Opening its doors for the first time in 1990 as a three day Blues music event on Easter weekend in Byron Bay, Bluesfest has grown solidly into one of the world’s leading contemporary music festivals. From a modest original crowd of 6,000, Bluesfest now attracts annual audiences of over 100,000 across the 5 days celebrating a premier cultural and social experience. Patrons range from locals who have grown up with Bluesfest, to international and first time visitors to the area, all of whom span a vast age demographic. Bluesfest’s history is parallel to Byron Bay’s evolution into the iconic destination it is today. In 2010 Bluesfest moved to its permanent home at the spectacular 120 hectare Tyagarah Tea Tree farm 11km north of Byron Bay, one of many milestones achieved in Bluesfest’s 25 year history.
In December 2004, Keven Oxford, a director and founder of the event, left the festival and sold his 50% share of the company to a consortium comprising Michael Chugg (managing director of Sydney-based Michael Chugg Entertainment), Daryl Herbert (CEO of Melbourne-based Definitive Events) and Glenn Wheatley (CEO of Melbourne-based Talentworks), who ran the festival with co-founder Peter Noble. Noble bought out the consortium in 2008 and now owns the festival alone.