Article and Photos by contributing presenter - Dennis 'Salty' Trevarthen (Salty Dog's Blues N Roots Podcast)
John Butler - photo: Salty
Internationals Buddy Guy, The Doobie Brothers, Lucinda Williams, John Butler, Steve Earle, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, and locals Rod Paine, Russell Morris, Chain, and Ash Grunwald are all highly acclaimed artists in the blues genre, and their performances at the first Melbourne Bluesfest were outstanding.
These were only some of the acts that performed at the first Melbourne Bluesfest on April 7-8 2023, many transported from the iconic Easter fest held in Byron Bay.
It was reported that over 10,000 tickets were sold for the two day event held indoors at the Melbourne Convention Centre - a cavernous venue turned into a space for blues lovers and friends. The use of the fantastic Plenary Concert Hall worked a treat for the large crowds. And true to form, it rained and was cold in Melbourne so the comfort of the venue worked just fine for everyone.
According to social media, the punters loved it and are calling for a repeat event in 2024. There are high costs to put on such a quality event and we're all hoping the promoters got clear.
This was a great event for the extended Melbourne's blues crowd, with a great mix of styles and energy. The crowds were jumping and pressing the stages at all events, and in true Melbourne style, the food and wine was first class (and many sold out we hear!).
All hail Melbourne Bluesfest! - see you in 2024.
Dennis 'Salty' Trevarthen
President, Blues Music Victoria Inc
Blues N Roots Podcaster (since 2005)
Christone "Kingfish" Ingram - photo: Salty
Full list of acts for the inaugural Melbourne Bluesfest - April 7/8 2023
C.W. Stoneking with His Primitive Horn Orchestra
Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram
Eugene Hideaway Bridges
Geoff Achison & The Souldiggers
Karen Lee Andrews
Mahalia Barnes & The Soul Mates
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers 50th anniversary tour - photo: Salty
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