With around 60 acts playing over five days at Bluesfest this year, you could be forgiven for just throwing away your schedule and going with the flow. That's a perfectly good strategy, and you're sure to hear some great music over the Easter long weekend if you do that, but here are a few acts that we think you need to put on your itinerary, to avoid cursing yourself afterwards. This is by no means a list of all of the killer acts, more like our bare-minimum hit-list. Consider yourself schooled.
Now that the NY punk legend has confirmed that this will be her last Australian tour, this is even more of a must-see. The punk poet high-priestess is also playing a second exclusive Bluesfest set with her band in acoustic mode.
Playing Thursday 10:30pm ('Horses'), Friday 6:00pm (acoustic).
You may not have heard of the banjo-wielding Rhiannon Giddens (pictured) yet, but once you hear her delicate, soulful brand of Americana, you'll be hooked. Giddens blew us away on her last Aussie tour and she's sure to make a tonne of new fans on this trip.
Playing Thursday 4:30pm, Sunday 1:30pm
We first saw Nikki Hill at Bluesfest in 2015, where she tore the roof off the tent with her flat-out rock-and-roll attack. Think Tina Turner fronting ACDC and you'll have half of the picture. She's a machine, playing four of the five days of Bluesfest, so you've got no excuse if you miss seeing her.
Playing Thursday 6:30pm, Friday 1:30pm, Saturday 1:30pm, Sunday 9:00pm
Hip-hop god Nas on his own is exciting enough, but this time he's bringing the Soul Rebels with him for an exclusive performance. The eight piece brass ensemble have collaborated live with major artists including Nas, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Marilyn Manson, G-Eazy, Joey Bada$$, and Talib Kweli among others. It's going to get sweaty.
Playing Thursday 11:00pm
Grammy nominated R&B artist Gallant possesses a voice that has been known to melt most types of metal. He's that smooth. Along with current artists like Frank Ocean and the Weekend, Gallant is proving that urban music can be sincere, intelligent and substantial. See him before he starts playing stadiums.
Playing Thursday 9:30pm, Friday 6:00pm
Often unfairly cast in the shadow of Carol King or Joni Mitchell, Ricky-Lee Jones has a truckload of hits like “Chuck E's In Love”, “We Belong Together” and a “A Lucky Guy”. Her smooth, jazzy songs should provide a soothing respite from the dance floor activity and hangovers.
Playing Friday 6:30pm, Saturday 4:30pm
LA soul rockers Vintage Trouble are one of the most exciting and energetic live bands on the planet right now, so it's common sense that you'll want to stake out a spot front of stage for this must-see performance.
Playing Thursday 7:30pm, Saturday 4:00pm