Happy Mag’s guide to Byron Bay Bluesfest 2020

Bluesfest embodies nostalgia like no other festival. Every year we see gratifying performances from legendary Australian and international acts, covering eras both past and present.

The celebrated five-day event is a heartbeat of rock, jazz, soul and blues. Held in sunny Byron Bay, the festival is back for its 31st annual event and this one’s gonna be huge.

Patti Smith Bluesfest
Patti Smith

With just one month until Bluesfest 2020, we’ve rounded up all the info you need to have a swingin’ good time.

The lineup

Take a good, long squiz at this lineup. Look at it! How could you possibly refuse? Leading the lineup are Patti Smith and her band, who need no introduction. Adding to the female energy is Alanis Morissette, who’ll be joined by the legends from Dave Matthews Band.

All your teenage ska dreams will return at The Cat Empire and then Crowded House can stomp on them with Don’t Dream It’s Over. Have a geez at Guy Sebastian’s buttery tone and realise why Shannon Noll wasn’t robbed of the title of Australian Idol in 2003. Hip-hop legends Kool and the Gang will be hitting the stage, as well as funk royalty Lenny Kravitz.


The festival is located on Bundjalung land at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, 10 minutes from Byron Bay and 5 minutes south of Brunswick Heads. Regional transport options include Greyhound coaches, the CountryLink train, or flights from interstate. More info on local festival shuttle buses will be confirmed closer to the event, and you can explore more options here.


Bluesfest has options for you to book a pre-built tipi, tent motel, vehicle camping, or more. Just make sure you buy a camping pass along with your festival entry. Offsite accommodation is also available in nearby towns. The organisers have written a pretty neat list.


Bluesfest is committed to welcoming patrons with disabilities. They’ve organised designated camping areas decked out with accessible toilets and showers, close to the festival entrance. Attendees with Companion Cards will receive a complimentary ticket for their carers, and elevated viewing platforms will be installed at the Mojo and Crossroads stages.


For the 24th year, Bluesfest will be supporting Cystic Fibrosis organisation through their raffle. Three leading brand guitars, signed by many of the major performing artists will be given away as prizes.

Bluesfest Busking Competition

Unsigned, original Australian artists can showcase their talents to a new audience with Bluesfest’s busking competition. It’s held in and around Byron in the week leading up to the event, with prizes on offer like paid gigs and recording time at local studios.

See ya there! Oh yeah, you should probably also buy a ticket.