After a three-year campaign from event organisers, Patti Smith is finally headed down under to headline Byron Bay Bluesfest 2017.
The iconic singer-songwriter was announced as part of Bluesfest 2017 line-up on Wednesday morning, alongside the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band and Denver folk outfit, The Lumineers.
Legendary blues guitarist Buddy Guy will also give his only Australian performance at the annual festival when it kicks off in Byron Bay over the Easter long weekend next April.
Other notable artists include Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Billy Bragg and Beth Hart.
Patti Smith will perform her critically acclaimed debut 1975 album Horses in its entirety in a performance that has been described as a major boon by festival director Peter Noble.
“It must be hard to believe, but it is very true, that months, and in a few cases, years of work have gone into this artist announcement,” he said. “It has taken over three years to get the very in-demand Patti Smith confirmed, a similar time also for Billy Bragg.”
The annual blues and roots festival is now in its 28th year and attracts audiences of over 100,000 across five days.
Music heavyweights including Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Grace Jones, Rodriguez, Santana, Earth Wind & Fire, John Mayer, John Legend have all made the pilgrimage to Byron Bay.
This year’s headline act was Californian rapper Kendrick Lamar, who is arguably one of hip-hop’s biggest and most influential names. While younger Bluesfest fans flocked to see the platinum-selling artist perform, older music lovers reportedly stormed out halfway through his set.
The inclusion of Patti Smith on next year’s line-up is likely to make the next event more collegial.
Buddy Guy’s exclusive performance is also a major win for Bluesfest. The 80-year-old Chicago guitarist is one of the blues’ last remaining legends and is credited with influencing the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Jeff Beck.
Bluesfest 2017 runs from Thursday, 13th to Monday, 17th April, 2017. Tickets on sale now through www.bluesfest.com.au.