More Artists Added To Bluesfest Melbourne

27 February 2023 | 2:25 pm | Staff Writer

More local talent for the inaugural Victorian event.

More John Butler More John Butler

Six more artists have signed on for the inaugural Bluesfest Melbourne.

Back in November, it was revealed that the festival would be expanding outside of Byron Bay and heading to Victoria for the very first time ever, taking over Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 8 & 9. 

The first line-up announcement featured The Doobie Brothers, Buddy Guy, Lucinda Williams, Paolo Nutini and stacks more, and now the festival’s Saturday bill expands further.

Joining the line-up on Apr 8 are John Butler, Russell Morris, Frank Sultana, Rod Paine and Karen Lee Andrews, while rising star Kee’ahn will perform at the festival on both days.

Showcasing songs from across his career, Butler will perform at the festival just days before jetting overseas for his debut solo tour of North America.

The Melbourne debut will see the venue transformed into a full weatherproof festival precinct with multiple indoor theatres and stages, food and drink, family entertainment and more.

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For tickets and more info, click here.

The Melbourne additions arrive amid controversy surrounding the Bryon Bay event.

Last week, King Gizzard & The Lizard and Sampa The Great withdraw from the festival, just days after Sticky Fingers were confirmed to perform at the event.

"As a band and as human beings, we stand against misogyny, racism, transphobia and violence,” King Gizzard stated at the time of their cancellation last Monday.

"Surprised and saddened to see Bluesfest commit to presenting content that is in complete opposition to these values,” they said.

Two days later, Sampa The Great's representatives stated that she had been requesting her removal from the line-up prior to be announced on the bill.

In response, festival director Peter Noble said: “I hoped it didn't need to be said, but unfortunately, it does. We at Bluesfest stand for something: inclusivity.

“We want to support artists who are achieving greatness, which often involves overcoming incredible hurdles. Please take the time to educate yourself with the facts regarding Sticky Fingers." 

The announcement of Sticky Fingers' inclusion on Bluesfest drew social media attention due to the band's well-documented history of alleged altercations, internal band fights and struggles with alcohol addiction and mental health issues.