Bob Dylan.
Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan heads Bluesfest line-up

The legendary Bob Dylan will head a massive line-up at next year’s Bluesfest.

In the first artist announcement released yesterday, Dylan will join a whopper list of musical luminaries including B.B. King, Ben Harper and Relentless 7, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Cat Empire, Blind Boys of Alabama featuring Aaron Neville, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Band, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Fistful of Mercy, Mavis Staples, Xavier Rudd, Trinity Roots, Little Bushman, Tony Joe White, Indigo Girls, Kate Miller-Heidke, Eric Bibb, Washington, Ash Grunwald, Ruthie Foster, C.W. Stoneking, Jeff Lang, Saltwater Band and RocKwiz Live.

To be held at Bluesfest’s Tyagarah home from Thursday April 21 to Monday April 25, tickets are now on sale for the festival, which has won the Australian Event of the Year for 2010.

Festival director Peter Noble said next year’s event was ‘massive’.

“What a delight it is to bring our fans an uplifting plethora of musical joy with this first of many quality announcements,” he said.

“I have been trying to get Bob Dylan here since 2003, and who, other than the Beatles, has had more impact on 20th Century music?

“B.B. King is the king of the blues and he will be playing for the first time at the king of the blues festivals.

“I mean, you could not have two greater music icons playing at one festival.”

Also performing for the first time is the great Elvis Costello and Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi.

Susan is a Grammy nominated soul artist, and Trucks is a member of The Allman Brothers Band and dubbed ‘the most awe-inspiring electric slide guitar player performing today’ by The Wall Street Journal.

“Speaking of amazing guitarists, funk soul pedal-steel master Robert Randolph also brings his stellar band to Bluesfest,” Mr Noble said.

“Of course, we haven’t forgotten our amazing younger artists, and who better to lead them than absolute Bluesfest legend Ben Harper.

 “Synonymous with Bluesfest as the festival that introduced him way back in 1996, something magic always happens when Ben plays Bluesfest.

 “If that’s not enough, we also have two more big Bluesfest favourites – the always inspiring Michael Franti and Spearhead and the rootsy, energising Xavier Rudd, plus the maverick, highly individualistic C.W. Stoneking who recently tore it up in the UK on the Jools Holland show.

“And this year the ‘church of Bluesfest’ 2011 is also serving up plenty of sacred moments to help save your soul with the likes of multiple Grammy winner soul royalty Mavis Staples, the ever expressive Ruthie Foster back again after impressing so many here a few years ago, the sheer beauty of the Saltwater Band and – here’s a huge one folks – the majesty of the Blind Boys of Alabama paired for the first time ever in Australia with Aaron Neville – the king of soul vocalists.”

Mr Noble said that even though Bluesfest had grown and continued to win accolades, the festival was still focused on being a homely, culturally-aware and non-corporate event.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased by phoning the Bluesfest office on 66858310 or going to

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