Jimmy Barnes Locks In First Gig Since Open Heart Surgery At Bluesfest

11 February 2024 | 9:00 am | Mary Varvaris

Bluesfest Byron Bay organisers teased a major announcement earlier this week, and here it is!

Jimmy Barnes

Jimmy Barnes (Credit: Jesse Lizotte)

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Jimmy Barnes is Bluesfest’s major announcement that the festival teased earlier this week.

Barnesy is returning to the stage this Easter, with the Australian rock icon lining up his first live performance since undergoing open heart surgery at Bluesfest.

The Working Class Man singer will perform an early evening set at Bluesfest on Easter Sunday (31 March), backed with a band for acoustic and electric renditions of songs from Flesh And Wood.

Honouring the 30th anniversary of Flesh And Wood and the 35th anniversary of Bluesfest, Barnesy’s performance promises an unforgettable experience featuring guest duets and additional appearances celebrating Barnes’ recovery. Highlighting his resilience, Australia’s music community and rock and roll, Jimmy’s return to Bluesfest will be special.

On his epic comeback at Bluesfest, Barnes commented in a press release, “Every day, I’m getting stronger. Every day, I’m pushing myself a little bit further.

“I’m excited about getting back on stage, in front of the band and playing for you all. And what better way is there to kick it off than at the legendary Bluesfest Byron Bay with a really special celebration of Flesh And Wood.”

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Bluesfest Director Peter Noble OAM added in his own statement, “Bluesfest is both honoured and excited to announce that Jimmy Barnes has chosen his first performance after surgery to occur on Easter Sunday, 31 March, at Bluesfest.

“It's going to be so special. There will be so much emotion around it, with all his fans coming to wish him well.

“This will be a very special moment in the history of Bluesfest. And for it to happen on our 35th-anniversary festival, couldn’t be more perfect. Come and join in the celebration and be part of music history!”

Bluesfest Byron Bay 2024 has over 65 artists offering more than 120 performances on stages across five days over the Easter Long Weekend from 28 March to 1 April 2024. You can find tickets here.

The first artist announcement for this year’s festival, which landed in August, was led by Jack Johnson (Bluesfest exclusive), Tom Jones, The Teskey Brothers, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Peter Garrett & The Alter Egos, and Tommy Emmanuel, while the second (announced in September) revealed the likes of The Cruel Sea, Rickie Lee Jones, Dan Sultan and Tedeschi Trucks Band.

The third announcement, which arrived in November, added Portugal. The Man, Snarky Puppy and Pierce Brothers, while December’s fourth announcement included PJ Morton and Allman Betts Family Revival. The fifth announcement, which was revealed last month, added Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, the Suicidal TendenciesMetallica and Slipknot supergroup Infectious GroovesKatie Melua (performing her first Australian show in nearly 20 years), The Waifs, Yirrmal and Brad Cox.

You can find the full line-up and playing times here.

Barnes will return to touring from June through to August on his Hell Of A Time tour, a run of intimate dates celebrating stories and songs surrounding the 30th anniversary of Flesh And Wood. Tickets go on sale at 10 am local time for each gig via this link.

In addition to his Bluesfest performance and upcoming tour, Barnes will headline rescheduled dates of the Red Hot Summer Tour. Tickets are on sale now from here.




Saturday, 6 April 2024 - Roche Estate, Hunter Valley NSW

Saturday, 13 April 2024 - Country Club Lawns, Launceston TAS

Saturday, 27 April 2024 - Bendigo Racecourse, Bendigo VIC


Wednesday, 12 June 2024 - Regal Theatre, Perth WA

Thursday, 13 June 2024 - Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah WA

Monday, 17 June 2024 - Frankston Arts Centre, Frankston VIC

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 - West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul VIC

Thursday, 20 June 2024 - Riverlinks Eastbank, Shepparton VIC

Saturday, 29 June 2024 - Wrest Point Entertainment Centre, Hobart TAS

Thursday, 4 July 2024 - Barossa Arts Centre, Tanunda SA

Friday. 5 July 2024 - Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide SA

Tuesday, 6 August 2024 - The Art House, Wyong NSW

Thursday, 8 August 2024 - Empire Theatre, Toowoomba QLD

Wednesday, 14 August 2024 - Anita's Theatre, Thirroul NSW

Friday, 16 August 2024 - Canberra Theatre, Canberra ACT

Sunday, 18 August 2024 - Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, Sydney NSW