The Ends: The beginning of an international movement

The Ends festival had guests from all over the globe. We spoke to multiple US visitors who said that Afrobeat festival doesnt exist as such in America, thus they over to the UK for the event. The show also hosted a number of Dutch concert goers on the Saturday show.
On Sunday, raggae lovers came down for their music man Damian Marley and showed up their anticipation for J.Balvin and representing reggaeton.
The festival has the potential to become a word wide attraction.

Bluesfest's 30 year anniversary draws over 105K, among its biggest ever crowds!

This year’s  Byron Bay drew over 105,000 punters to its 30th-anniversary bash over five days.
That puts it among one of its biggest crowds, equalling that of the 2015 event.
It beat its 25th anniversary in 2014 of 104,526 and 2013 which reached 104,244.
The highest remains 115,000 when Bob Dylan headlined in 2011 and the event ran for a one-off six days.
With such crowd numbers, Bluesfest is on target to beat its economic impact last year, when it pumped $32.8 million into the Byron Shire, $54.6 million to the wider Northern Rivers region, and $73.7 million to NSW.
The event’s economic impact figures for 2019 will be officially released in a few months.
It will also be interesting to see if the festival continued its trend of drawing more younger audiences.
The average age was 45.4 last year, and 52.1 in 2017.
The crowd is traditionally 58% female and 42% male.

150 performances from 88 artists
Over 2000 staff to run the event, aided by over 900 volunteers
4 kms of fencing on site
21 days to build the festival site
2 tonnes of organic waste collected post festival and used to feed pigs and chickens locally
2.5 tonnes of vegetables consumed by artists and staff alone!
912kg of meat eaten in the crew and artist catering this weekend!
Over 600kg of avocados sold at the Avocado Hut on site.
1 tonne of fresh produce (7 herbs and 16 veggies!) used by Pink Lotus
1 man’s weight (75kg) in sauerkraut used at Sauerkraut Sisters

Aside from The Veronicas joining Kasey Chambers onstage, as already reported in TMN, the audience was delighted when:
Ben Harper was joined by Kasey Chambers and Jack Johnson.
Gary Clark Jr. brought on Lukas Nelson and Marcus King..
Chambers’ other guests included Ben Harper, The War & Treaty and Tommy Emmanuel.
Mavis Staples and Ben Harper were a crushing couple during a spectacular Saturday afternoon set.
Lukas Nelson invited Leesa from Hussy Hicks for their rendition of ‘Shallow’.
Yothu Yindi & the Treaty Project swelled their ranks with Deline Briscoe, Emma Donovan, Baker Boy, Mojo Juju and indigenous dancers including Rako and Malu Kiai Mura Buai on stage with them for their Bluesfest performances.
Jack Johnson’s Sunday night headliner set was spiced up with Lukas Nelson, Gary Clark Jr. and Paula Fuga.
George Clinton ft. Parliament Funkadelic brought up Little Steven.
Colin Hay was joined by Chris Tamwoy.
Melbourne Ska Orchestra got Allen Stone’s drummer, Jason Holt up for a solo.
RozkWiz brought on Casey Donovan and Ian Moss.

Bluesfest director Peter Noble was particularly excited that new acts who made their presence felt included Deva Mahal, Larkin Poe, the Marcus King Band, I’m With Her, Ray LaMontagne, Anderson East “as well as Jack White with his band the Saboteurs, the incredible Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf and so many more delighted our audience.
“But I would like to take a moment to hail Melody Angel who is emerging as a bonafide star at Bluesfest and we expect to see major things for her, just like Lukas Nelson.”

