Bluesfest is coming to WA in 2023 including The Doobie Brothers

Byron Bay’s Bluesfest is one of the biggest musical festivals in the country, and now it’s coming to Perth for the first time. Artists included in the launch announcement include The Doobie Brothers, Counting Crows and Jessica Mauboy.

While WA has previously enjoyed many of the acts featured in the east coast event via the Blues and Roots Festival, now the entire festival is making the trip across the Nullarbor. Bluesfest will have its first Western Australian outing on Saturday, 1st April 2023 at Nikola Estate in the Swan Valley.

This huge day of live music will feature four-time Grammy Award winners and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, The Doobie Brothers; much loved American rock band, Counting Crows; Australian singer, song-writer John Butler; multiple ARIA-Award winning R&B-pop artist Jessica Mauboy, globally recognised Michael Franti & Spearhead and declared by Rolling Stone to be “ one of the most exciting young guitarists in years”, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram.

Executive Chairman of Bluesfest, Peter Noble, who has joined forces with leading Perth-based music promoter, Brad Mellen, said he was excited about the new partnership.

“I am so excited to be bringing Australia’s leading music festival Bluesfest Byron Bay to Perth.  We’ll be bringing a sensational line-up of artists to the banks of the Swan River in the beautiful Swan Valley.  I see Perth Bluesfest becoming an absolute must see and do on the annual events calendar.”

For over five decades The Doobie Brothers have been playing their much-loved hits including What a Fool Believes, Listen to the Music and Long Train Runnin’. In 2021, the band kicked off their 50th anniversary tour which reunited Tom Johnston, Michael McDonald, Pat Simmons, and John McFee for 49 stops before concluding in 2022. Additionally, The Doobie Brothers released their autobiography, Long Train Runnin’.


Counting Crows have enchanted listeners worldwide for more than two decades. Fronted by vocalist Adam Duritz the band first made their mark in the early 1990’s with their hit Mr Jones, and returned to the charts with their cover of Joni Mitchell’s big Yellow Taxi. 

In 2004, Counting Crows recorded the chart-topping Accidently in Love for the animated motion picture Shrek 2. The instant success of the track earned them an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song, a Golden Globe nomination, and a Grammy nomination. Over their career the band have put out five albums of material and built up a loyal following of fans.



Fremantle’s John Buttler has had a massive career that’s taken him from busking to venues around the globe. His rich catalogue of iconic hits spanning over a quarter of a century include signature songs such as Zebra, Better Than, Ocean and more.

His career has included performing on some of the world’s most iconic stages, venues and festivals including Fuji Rock, Glastonbury, Coachella and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

Jessica Mauboy is one of the country’s most celebrated and loved entertainers.  Her impressive body of work includes 6 Top 10 Albums and 16 Top 20 Singles, over 200 million+ streams globally, 2 x ARIA Awards, 21 Platinum and 9 Gold accreditations, is the first indigenous Australian artist to debut at No. 1 on the ARIA Album Chart, multi-award winner including AACTA Award, APRA Award, Australian of the Year Award, MTV Europe Music Award, MTV Australia Music Award, not to mention her many TV roles including starring in ‘The Sapphires’, “Bran Nue Dae’ and The Voice Australia Coach 2021 and 2022.

Michael Franti first came to prominence as part of the hip-hop group the Disposable Heroes of Hiphopcracy, but he’s found greater success with the positive vibes of his outfit Spearhead. The band’s most recent album Follow Your Heart is their twelfth release.

Franti spoke to OUTinPerth back in 2015 where he shared the back story to his song Positive, one of the first songs about getting tested for HIV.  

Throughout his career Franti has always been a vocal advocate in the fight against HIV/AIDS whether it’s been through contributing to fundraising initiatives like the ‘Red Hot and Jazz’ project or sharing his own experiences.

“When I made the first Spearhead album, there was a song called ‘Positive’ on it.” he told OUTinPerth. “It was a song about getting tested for HIV and the first song that I wrote for it was more in the Disposable Heroes style, it was like ‘fuck the government, they’re not responding to this crisis that’s taking place in the world and I’m really pissed off about it.

“Then when I went to get tested for HIV myself, I realised that the emotion that I was feeling was not anger, it was fear. It was sadness and it was anxiety about thinking about all the people I had had unprotected sex with, could I have this virus?” Franti shared.

“So the song that I wrote took on a much different tone, and from that I realised that every issue that is in my heart I had different emotions attached to it and to express those is what really making music is about and that just making every song being about pumping my fist and raging against these things that are happening outside, but more about looking at what’s happening inside in me.

Franti notes that when he wrote about his experience of getting tested for HIV it was at a time when artists were just beginning to raise awareness through music.

“When I was writing that song ‘Positive’ it was at a time in San Fran Cisco where I had four friends of mine die in a six month period, of AIDS. And there were no songs about it. And certainly no one writing songs about testing.

“It was something that I felt a personal connection to and I think today, young people have grown up with an understanding of HIV and AIDS but maybe not a clear understanding of where it’s surfacing today. Maybe it is time for there to be more songs about it.” Franti said.

The final artist announced today is Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Since the release of Kingfish in 2019 his GRAMMY-nominated Alligator Records debut – guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone “Kingfish” Ingram has quickly become the defining Blues voice of his generation.

Upon its release, Kingfish debuted on the  on the Billboard Blues chart in the #1 position and remained on the chart for an astonishing 91 weeks.  In addition to receiving a Grammy Award nomination, it was declared the #1 Best Blues Album of 2019 by tastemaker UK music magazine MOJO.

Tickets to Perth Bluesfest – a huge day of live music, go on sale to the general public on Friday, 18 November at 10.00am.

OIP Staff

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