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Your Ultimate Guide to the Bluesfest Long Weekend, Byron Bay

The Bluesfest is returning to Byron Bay for yet another year this long weekend, and we've got the ultimate insider guide to help you make the most of it. Here's the lowdown on who to catch on stage, where to stay, the best places to be and when, top-notch dining spots, and more. Get ready to soak up the festival vibes like a pro!


@thesunseekerbyronbay

Where to stay


Arrive in Byron Bay and check into The Sun Seeker Byron Bay. A classic beach motel converted into an urban boutique spot, The Sun Seeker boasts vibrant, Californian-style rooms, bikes to borrow to bop around town and surf boards to hit the local beaches. Additionally, the motel features a laid-back poolside area perfect for enjoying refreshing drinks and small bites from the cabana.


Pro tip: Stay in the Sun Seeker Bungalows for your own exclusive oasis complete with a private deck, BBQ, garden, and outdoor bath. Nestled close to Byron’s stunning Tallow beach, less than a 5-minute drive from the town center.

@thesunseekerbyronbay

Getting to the Bluesfest


Getting to the Bluesfest grounds from Byron is actually super easy (in theory). Tyagarah will be the spot for Bluesfest 2023, and it's only 10 kilometers away from Byron Bay - a mere 15-minute bus ride and that’s why it’s great to stay locally.


Blanch Bus Service, the town's bus operator, will run a frequent shuttle service between Byron Bay and the festival grounds every day for the duration of the Bluesfest. Of course, you could opt for Uber, but with the place packed to the brim during this busy period, prices are likely to to be steep not to mention it can be tricky getting a hold of ubers at peak times.


Alternatively you can park onsite but you will have to purchase festival parking tickets that are pretty pricey, plus driving means torture lines when leaving, and who wants to deal with that after a fun night. We suggest booking a seat on the shuttle as it's the most reliable and stressfree way to travel to and from the festival.

@tashsultanaofficial

Who to See


Bluesfest has really outdone themselves this year with an epic lineup of both local and international artists and bands headlining. Tash Sultana, Gang of youths, Counting Crows, and The Angels are just a few of the amazing acts you can expect to see. With such an insane lineup it’s best to plan out your days in advance to make sure you catch all your favs, there's nothing worse than missing a gig you were really looking forward to just because you haven't scheduled your time properly!


We know it's tough to figure out who's playing and when, so we've got your back with a 5-day must-see list. It's got all the deets you need like locations and times, so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the festival vibe without missing a beat!


Check Out Our Picks…

Day 1: Thursday 6th

Nikki Hill3:30 - 4:30pm, playing @ Crossroads stage The Angels7:30-8:30pm, playing @ Crossroads stage Beth Hart9:00-10:00pm, playing @ Crossroads stage Black Sorrows9:30-10:45pm, playing @ Delta stage

Day 2: Friday 7th

Day 3: Saturday 8th

Day 4: Sunday 9th

Day 5: Monday 10th

Check out the festival map for details on where each stage is located and how far so you can map out your time easily!


Head to to the official Bluesfest site for the full line up.


Eat & Drink at the Bluesfest


As you move from one stage to another enjoying the music, you can indulge in a variety of festival cravings, with this year's event boasting an impressive array of stalls. From burgers to dumplings and gelato, you're sure to find something that satisfies your taste buds.


The renowned Mr. Pulled will be there, serving up their slow-cooked meats alongside local favorite, La French Crepes from Byron Bay. Meanwhile, Stone & Wood, one of our favourite breweries, will be hosting their very own beer garden, providing a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a cold brew from their tinnie bar between sets.


And if you need a little pick-me-up for earlier acts, be sure to check out Little Nova for some of the best coffee and pastries around!


Shop at the Bluesfest


An ever exciting part of the Bluesfest experience is taking time to explore the eclectic mix of market traders, and charity stalls. There's something for everyone, from Byrons classic gypsy florals, intricate jewelry, and henna art, to leather goods, band t-shirts, and vintage treasures.


You can discover an abundance of Australian vintage wool felt hats at Fallen Broken Street, good ol' country cowgirl boots at Agave Blue, and captivating flower child threads at Fairtale, among many other incredible finds.


You'll also find charity stalls supporting local Byron-based initiatives, such as the Byron Youth Centre, as well as the Archer Roach Foundation, and Lifeline Direct - all great causes to get around!


If You Want to Cool Off Between Acts...


One of the perks of chilling in Byron for the entire Blues Fest is that you can do a lot more during those off-hours when bands you're not totally into are playing. Once you've figured out which gigs you want to catch and when they're happening, you can easily plan your day around it.


