'Hopefully Some Of The Bands Come': Barnsey On Overseas Acts Getting To Bluesfest

12 October 2020 | 12:51 pm | Neil Griffiths

"I just don't know how those acts are gonna get out there."

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Bluesfest is determined to go ahead with its 2021 event next April with some huge international artists included on the line-up like Bon Iver and Patti Smith but the issue, of course, will be whether or not the Australian borders open by then to allow overseas artists to travel and if restrictions on mass gatherings are eased.

However fellow Bluesfest headliner Jimmy Barnes remains optimistic that even with COVID restrictions in place, the festival can still go ahead.

"I hope so," Barnes said when appearing on the latest episode of The Green Room with Neil Griffiths podcast.


"I noticed there's a bunch of overseas acts on there... I just don't know how those acts are gonna get out there.

"I don't know if bands from America - I mean, they're big bands - but I don't know whether they can afford to bring 30 or 40 touring personnel across and sit in isolation for two weeks. I don't know how that will work."

Bluesfest director Peter Noble has insisted that if international artists cannot travel by April, then the annual festival will go ahead with an all-Australian line-up which already features big acts like Tash Sultana, Kasey Chambers, The Teskey Brothers, John Butler, Kate Miller-Heidke and The Living End.

"Hopefully some of the bands are gonna come, isolate and then tour, stay here for months and we might get to see some really great shows," Barnes continued.

"Normally, those sideshows around a festival like Bluesfest are some of the greatest things in town.

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"So, if they're staying here longer and almost forced to stay longer and play more shows, it can only be good for the punters."

It comes after Aussie music industry legend Michael Chugg told The Music he believes that international artists won't tour Australia until 2022. 

“It might open up in late ’21, but I don’t think it’ll be any earlier," he said.

"I mean, if you look at America and the UK, which is where 90% of the international acts come from, there’s no way you could be opening the borders to them at this stage and it’s not going to go away quickly."

Listen to the full The Green Room episode with Barnes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts (below) or wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.