Happy Mag’s guide to Byron Bay Bluesfest 2019

With only 176 days to go until Byron Bay Bluesfest 2019 (not that we’re counting…), we thought it fitting to curate a hassle-free guide to Australia’s biggest blues and roots festival so you have no excuse to mess around when you arrive.

Photo: Greg Noakes

Headling the biggest Bluesfest ever is Australia’s favourite superstar Paul Kellywho recently sold out shows in both Brisbane and Melbourne for his Making Gravy tour. Kelly first played Bluesfest 20 years ago and is making his seventh Bluesfest appearance in 2019.


With so many great acts playing over the course of the weekend, it’s hard to even know where to begin. We’re still struggling to figure out which acts we’re going to see.

Ten-time Grammy-nominated musician, bassist, rapper, singer and all-around superstar Meshell Ndegeocello is making her Bluesfest debut in 2019. With so many accolades, we’re excited to see what she has in store.

Make sure you check out George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic’s final ever Australian performances, given the legendary musician is set to retire in May next year. In his fifty-plus year career, Clinton has earned himself the title of Grandfather of Funk, having produced Freaky Styley for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, collaborated with Kendrick Lamar, Primal Scream, Sly Stone, Carlos Santana, OutkastWu Tang Clan, Tupac and heaps of others.

Julia Stone, Kurt Vile and The Violators, Tex Perkins and The Fat Rubber Band, and Melody Angel are just a few of the many incredible artists to catch at next year’s Bluesfest.

A Green Bluesfest

Byron Bay Bluesfest’s Green initiative makes the event sound like some kind of rainbow. In 2019, the festival organisers will be employing a number of environmental measures to ensure the festival grounds are safe for wildlife post-party. This is reflected in the festival winning six International A Greener Festival Awards since 2007.

In 2015, 28.50 tonnes of recycling was collected during the festival, including 4.64 tonnes of cardboard. A few years back, a local pig farmer was gifted with four tonnes of organic waste post-festival, and 500 litres of used oil from the food stalls were given to another local farmer who converted it into bio-oil to run his machinery.

Landfill from the festival goes to ‘Titree’, a green energy plant, and is converted into methane gas which powers about 10,000 homes in the Ipswich (QLD) area.

Make sure you do your part by helping keep the area clean; the Bluesfest grounds play host to a massive local koala population.

Getting there

Travelling to Bluesfest is hassle-free, whether you’re a local or you’re coming from interstate. Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm is only 10 minutes north of Byron Bay and five minutes south of Brunswick Heads. There’ll be a handful of shuttle buses transporting festival goers from many of the coastal towns in the region.

Check out all the bus timetables here. Many of them charge a small fee but drop you directly at the festival grounds.


The team at Bluesfest are making an effort to make each festival more accessible for patrons living with disabilities. Accessible toilets will be strategically located around the festival premises. Viewing platforms will be available for patrons with a disability to provide a more equitable festival experience.

Remember to bring your Disability Parking Permits, too; Bluesfest will be offering designated parking areas for festival goers with disabilities.


For the full lineup and ticket info, head over to the Byron Bay Bluesfest website.

Byron Bay Bluesfest
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm
Thursday, April 18 – Monday, April 22, 2019