Midnight Oil, Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly and Tash Sultana confirmed for rescheduled Bluesfest in October
Midnight Oil, Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly and Tash Sultana confirmed for rescheduled Bluesfest in October

Midnight Oil joins rebooted Bluesfest line-up

Midnight Oil will join the line-up of the rebooted Bluesfest in Byron Bay as they launch their next studio album.

As the band flagged during their campaign for the Makarrata Project mini-album project with First Nations artists, the Oils plan to release their 12th full-length studio album, with the working title Show Of Hands, in October.

They will headline the opening night of the Bluesfest Rises camping festival in Byron Bay on October 1.

The Oils will follow-up their Makarrata Project with a new album in October. Picture: David Clark.
The Oils will follow-up their Makarrata Project with a new album in October. Picture: David Clark.

 

 

 

"Midnight Oil have announced that they will be following up last October's collaborative album, The Makarrata Project, by launching their first Midnight Oil studio album in nearly 20 years around Bluesfest time. And will be featuring these new songs plus a greatest hits set," Bluesfest director Peter Noble said.

Noble and his team have scrambled to reschedule the festival in the six weeks since it was shut down by the NSW Government on the eve of its Easter kick-off due to just one community COVID case in Byron Bay.

While they have managed to secure their headliners, including Paul Kelly, Tash Sultana and Jimmy Barnes - and added the Oils - it's clear Noble and his team remain shell-shocked by the Easter cancellation which caused losses in the tens of millions in income for artists, crew and local business.

 

 

 

Tash Sultana will be headlining at the October Bluesfest. Picture: Supplied.
Tash Sultana will be headlining at the October Bluesfest. Picture: Supplied.

 

 

 

"Who would have thought after the cancellation of Bluesfest last Easter by a Public Health Order, less than 24 hours before our gates were due to open, due to one local case of transmission, that sent shockwaves through our industry, and traumatised everyone who had been working on presenting Bluesfest at Easter, that six weeks later we would be announcing our re-scheduled festival," Noble said in a statement announcing his artist line-up.

"We have shown a determination to overcome everything we had to face to re-schedule, knowing that as an integral part of the Australian music industry, so many were counting on us."

 

 

 

 

Kasey Chambers is a Bluesfest tragic who goes every year whether playing or not. Picture: Supplied
Kasey Chambers is a Bluesfest tragic who goes every year whether playing or not. Picture: Supplied

 

 

 

Other artists to confirm their spot on the October festival line-up include Ocean Alley, John Butler, Kasey Chambers, The Cat Empire, Pete Murray, Kate Ceberano, Mark Seymour and the Undertow, The Living End, The Church, Ian Moss, Ross Wilson, Russell Morris, Tex Perkins, Troy Cassar-Daley and Briggs.

Noble reiterated the live music industry's call for a Business Interruption Fund to insure them against sudden COVID cancellations of events.

"It is clear that without a major music events insurance scheme, many, many events will choose not to launch," he said.

 

While Bluesfest fans can now plan their return to Byron Bay, thousands of hopeful concertgoers remain in the dark about when some international tours will be rescheduled.

The promoters of Harry Styles tour of Australia and New Zealand are yet to announce when the Watermelon Sugar pop superstar will book his return here.

The November 2020 concerts are unlikely to happen before mid next year.

"No new dates have been announced, but the intention is to re-schedule them to 2022," a spokesman said.

"We are awaiting further direction from the Australian Government with regards to our borders opening up to internationals and the ongoing travel restrictions.

"Refunds have been available since the dates were first rescheduled back in September 2020."

Stormzy fans are also still hanging onto tickets for the shows he cancelled in November, with the British rap star's Australian representatives currently looking at new dates for 2022.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Midnight Oil joins rebooted Bluesfest line-up