Blues on Broadbeach is without a doubt one of the city’s biggest cultural events. Taking over the parks, streets and venues of Broadbeach, the event has grown to attract international artists with serious street cred as well as some of Australia’s favourite acts.
The 2018 festival, which is the 17th annual event sees Blues on Broadbeach bring five international acts to the Gold Coast, to perform alongside a treasure trove of national and local talent from 17 – 20 May. With more than 161,000 visitors last year and an injection of $20 million into the local economy, 2018 is shaping up to be a cracker for blues fans.
Today’s announcement includes The Robert Cray Band (USA), The Screaming Jets, Backsliders, Lloyd Siegel, Jon Stevens (who’ll perform at The Star Gold Coast), Eilen Jewell (USA), Charlie A’Court (Canada) and Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds (USA).
For the first time, the festival is also partnering with Memphis Travel, resulting in Memphis blues outfit Southern Avenue making the trek to the event.
Gold Coast musicians Karl S Williams, Mason Rack Band, Benny D Williams and Hell and Whisky have also scored sets, with Blues Arcadia from Brisbane also scoring a berth. Some 20 Australian acts were included in today’s lineup announcement.
Leading the lineup announcement is Robert Cray – a five-time Grammy Award winner and Blues Hall of Famer who returns to Australia for Blues on Broadbeach for the first tie in more than a decade. No stranger to big stages and big crowds, the Cray Band was featured in concerts with artists like The Rolling Stones, BB King, Bonnie Raitt and John Lee Hooker in the 90s.
Kid Congo and The Pink Monkey Birds will also make the trek from the USA. The legendary Kid Congo – a founding member of The Gun Club and guitarist for legendary psycho-billy purveyors The Cramps as well as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – delivers garage blues punk swagger in spades. If fuzz guitars, New Orleans drum beats and bass lines dripping with soul sounds like your thing, then Kid Congo’s your man.
Mark Duckworth is the Festival Director for Blues on Broadbeach and is excited about the growth of Blues on Broadbeach in the international blues community.
“When we talk to international acts now, they know about Blues on Broadbeach, we don’t need to sell the concept of coming to the Gold Coast for a blues festival,” Mark told Blank Gold Coast.
“And so what that means, is that the calibre of our international acts grow as the festival grows.”
And of course, with that, comes increased opportunities for local acts – something Mark Duckworth is particularly passionate about.
“I will always aim to program a high proportion of local acts,” he said. “That’s really important to me both as Festival Director, but also as a Gold Coast musician.”
“People work hard here and they deserve to play an international bill and we love to celebrate that talent,” he said.
He also told us there’s a tonne of other acts to be announced, as you’d expect with more than 20 stages and venues to fill over the four-day event. But for now, you might want to make an i-cal note for May 2018.
Blues on Broadbeach 2018 lineup announcement
17 – 20 May 2018
THE ROBERT CRAY BAND (USA)
THE SCREAMING JETS
JON STEVENS (SPECIAL SHOW AT THE STAR GOLD COAST)
EILEN JEWELL (USA)
CHARLIE A’COURT (CAN)
SOUTHERN AVENUE (USA)
KID CONGO AND THE PINK MONKEY BIRDS (USA)
KARL. S. WILLIAMS
KAREN LEE ANDREWS
JUSTIN YAP BAND
MASON RACK BAND
PJ O’BRIEN BAND
CHRISTINA CROFTS BAND
BENNY D WILLIAMS
TITAN PAYNE AND THE BIG ZYDECO EXPRESS
JESSE VALACH PRESENTS BLUE MOUNTAIN
SUNNY COAST RUDE BOYS
HELL AND WHISKY