Hoodoo Gurus to play at Bluesfest for the first time

SOUL SOLOIST: Kara Grainger is among the latest artists to join the 2022 Bluesfest program.

SOUL SOLOIST: Kara Grainger is among the latest artists to join the 2022 Bluesfest program.

LEGENDARY Australian performers the Hoodoo Gurus and Renee Geyer and Indigenous hip-hop sensation Baker Boy are among seven new 'powerhouse' names added to the line-up for the 2022 Byron Bay Bluesfest in April.

They join an already massive lineup that is a who's who of Australian music across the decades, from Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes and the Angels, to Missy Higgins, Kate Miller-Heidke and Danny Im.

Rounding out the seven new additions are New Zealand five-piece Six60, soul blues singer-songwriter Kara Grainger, The Tea Party lead singer Jeff Martin, and blues musician Sam Teskey, lead guitarist of the Grammy-nominated The Teskey Brothers who are also on the Bluesfest bill.

"I pinch myself every time I look at this growing lineup of exceptional talent," said Bluesfest chairman Peter Noble.

Bluesfest was last staged in 2019 - its 30th anniversary year. The 2020 and 2021 festivals, and a rescheduled October edition last year, were all cancelled to cries of bitter disappointment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2022 event - Australia's most awarded music festival, the organisers say - is scheduled for the Easter long weekend, Friday April 15 to Monday April 18.

Organisers will have a COVID-19 safety plan in place, which may mean fewer main stages, zoning to split patrons into two sections, and daily QR code check-ins.

Noble says it will be the best Aussie and Kiwi line-up ever (mostly Aussies, with "special guests" from New Zealand) "and I'm not finished yet".

Canada-born Jeff Martin, these days a Byron local, will perform the songs of Led Zeppelin in what Bluesfest describes as a "very unique" show. "He has always wanted to bring their songs to life and well, we talked, and now it's happening," Noble said.

The 2019 Young Australian of the Year, six-time ARIA nominee and Yolngu man Danzal Baker, aka Baker Boy, is expected to feature songs from his first and highly anticipated album, Gela, due out in October.

In their Bluesfest debut, ARIA hall of famers Hoodoo Gurus will belt out songs from their 16 albums and 37 singles - think Like WOW-Wipeout and What's My Scene.

The remaining four newly announced acts are all Bluesfest alumni - Kara Grainger first came to the festival in the 1990s as a member of Sydney band Papa Lips; Sam Teskey has previously performed with the Teskey Brothers and SIX60 was on stage in 2019. As for Renee Geyer, organisers are ecstatic at her return: "It's going to be a great celebration - we can't wait," Noble said.

All ticket options plus camping, parking and VIP are on sale now via the Bluesfest website.

I pinch myself every time I look at this growing lineup of exceptional talent.

Peter Noble