Bluesfest feel about it and is the perfect addition to the 35th-anniversary celebration. 


A word from our Festival Director, Peter Noble OAM

“It’s our 35th birthday coming at Bluesfest, and it’s gonna be hot! 


Not only is Bluesfest the most highly awarded festival in Australia, but it is also the only Australian festival to be nominated 9 times in the “Best International Music Festival” category, Pollstar Awards (USA). Bluesfest is Australia’s most awarded music festival and has been recognised as one of the TOP 10 Festivals of the Decade worldwide by industry bible Pollstar in 2021.

For those of you who don’t already know, Bluesfest is not just a Blues music festival. Yes, it has Blues at its heart, but a little like the Woodford Folk Festival, it stretches the genre into (anything that fits). 

Over the years, not only have the greatest Blues artists in the world played, such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Bonamassa, Taj Mahal, and so many others, but it is also the festival that first presented the Dave Matthews Band, Kendrick Lamar, as well as Bob Dylan on a festival stage, James Brown, Patti Smith, Paul Simon, Robert Plant, IGGY POP and so many more including the first Australian festival appearance of both Jack Johnson and Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals. 

There is simply no other festival quite like Bluesfest.

For our fifth and (probably not) final artist announcement, we are proud to present the artist who has done more to bring Bluesfest to the masses, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, for their first performance in Australia in five years. Ben first played Bluesfest in 1996.

No other artist who has played Bluesfest has had such an influence on the Australian music industry outside of B.B. King. We wouldn’t have John Butler Trio, Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls, Angus and Julia Stone as they are today if it wasn’t for his influence.

Ben and his band’s performances at Bluesfest are legendary. This is an experience not to be missed on Easter Sunday.

Another genre-bending artist announcement is Infectious Grooves, featuring past and present members of Metallica, Suicidal Tendencies, Velvet Revolver, and Slip Knot. They are a true funk punk supergroup. Again, Bluesfest has featured, in the past, great genre-bending funk bands such as Fishbone and Funkadelic. And here’s another one to funk your mind up.

The highest-selling female artist of the 2000s in Britain and Europe is the incredible Katie Melua, on her first Australian tour in 20 years. We also have Aussie favourite Brad Cox, who last year won a Golden Guitar for ‘Top Selling Country Album of the Year’ in 2023.

The Waifs are one of the favourite bands ever to play Bluesfest. We have Nhulunbuy-based Yolgnu singer Yirrmal, who is, to many, regarded as having the greatest voice in indigenous music today. His father was a critical member of Yothu Yindi. His 2023 Bluesfest performance was so good we are bringing him back again.

LA band Dirty Honey is the next big thing, managed by the same team as The Black Crowes and the Counting Crows. Bluesfest prides itself in presenting bands for the first time that go on to become one of the world’s biggest bands, and we think Dirty Honey is the next big thing. Don’t miss them.

Out of the small group of white didgeridoo players who have mastered the instrument, none are as energetic as eMDee from Humpty Doo. He plays multiple didgeridoos at the same time. He is a must-see artist and one that we so rarely get to present outside of the Northern Territory.”



Bios of Artists Announced today are as follows:


Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals EXCLUSIVE
Ben Harper is one of the premiere songwriters of his generation.  He is also one of the most versatile and brave songwriters, fearlessly working in a cross-section of genres, ranging from pop, reggae and soul, to blues, rock, funk and folk. While his music and career embody the sonic bravery, brilliance, lyrical honesty and social activism of that pivotal time, Harper adds his unique modern-day cultural awareness, bringing music with social conscience into the now, reflected in the 2023 nomination for the newly minted Grammy Special Merit Award for “Best Song For Social Change.” Harper has recorded 18 studio albums and amassed a worldwide following having sold over 16 million records worldwide and 3 Grammy Awards.

