Bluesfest Is Coming To Melb For The First Time In 34 Years For A Two-Day Festival Next Year


Byron Bay’s iconic and long-running Bluesfest is coming to Melbourne in 2023 for the first time in more than 30 years.

Bluesfest Melbourne will be held on April 8 and 9 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will welcome up to 9,000 people each day and will be the first time a multiple-day music festival will be held indoors in Vic as a way to mitigate the risk of poor weather.

A number of music festivals have been affected by extreme weather this year, including Splendour in the Grass, which was forced to cancel its first day of acts due to heavy wind and rain, Strawberry Fields and Grapevine Gathering Victoria which had to cancel their 2022 events entirely also thanks to rain and flooding.

“We’ll be bringing some of the absolute premium international and local artists who perform at Bluesfest alongside the fantastic Melbourne artists to create an experience for music lovers that is unprecedented in this city,” Bluesfest director Peter Noble said in a statement.

“Offering patrons the chance to see more than 30 performances over a two-day period in an environment that is weatherproofed, accessible and safe, right in the heart of the Melbourne and Docklands area.”

Bluesfest Melbourne will feature the same international artists as Bluesfest Byron Bay as well as a number of exclusive acts.

The Doobie Brothers and Paolo Nutini will play Melbourne-only, reserved-seat shows in the Plenary Theatre.

Here’s the full stacked Melbourne line-up:

Ash Grunwald, Backsliders, Buddy Guy, Chain, Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, C.W. Stoneking & His Primitive Horn Orchestra, The Doobie Brothers*, Eric Gales, Eugene Hideaway Bridges, Fools, Geoff Achison & The Souldiggers, Greensky Bluegrass, Henry Wagons, Kaleo, Kasey Chambers, Keb’ Mo’, Lucinda Williams, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Paolo Nutini*, Robert Glasper, Shaun Kirk, The Soul Rebels with Talib Kweli and GZA, Southern Avenue, Steve Earle, Xavier Rudd.

*Performing reserved seat Plenary theatre concerts only

The Byron line-up is here.

Tickets go on sale 9am Monday November 14.