Bluesfest lock in 16 great new acts for 2018

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Youssou N'Dour, Gomez, Jackson Browne, Rag 'N' Bone Man, Jason Isbell and Michael Franti are among the big names.

The dust has barely settled following the first legend-packed Bluesfest announcement a couple of weeks ago, but they’re back already with another staggering list of artists added to the 2018 line up.

It’s once again a mixed bag of artists from across different genres and eras, but each one of them has one thing in common – they make damn great music. The quality of this list of groups is truly astounding.

 

Leading this announcement is one of Africa’s most celebrated artists of all time, the brilliant Youssou N’Dour. He makes his Bluesfest debut alongside a 20-piece band, where he’ll play highlights from across his immense career.

American songwriting royalty Jackson Browne returns to the festival with a songbook packed with over 50 years of celebrate works, as does America’s greatest Americana artist of right now Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, who is in hot demand the world over, for very good reason.

Young garage-soul man Benjamin Booker released one of the best albums of 2017 and his debut at Bluesfest is going to be as raucous as it is soulful.

Emerging British superstar in the making, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, was one of the highlights of Splendour In The Grass this year. His set felt like a natural fit for Bluesfest, so it’s exciting to have him on board so soon.

One of the most iconic British band of the 2000s, Gomez, return to Australia to celebrate their 20th anniversary next year. A long-overdue return to Bluesfest (it’s been a decade!) is perhaps the best party we could imagine for such an occasion.

Anyone looking to dance will have plenty of reason to pack the extra supportive innersoles because there’ll be no standing still when the following emerge on Bluesfest stages next Easter.  

Reggae royalty Jimmy Cliff returns, as do Bob Marley’s old cohort The Wailers, Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett and featuring Junior Marvin on guitar and Tyron Downie on keys (i.e. actual former members of Bob Marley’s band).

Long-beloved roots icons Michael Franti & Spearhead make another Bluesfest appearance in 2018, where they’ll tear the roof off those big blue tents the only way they know how, Prince collaborator Andre Cymone shows up for the first time, while the party-starting machine that is The Original Blues Brothers Band take another bite of the Bluesfest cherry after their much-raved about festival debut a couple of years back.

 

The Teskey Brothers make their Bluesfest debut next year, where they will assure everyone present that the substantial hype around their brand of soulful roots-rock is more than justified. On the flipside, Seal, doesn’t have much to prove. After 20 million album sales, you have a pretty good idea that you're doing something right. 

The brilliant Hurray For The Riff Raff make their first Bluesfest appearance next year. The project is driven by the brilliant Alynda Segarra, who has emerged as one of the best new songwriters around and has the kind of voice that will reduce a tent of chattering people to silence. 

And it wouldn’t be Bluesfest without great blues and those in the know will be losing their mind with the news that the legendary Walter Trout will finally make it to Bluesfest after a liver transplant forced him to cancel his last visit and a reappearance from the great Canned Heat is always appreciated.

Here’s the announcement in full:

Youssou N'Dour, Seal, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Jackson Browne, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Gomez, Rag 'N' Bone Man, The Original Blues Brothers Band, Jimmy Cliff, The Wailers, Benjamin Booker, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Canned Heat, Walter Trout, André Cymone, The Teskey Brothers

They join the already announced…

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space ShiftersLionel RichieThe John Butler TrioTash SultanaThe New Power GenerationChic Featuring Nile RodgersFirst Aid KitJose GonzalezMorcheebaGov't MuleLukas Nelson & Promise Of The RealThe California HoneydropsEric GalesBobby RushDumpstaphunkJoe Louis WalkerRick Estrin & The Nightcats

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

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