Bluesfest returns in 2021 with Patti Smith, Bon Iver and Jimmy Barnes

RETURNING: Patti Smith and her band will perform at Bluesfest in 2021.
RETURNING: Patti Smith and her band will perform at Bluesfest in 2021.

US indie-folk star Bon Iver, New York punk queen Patti Smith and Aussie pub rock legend Jimmy Barnes were the headline acts in Bluesfest's first announcement for their comeback 2021 edition.

For the first time in its 32-year history the Byron Bay festival was cancelled at Easter due to COVID-19.

Bluesfest director Peter Noble vowed to re-sign many of the artists from the aborted 2020 festival for 2021 and he lived up to his promise by retaining Smith, jazz great George Benson and Australian blues and roots powerhouse John Butler.

However, headliners such as Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews Band, Lenny Kravitz and Crowded House are yet to publicly recommit.

Other international acts to recommit include Jimmie Vaughan, John Mayall, Kool & The Gang, Morcheeba, The Gipsy Kings, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Walter Trout.

Trout has also rescheduled his Lizotte's sideshow for March 29, 2021.

The first announcement for Bluesfest 2021 was understandably heavy on Australian acts, given it's uncertain whether the borders will be open to international touring acts by next Easter, April 1-5.

Rising Australian soul band The Teskey Brothers and Weddings Parties Anything have also been added to the bill and join the likes of fellow Australian artists Xavier Rudd, The Cat Empire, Kasey Chambers and The Waifs.

This story Bluesfest unveils first artists for comeback 2021 edition first appeared on Newcastle Herald.