Infections Grooves
Robert Trujillo  |  Mike Muir  |   Jay Weinberg  |  Dave Kushner  |  Dean Pleasants
Brace yourselves for a seismic collision of funk and metal as legendary supergroup featuring original members, Suicidal Tendencies frontman, Mike Muir, and guitarist Dean Pleasants. They will be accompanied none other than founding bassist of ST and Infectious Grooves, Robert Trujillo who is making a long-awaited comeback to Australia. Trujillo’s last visit was over a decade ago with his warlord bandmates in on of the biggest bands on the planet—Metallica! Adding extra groove on guitar will be Dave Kushner, best known for being part of the platinum-selling supergroup Velvet Revolver. Anchoring the whole thing down is drummer Jay Weinberg, making his first live appearance after 10 years with the iconic metal band, Slipknot

Katie Melua
Katie Melua is one of Britain’s most successful musical artists, having sold in excess of 11 million albums and received over 56 platinum awards.  She is originally from Tbilisi, Georgia and moved to the UK at a young age where she studied at the acclaimed Brit School of Performing Arts. It is her extraordinary voice, and the ability to truly inhabit a song, that has been her trademark since the young 19 year old school graduate first appeared in 2003 performing The Closest Thing To Crazy. One of the UK’s highest-selling female recording artists of all time, Katie has released 8 top 10 studio albums – ‘Call Off The Search’, ‘Piece By Piece’, ‘Pictures’, ‘The House’, ‘Secret Symphony’, ‘Ketevan’, 2016’s self-produced, critically acclaimed ‘In Winter’ and most recently ‘Album No. 8’

The Waifs
The Waifs have built a career out of continually circling Australia and the globe. From bustling cities to the farthest regional and coastal towns, they have spent more than 30 years sharing their folk-infused, feel-good sounds with adoring, now multi generation audiences thanks to their enchanting live shows and affable natures.  

The original independent avant-garde folk heroes turned multiplatinum-selling, multiple ARIA Award-winning, international touring outfit, have released eight LPs, self-titled The Waifs (1996), Shelter Me (1998) and Sink or Swim (2000), Up All Night (2003), Sun Dirt Water (2007), Temptation (2011), Beautiful You (2015) and Ironbark (2017), and two live albums A Brief History (2004) and Live From the Union Of Soul (2009).

Brad Cox
Brad Cox, the beloved Australian artist, and songwriter, has carved a remarkable path in the music scene, captivating audiences with his authentic spirit and down-to-earth persona. With a series of chart-topping albums and hit singles, Cox has solidified his place as one of the most celebrated musicians in the country. In 2023, Brad’s third studio album ‘ACRES’ reached #1 on ARIA Country Charts and #7 on ARIA Album Chart and was awarded the Golden Guitar for ‘Top Selling Country Album of the Year’. The album stands as a testament to his versatility, navigating thematically from earthy country pop to heartfelt piano-led ballads and anthemic party songs.

Yirrmal is the powerful voice of First Nations storytelling that we’re in awe of, and his singer-songwriter capabilities are a testament to his passionate outlook and contribution to his land and his ancestry. Through his unapologetic and authentic means of personal storytelling, Yirrmal takes us on a journey of joy, sadness, and personal musings. The rising star from the Rirratjingu clan in the remote North East Arnhem Land community of Yirrkala evokes thought-provoking performances in captivating ways that make us grateful for the land we walk on and the people and beauty we’re surrounded by.

Dirty Honey
Some musicians take a while to build an audience and connect with fans. For the Los Angeles quartet Dirty Honey, success came right out of the gate and hasn’t let up. To start, the band’s 2019 debut single, “When I’m Gone,” became the first song by an unsigned artist to reach No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. Their second single, “Rolling 7s,” entered the chart’s Top 5, and to date, its companion music video has exceeded 10 million YouTube views. During the Summer of 2019 (before Covid), Dirty Honey was the “must-see” band at major North American rock festivals, and for their first U.S. headline tour, every single date was sold out.

Jerome Williams
Jerome Williams makes his guitar do things you’ve never heard before. Expect the unexpected as he switches from percussive guitar beats to spitting bars then suddenly throws in some insane shredding like if Drake and Slash had a mildly deranged lovechild. Born to perform, his mission is to get people up dancing with his rawness and mashup of rock/hip hop/funk. By day, he is a captivating and gifted acoustic solo artist and as the sun goes down becomes a phenomenal, high-powered frontman with his band with only 1 speed – GO!! Werewolf vibes but super friendly and fun.