For instance, if there are a bunch of artists you're keen on seeing on Saturday night but not as much during the day, you can take it easy in the morning, grab some breakfast, hit the beach or shop in town, and then head back to your accom in the early afternoon to gear up for the night ahead before hitting the festival. This way, you get the perfect mix of festival fun and chill vacation vibes.


Byron is the ultimate beach town so if the suns out and the weathers warm it’s time to seize the day!


The Pass Beach, Byron Bay

First and Foremost, Let's Talk Beaches...


If surfing’s your thing The Pass is for you, great for beginners too, alternatively Wategos is one of Byrons most beautiful beaches and less crowded in the surf so if you're just after a tan and a swim that's your best bet. After something a little more wild? Head over to Tallow Beach, with a stunning four-mile stretch of white sand and hardly anyone around, it makes for the most peaceful beach walk with the opportunity for a dip to cool off at the end.


Speaking of cardio - If you're up for it you can walk off the hangover by hiking up to the Cape Byron Lighthouse. This walk is an absolute must-do when in Byron so if you’ve got some time we’d definitely recommend it! The trek takes up to an hour and a half return (depending on your hangover severity), beginning at The Pass it takes you on a stunning hike around to Wategos, and up to the lighthouse, offering an incredible view of Tallow Beach.


@zuluandzephyr Byron Store

Retail Therapy Is Next on the Agenda


Once you've had your fill of sun, it's time to hit up the shops! Insider secret - Byron has some hidden gems worth exploring a little further out of the main hub.


Check out the Centennial Circuit in the Industrial Warehouse District for a cluster of cool surf shops, locally-owned boutiques and vintage stores. Don't miss Yoli & Otis for uber-chic linen classics, St. Agni for stylish leather slides, Zulu & Zephyr for a beach-ready one-piece, or McTavish surf shop for trendy surfer tees.


In town, you can find the perfect floral beach dress at Spell & the Gypsy Collective or Kavari the label to complete your festival look!




Eat & Drink in Byron


Byron is a not only a hot-spot for amazing beaches, and trendy shopping but its also known for its incredible restaurants, cafes, eateries, pubs, bars you name it, its a small town but its got it all!


Enjoy late morning brunches at the Top Shop, a popular local hotspot known for its top-quality food and coffee, as well as its lively and welcoming atmosphere. Grab your brekkie burger, relax on one of the street-side cushions, sip a smoothie, and take in the morning sun with the locals.


After a bit of a bouji lunch? Stroll over to Wategos Beach for gorgeous feast at Rae’s on Wategos. Moreton Bay Bug linguine (aka lobster pasta) and a crisp glass of pale pink rosé is pretty much a perfect start to the weekend. Pro tip: It’s one of the most popular spots in town, so book in advance!


Looking for a Spot to Grab Some Drinks Before the Festival?


Look no further than Stone & Wood Brewery. This trendy, industrial indoor-outdoor brewery offers an extensive selection of craft beers on tap and a mouth-watering menu of pub-style food. Join in on the fun this weekend and take advantage of their 1-2 pm happy hour or hop on their free bus transfers to the Bluesfest between 3-6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This pit-stop is the perfect way to start your festival experience and hype up with your crew.


Head back into town for dinner at The Balcony to keep the good times rolling where mouth-watering vegan dishes and fresh local seafood are complemented with creative cocktails, and the best craft beers of the region. The Balcony boasts a laid-back, carefree atmosphere, resembling a "beach house" surf-splashed and sandy-footed by day and sunkissed and sparkling by night.


Post-dinner drinks are easy to find at any of the many local bars and pubs that will surely be hopping well into the night. The Byron Beach Hotel is a total hotspot and lots of fun, as well as The Rails if you're looking for a more laid-back and funky atmosphere that embodies the unique character of Byron Bay.


Cape Byron Lighthouse @escapebutton

With Our Insider Guide to Byron Bay & the Bluesfest, You'll Have Everything You Need to Make This Long Weekend Unforgettable...


Whether you're a seasoned festival-goer or a first-timer, our tips on which artists to see, how to get there, where to stay, and where to dine will help you navigate this exciting weekend with ease!


From the bustling atmosphere of the festival to the easy going vibe of the town, Byron Bay has something for everyone.


So grab your friends, your bikini, and your dancing shoes, and get ready to immerse yourself in the music, culture, and energy of this unique and vibrant community.


We hope our guide will help you make the most of your time in Byron Bay and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime!


WORDS | Lily Washburn





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