The Bluesfest team stated: “As always, the (indigenous)  Boomerang festival precinct was the heart and soul of Bluesfest and home to dozens of inspiring performances from artists including Archie Roach, Yothu Yindi & the Treaty Project, Dallas Woods, Benny Walker and many others.
“Not forgetting Baker Boy who drew crowds in their thousands to his performance on Friday afternoon.
“It ended on Sunday afternoon with a powerful Closing Ceremony with artists from across the festival coming together to perform dances, chants and traditional calls form the nations represented to celebrate the beauty and sacred power of First Nations people from Australia and across the world.”
Festival director, Rhoda Roberts said “Boomerang had a spirit this year that resonated across the Bluesfest site, from the eclectic line up of First Nations music, to the dance, story and workshops.
“There truly was something for everyone”.

Contributing Editor

Get ready for the RnB party of the year!


RNB Fridays Live – aka the party of the year – is BACK! Illusive Presents, Frontier Touring and Hit Network have raised the bar once again in 2018, bringing to the stage the biggest line-up to date and off-the-chart production to match: we’re talking A-class lighting effects, mammoth sound, tremendous LED video screens and enough pyro that you’d better pack sunscreen.

Landing in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney for one night only, the series moves into its biggest venues yet to house the inevitable demand. Melbourne scales all the way up to Etihad Stadium, Sydney relocates to Spotless Stadium and Adelaide moves to the famous Showgrounds, with Brisbane and Perth remaining at their existing outdoor venues. These venues will be transformed into the biggest parties each city has ever seen, with over seven glorious hours of live performances. Yep, this year is serious.

RNB Fridays Live is your one and only chance to catch these massive acts on stage in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney – get amongst it!

Tickets start from only $109.90 with Gold, Premium and Platinum options available. Superfans – get in quick for Platinum tickets to be one of 20 lucky winners for a Meet & Greet with USHER!

Don’t miss your only chance to watch these stars perform all their hits live all on the one stage. If the first two years of RNB Fridays Live is anything to go by, you’ll want to snap up your tickets up ASAP or you’ll be following the biggest party of the year via your Instagram feed.

With tickets quickly vanishing in previous years, fans are advised NOT to be fashionably late to this party – the countdown starts now, get in quick!

To tide you over until the party starts this November, listen to the epic line-up in playlist form here.

For all event information, head to RNB Fridays Live website or Facebook page


Drake drops 'In my Feelings' video

Drake finally released the video to his ‘In my feelings’ track, and it lived up to the expectation of a genius vid. Sparking a social media challenge started by started by a comedian called ‘Shiggy’, this track has gone viral worldwide! Enjoy!

Ciara 'Levels Up'! dropping first track since 2015

Ciara fans are relieved she has finally made her come back with on fire track “Level Up’. The video features the ReQuest Dance Crew and choreography by Parris Goebel, who also choreographed Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” video.
Over the last few months, Ciara frequently hashtagged level up, subtly introducing the theme to her followers. Level Up, according to the Urban Dictionary means to To make a move in your life or career for the better.
Ciara’s lyrics in the fisrt verse include,
“Them old mistakes are gone, I won’t do them no more
That’s old news, there’s new news, I done did that before
I turned nothing to something, my comeback on one hunnid
Less talking, more action, you just gon’ CiCi coming
I just keep elevating, no losses, just upgrading
My lessons, made blessings, I turned that into money
Thank God I never settled, this view is so much better
I’m chilling, I’m winning, like on another level”
Ciara demonstrates she is taking things to “another level.”
Without delay, check out the hot new video here:


Shakira's signature hip shaking during El Dorado world tour

Yesterday, Shakira completed her London show and thanked her fans, for making her feel at home. Prior to, she performed at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on Saturday where she announced from the stage that for the first time ever, her two children were present to see a show from their mamma.
In another heartfelt moment, Shakira shared how she doubted she’d ever sing in concert in Amsterdam again, but said miracles do happen!
Kicking off her concert with high energy, Shak performed her signature moves, taking up the guitar, drums, and keys across a broad menu of genres, from pop rock to reggaeton and world music fusion.
Slipping into a belly dancing costume, Shakira’s genre diversity is evidently unique.  I mean, what other mainstream artist offers a belly dance during their show?