Ben Swissa
Meet Ben Swissa, Australia’s sensational 17-year-old musical prodigy who is making waves in the industry. With a remarkable live debut at Bluesfest Festival and an invitation to join ‘Coterie’ on their Australia-wide tour, Ben has proven himself as the one to watch. Tash Sultana recognized his talent by selecting him as the winner of a nation-wide competition, solidifying his status as a rising star. Ben has garnered attention from top industry

movers-and-shakers, including praise from Rolli  g Stone Magazine. Currently working on his first EP across Australia and America, Ben’s is also adding his extraordinary guitar virtuosity on collaborations with notable artists across the globe. Ben has recently signed with Island Records and the prestigious Willam Morris Agency (WME) Worldwide – so watch this space!

eMDee is a highly successful performance act based in Humpty Doo, Northern Territory, Australia, that performs at prestigious events and festivals around the world. Acknowledged for inspiring an entire generation of First Nation children to come back to their roots and pick up the yidaki (didgeridoo) once more by traditional owners based in Arnhem land NT, home of the didgeridoo. He plays four didgeridoos simultaneously, backed up by a drummer. If eMDee doesn’t get you dancing, nothing will.

Perry Street Park
Fans of rock will appreciate Perry Street Park’s carefully cultivated sound; embodying modern rock (The 1975, Gang Of Youths, The Vanns) while also staying true to their Australian roots (Cold Chisel, INXS). Releasing their debut single ‘She!’ in early 2022, PSP cut their teeth touring in the months that followed. From playing sets at Byron Bay Bluesfest and Airlie Beach Festival, to providing the pregame and halftime entertainment for the Gold Coast Titan’s 2022 season, the band’s popularity continues to grow. Capitalising on this success, they released debut EP ‘Bad Habits, Broken Hearts’ at the tail end of 2022, and 3 singles over the course of 2023, garnering upwards of 77,000 streams across their discography on Spotify alone.

Da Manager
Da Manager is a powerhouse four-piece rock band that’s causing quite a stir on the music scene after winning the 2023 BluesFest Busking Grommets Competition. Despite their youthful ages these talented teenagers are making waves with their electrifying performances and raw sound. Hailing from the picturesque coastal region of Northern New South Wales on Bundjalung country, Da Manager is made up of Banjo Golder on vocals and guitar, Arlo Kirk on lead guitar, Phoenix Preston on bass and Cruz Kill on drums. Drawing inspiration from iconic Australian bands like Grinspoon, Wolfmother, and early Silverchair, Da Manager has managed to capture the essence of the ’90s grunge and alternative rock era while infusing it with their own youthful energy. 


Artists Already Announced for Bluesfest 2024

Jack Johnson I Tom Jones
The Teskey Brothers I Matt Corby I Tedeschi Trucks Band
 I Portugal. The Man I L.A.B I Ziggy Alberts I The Cruel Sea I Elvis Costello & The Imposters I The Dead South I Peter Garrett & The Alter Egos
I Taj Mahal I Tommy Emmanuel I Tim Finn
Snarky Puppy I PJ Morton I Blind Boys of Alabama I Rickie Lee Jones
Ian Moss I Drive-By Truckers I Dan Sultan I The Paper Kites
The Whitlams Black Stump I 
Allman Betts Family Revival Feat. Devon Allman & Duane Betts with Special Guests Larry McCray & Ally Venable Meshell Ndegeocello I Coterie
Playing For Change Band I Newton Faulkner I Taj Farrant
19-Twenty I Lisa Hunt’s Forever Soul I Steve Poltz
Fiona Boyes & The Fortune Tellers I The Turner Brown Band
Harry Manx I Erja Lyytinen I Jackie Venson I 
Pierce Brothers
Clayton Doley’s Bayou Billabong I Here Come The Mummies
Caravana Sun I WILSN I Little Quirks 
I Velvet Trip
Hussy Hicks I Blues Arcadia I Women of Soul Collective
ROSHANI I Sweet Talk
RocKwiz Live






About Bluesfest Byron Bay

Bluesfest will occur over 5 days from Thursday, 28 March to Monday 1 April 2024 at the Byron Events Farm, Tyagarah, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

5-Day, 3-Day and 1-Day tickets, including festival entry, camping & add-ons, parking and VIP, are on sale now via the  Bluesfest website.

Bluesfest is Australia’s most awarded music festival and has been recognised as one of the TOP 10 Festivals of the Decade by industry bible Pollstar in 2021. From its humble beginnings in 1990, the festival now takes place at the beautiful Byron Events Farm (formerly the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm), regularly attracting an audience of over 100,000. Located just 10 minutes north of Byron Bay, NSW, Australia, Bluesfest is well-situated and surrounded by the charming village of Mullumbimby and the beach towns of Byron Bay and Brunswick Heads.





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