Robert Plant, New Power Generation and Nile Rodgers lead massive first Bluesfest announcement

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Plus Lionel Richie, John Butler Trio, Jose Gonzalez and more.

Bluesfest have gone out hard for their first announcement of artists for 2018, with some of modern music’s most highly celebrated (and highest selling) artists leading the charge at Easter next year.

Here’s the full announcement:

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters, Lionel Richie, The John Butler Trio, Tash Sultana, The New Power Generation, Chic Featuring Nile Rodgers, First Aid Kit, Jose Gonzalez, Morcheeba, Gov't Mule, Lukas Nelson & Promise Of The Real, The California Honeydrops, Eric Gales, Bobby Rush, Dumpstaphunk, Joe Louis Walker, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats

And here’s why you should care…

 

Robert Plant is arguably the greatest voice in rock’n’roll. The Led Zeppelin frontman set the standard for what a rock vocalist could be back in the 1960s and it’s hard to think of a more influential frontman to ever grace the stage. He returns to Bluesfest with his Sensational Space Shifters, a worldly ensemble that take songs from throughout Plant's career and make them their own.

Prince never got to play Bluesfest before his untimely passing in 2016. But we’ll get the next best thing next Easter when his classic band The New Power Generation start up a funk party like no other. This band was a pretty fluid concern, so we can’t confirm exactly who’ll be in the line up at this stage. But, rest assured, Prince only ever played with the best, so this will be something special.

 

Nile Rodgers is pop music royalty. Whether you know him by name or not, you know his music. You’ve heard his smash hits with Chic, you’ve heard his production with Madonna, INXS, Grace Jones and George Michael, and you’ve definitely heard his contributions to the work of Daft Punk. A Nile Rodgers & Chic live show is a veritable parade of hits. Song after song, you won’t believe the stamp this man has put on modern music. No one makes you dance like Nile Rodgers and his inclusion at Bluesfest just makes too much sense.

Wonder whether Lionel Richie can nail it at a festival? This video should put you at ease.

The stunning First Aid Kit are perennial Australian festival favourites and we’re so glad to see them on the Bluesfest line up. These Swedish sisters sound as sublime on stage as they are on record – perhaps better – and you have the added bonus of their disarming charm as well. Trust us, you can’t miss them.

 

And the Swedes are sending another of their finest to Bluesfest next Easter. Indie hero Jose Gonzalez has the kind of voice that will stop you dead in your tracks. His gentle brand of indie-folk, featuring classical-style fingerpicked guitar and sung in hushed tones, is jaw-droppingly beautiful and will no doubt make for a pretty special Bluesfest moment.

These trip-hop inspired Brits Morcheeba have made it to Bluesfest a couple of times in the festival’s history, most recently in 2014. They have a special knack of wooing audiences with their sleek brand of modern lounge-funk thanks to an outstandingly proficient live show that’s impressive without being too showy.

We’re expecting a new John Butler Trio album pretty early in the New Year, so we’re hoping the band will have a stack of new material to show off when they return to Bluesfest again in 2018. Of course, there are dozens of old classic we want to hear too…

A few Bluesfest favourites making their return round out this announcement, including the Southern rock blast of Gov’t Mule and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (Willie’s son, and Neil Young’s recent backing band) nasty funk of Dumpstaphunk, the thrilling blues and R&B of The California Honeydrops and, of course, the blues of Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, Eric Gales and 83-year-old blues legend Bobby Rush.

 

Bluesfest happens at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm from Thursday 29 March to Monday 2 April. Tickets are on sale now. 

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