Blues On Broadbeach Establishes Itself On The International Stage

May 27, 2024

Fat Freddy's Drop

23 years after its inception, Blues on Broadbeach has firmly established itself as one of the essential events on the international blues calendar, with the world’s finest rhythm and blues artists choosing to include the Gold Coast festival in their Australian touring schedules.

Over the past four days Blues on Broadbeach has hosted its most impressive lineup of US multi-Grammy winning and nominated artists yet, with the iconic Melissa Etheridge (US), blues troubadour Eric Bibb (US), Ana PopovićSamantha Fish & Jesse Dayton (US), Jon Cleary & The Absolute Monster Gentlemen and Memphis legends Hi Rhythm Section with Boo Mitchell. From across the Tasman, New Zealanders Li’l Chuck and the One Man Skiffle Machine and Fat Freddy’s Drop added their own unique spin on the blues.

Festival Director Mark Duckworth said it was the biggest lineup of international artists that Blues on Broadbeach had seen in its 23-year history.

“Our strategy for the past ten years has been to attract more and more international acts to the festival and that has put us on the map globally, allowing us to become a welcome stop for international touring artists of the likes of Melissa Etheridge,” said Mark.

“This year we welcomed outstanding artists from all over the USA and New Zealand; Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton, Ana Popović, Jon Cleary, Eric Bibb, Hi Rhythm Section, Fat Freddy’s Drop and the list goes on!”

The local and national contingent of rhythm and blues artists proved themselves more than equal to the task. The festival’s 16 stages played host to Gold Coast favourite Karl S WilliamsMitch GraingerDana Gehrman, 8 Ball AitkenHussy HicksDallas FrascaChase The Sun and Buddy Knox among the too many to mention local acts performing in front of the enthusiastic crowds.

Australia’s most awarded blues man Lloyd Speigel said: “This festival feels like home to me. It’s fantastic to see such great international artists, but for me, Blues on Broadbeach is the festival where Australian blues players get to play on the big stage.”

For the international artists, performing at Blues on Broadbeach feels like a home away from home.

Samantha Fish (US) agreed: “It’s so exciting to see other musicians right here on the Gold Coast from back home in USA.  Last night I ran into my friend Boo Mitchell and friends from Memphis.  We live close to each other back home but have come half way across the world to play right here at Blues on Broadbeach. It’s great fun”.

The packed venues, restaurants extending into the streets and parks all across the precinct were testament to the ongoing popularity of the annual blues celebration. This year’s festival saw huge crowds that are expected to top 150,000 music fans, generating an estimated economic injection of more than $20 million into the city.

Local venue Den Devine was packed to the brim throughout the entire event with owner Daniel Eagles saying it was “absolutely brilliant!” Cafes, bars and restaurants across the precinct were also at capacity.

In a very special first for Blues on Broadbeach, New Zealand music royalty Fat Freddy’s Drop took to the Kurrawa Park Sunday Ticket stage on a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon for their only Australian show for 2024.

Fat Freddy’s Drop were joined by local favourites Tijuana Cartel and Sydney’s BOOMCHILD, highlighting once again the calibre of Australia’s own rhythm and blues artists who share the bill with the world’s best.

Ana Popović (US) summed up her experience by saying: “It felt fantastic to play for the Australian audience again after such a long time. Rain didn’t scare them, and we had a phenomenal show, the audience were totally into it. Now I’m ready for the Australian tour. Thank you, Blues on Broadbeach.”

Blues on Broadbeach 2024 wraps after an incredibly successful festival with thanks to our Sponsor Family – City of Gold Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland, Gold Coast Airport, Memphis Tourism, the Yugambeh Region Aboriginal Corporation Alliance (YRACA), Clean Vibes, EVENTelec, Griffith University, Triple M Gold, Rolling Stone Magazine and our charity partner Queensland Cancer Council.

Blues on Broadbeach is produced by Experience Gold Coast and supported by the Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland.

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