While Bluesfest has already announced its 2020 lineup, the effects of the festival’s 30th anniversary are still being felt, with the iconic event being considered a huge asset to the NSW economy.

Back in April, Bluesfest held their 30th anniversary to widespread acclaim from every single attendee. However, while punters were undoubtedly amazed at the lineup on offer, economists were likely equally amazed at what the festival brings to the state.

“Nobody looks at Bluesfest and says, ‘Peter, you must be making millions’,” explained Festival Director Peter Noble OAM during a VIP party. “In the latest economic impact survey, we turn over $243.4 million for this state. Can I say that again? $243.4 million. Bluesfest alone.

“If you compare the live music industry – the contemporary live music industry – to the movie industry and people going out to movies, the music industry is bigger,” Noble continued. “But here’s the one you won’t believe until you see the data; we’re bigger than sport.”

Check out Vintage Trouble at Bluesfest 2019:


Now, with organisers and fans alike gearing up for next year’s event, the incredible success of Bluesfest’s 30th Anniversary has been documented in an Economic Impact report undertaken by Lawrence Consulting.

Commissioned by the Bluesfest Group, the report looks at the economic impact that the festival has had on the local and wider regions, noting an annual expenditure of approximately $18.4 million in 2018/19.

Pointing out that with attendance up over 13,000 in 2019, these same attendees brought over $35.5 million to the local Byron Shire Economy, $59.1 to the Northern Rivers and a total of over $83.4 million to NSW in 2019, with an 18.7% increase in customer expenditure.

Impressively, Bluesfest also hired more people across all areas in 2018/19 than years previous with 1,454.6 people hired in full-time positions.

“I’m thrilled to think that from its’ humble beginnings as the East Coast Blues Festival in 1990 at the Arts Factory (popularly called the Piggery due to it being an old pig slaughterhouse!), that Bluesfest is now such a critical contributor to the local economy in the tropical surrounds of Byron Bay,” Peter Noble explained of the report.

“Over the 30 years of its existence, Bluesfest has become a pinnacle event in the calendar of Australians and music fans overseas. I’m excited to see where the next 30 will bring us as a festival into the Byron. Northern Rivers, NSW and Australian economies.”

The 2020 edition of Bluesfest is set to take place from April 9th until April 13th at the Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay. With a massive lineup already on the cards, we could be looking at seeing a similar report this time next year.

Check out Bluesfest’s 2019 highlight reel:


Bluesfest 2020 First Artist Lineup

Dave Matthews Band
Crowded House
Patti Smith And Her Band
George Benson
Brandi Carlile
John Butler
Xavier Rudd
The Cat Empire
John Prine
Jenny Lewis
Frank Turner
John Mayall
Buffy Sainte-marie
The Marcus King Band
Walter Trout
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Greensky Bluegrass
Larkin Poe
The War & Treaty

Thursday, April 9th – Monday, April 13th, 2020
Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay, NSW
Tickets: Moshtix