Halsey pulls off 2hr show despite tough time, after Kehlani sets the tone

Last friday evening, Brisbane’s Riverstage was for the first time, graced by the soulful and flawless vocals of worldwide neo-R&B sensation, Kehlani. She took to the stage to a tremendously loud vocal reception from Brisbane crowds, who were eager to see her, many, for the first time.
Kehlani had completed her first Australian tour last year, “Sweet, Sexy Savage”, in Brisbane, to a slightly smaller, albeit perhaps more fanatic crowd in August last year.
This time she greeted the fans with her trademark, 90s R&B reminiscent sound, comprised of her DJ (DJ Noodles), drummer and multi-keyboardist – together being more than enough to create that edgy new wave soul, with a dash of epic gospel chops – all the while letting her voice sail effortlessly over it all, with her impressive range. She brings the goods to the stage, and is absolutely not just a recording artist – she is a gun vocal performer.
Kehlani punched out a hefty set, that included some of her catchier, heavily rotated tracks, like “Undercover”, “CRZY” and the hit from Suicide Squad; “Gangsta”. The Brisbanite tweens were supremely wowed by her energetic performance, and were even treated to her cover of smooth 90s joint “I’m So Into You” by Tamia – this brought the love in the arena, up a notch – cellphones with torches on, held high.
She is not only a consummate artist, but she really gives it all to her audiences; stopping to preach love, respect for others, and her positive personal philosophies as much as time allows. She gave a marvelous performance to Brisbane. Definitely a remarkable artist, worth following.
Following Kehlani’s performabce, the grammy nominated singer ‘Halsey’ real name “Ashley Nicolette Frangipane” was unsure she could pull the show off the night before, showing up to the venue 40 mins before with a high fever.
Despite having a tough time, the 23 year old said via twitter “Your energy carried me through and my emotions were really intense. The room felt electric. You can count on me, and I’ll count on you. My love”
Halsey performed most of her recent album and hits including an acoustic version of her collaboration with the Chainsmokers. She explained how it was the Launchpad of her career and hilariously explained how she was once in a taxi when the song came on and the driver said he was sick of it and turned it off because it played so much.
She spoke to the crowd on a number of occasions connecting with her fans, sharing various stories how the songs she wrote came about.
Towards the later part of the show she offered her fans to stay out all night long if that’s what they wanted. This is perhaps why her fans say she is unbeatable, relatable and love her style. The only downside was that there were no screens, and unless you were up front it was difficult to see her.
Given the intermediate realness she added to her performance, overall it was a successful night with a positive response. Halsey’s artistry is clearly dear to Brisbanites, and likewise she appreciated her fans support.
All in all, the combination of both artists drew out young aficionados and were extremely well received and adored.
–  Article By J. A. Vides & H.Dewald

Lauryn Hill, a little late but worth the wait

Following a long day at the Bluesfest festival at Byron Bay, with jelly legs and yawns, the last thing you would want to anticipate is to wait another half hour for the final artist to turn up on stage.
Measuring up to the expectation of “was it worth the wait and the money” will have to be a judgment only you can make, which may be determined by whether or not you’re a real fan.

To her defense, it’s not unusual for Lauryn and often other headlining artists to feature a pre-show DJ set for crowd engagement, for that length of time.
But some perceived her ‘lateness’ as ‘diva arrogance’, and question the consideration for her fans.
There was undoubtedly somewhat audio mis-comms with her band during her set, and the technicalities of those imperfections led her to turn back frequently and direct the band, whilst adjusting to her inner-ear piece.
She was clearly frustrated. Why, because Lauryn Hill is a musical perfectionist, why, because you paid a substantial amount of money to see her and she did not want to disappoint.
Technicalities may fail her, but her song choice had a deeper message beyond sole entertainment. Evidently, fans shared with us how her music influenced them not to end their lives, and, gave them the motivation to break out of depreciating situations.

Looking trendy in her red trucker cap, she gave a revitalised version of her hit songs ‘Ready or Not’, ‘Killing me softly’, and ‘That Thing’, then toned it down with some serenading ballads such as ‘To Zion’ and ‘Ex-Factor’ interspersed with complimenting backing vocals, amongst many more.
In regards to the confusion of the geographical location “Brisbane are you ready”, rather than the 150km further out Byron Bay location of the Bluesfest, it was an unfortunate mishap which when she corrected it, the crowd went into a roar of concurrence, which hopefully has now been fully forgiven.
To any disappointment, if you were expecting backing dancers or a more commercial set, then that’s not the Lauryn Hill we’ve ever known. She still remains in the high caliber of artists in the RnB/neo soul genre and overall delivered outstanding vocals, and performance.
Nevertheless, if you do not agree, her authenticity did not lack, when embracing the moment and overlooking the minor technical flaws, we can appreciate the type of artist she is.
If this was the last concert she ever gave, it sure was a privilege to have been there.

Seven-piece K-Pop boy band Monsta X release "Jealousy"

The seven-piece K-Pop boy band Monsta X released their new track “Jealousy” just hours ago and it already has almost 1.5 million views, and, reached the number one spot on the itunes K-Pop charts.
The hit song was composed and arranged by Harry Somerdahl, Shane Simmons (The Hit Music Factory), and Hayden Bell. The Korean lyrics were written by Seo Ji Woong, Jooheon, and I.M, and is a track on MONSTAX’ upcoming album ‘The Connect’.
MONSTA X’ ‘The Connect’ album also dropped on March 26.

Bluesfest: Tash Sultana adds another performance plus four original Wailers to make historic appearance at festival

Bluesfest is thrilled to announce Australia’s most popular contemporary artist, the incredible Tash Sultana will close their main stage on Thursday March 29. She joins Gomez, The Original Blues Brothers Band, Leon Bridges, Jason Isbell, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and many more in what is one of the most impressive opening days the festival has seen.
Bluesfest is pleased to be giving Tash’s many fans another opportunity to witness this amazing artist. Her highly anticipated appearance on Easter Sunday is expected to sell out on the day, if not before. Other acts rocking Byron Bay on Sunday 1 April include Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, John Butler Trio, First Aid Kit, Ziggy Alberts, Seal, José González and more; it is easy to understand why it is such a hot ticket for the festival.
Friday is also close to a sell out at Bluesfest 2018, with Robert Plant playing and an exclusive performance from Ms. Lauryn Hill it’s a night not to be missed for music lovers. Despite rumours there is a tour to be announced, Bluesfest assures Ms. Hill’s fans that this is an exclusive appearance, and there will not be any other performance in Australia scheduled for 2018.
In news that will make Reggae fans very happy, Bluesfest is proud to announce that four original members of The Wailers will be playing each night at the festival this Easter. These men worked and created music with Bob Marley and continue to honour his legacy through music. Bluesfest will be an historic event – this many original Wailers have not played together since the early 1990s.
The band will be led by the legendary Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett on Bass. In addition to being one of The Wailers original members, he also worked on some of Marley’s most beloved albums including ‘Exodus’ (1977) and Confrontation (1983).
Family Man is joined by keyboardist Tyrone Downie who joined Bob Marley and The Wailers in the 70s. He’s also known for being the subject of Grace Jones’ song My Jamaican Guy. Guitarists Donald Kinsey and Junior Marvin who played with Marley throughout the 70s will also make the trip to Byron Bay this Easter.
Those in attendance at Bluesfest will hear the band members who made such timeless music with Bob Marley, as Family Man continues to fulfil the promise he made to Bob as one of his final wishes…to keep his music played live.
Bluesfest kicks off in just three weeks on Thursday March 29 at The Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just outside Byron Bay.
Festival and Camping tickets are now on sale through or by phoning the Bluesfest office on 02 6639 9800
For Media Enquiries please contact:
Bluesfest Publicist Gaynor Crawford
Office: 61 2 6685 9714
Mob: 61 409 250 510