Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals will play their first major global performance of their reunion at Bluesfest 2015.
Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals will play their first major global performance of their reunion at Bluesfest 2015. Contributed

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals to reunite for Bluesfest

THE second lineup announcement for Bluesfest 2015 has sent waves of excitement through fans as it was revealed Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals will play their first major global performance of their reunion at the Byron Bay festival.

The team at Bluesfest had been teasing that the 2015 festival would see a major reunion of one of the world's biggest bands, and it certainly did not disappoint.

Ben Harper is a festival favourite, having first played Bluesfest in 1996 and has played at the event eight times now.

Also announced in today's announcement was  Paolo Nutini, David Gray, Ben Howard, Counting Crows, Gary Clark Jr, Angelique Kidjo, Jimmy Cliff, Mavis Staples, Dispatch, Ruthie Foster, The Beat, Keziah Jones, Sheppard and Playing for Change.

Festival Directer, Peter Noble, said he was very excited with the second lineup announcement

"Ben Harper, Paolo Nutini, David Gray and Ben Howard in the one Bluesfest announcement. What a line-up, each one of these artists is gold - purely brilliant in their own way," Mr Noble said.

"This is starting to shape into one of the great Bluesfest artist bills and we have plenty of artists still to go in future announcements."

"You join Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals with Bluesfest and it's a very special bond: it was way back in 1996 when the Festival broke the news that this band was important and in return, their huge success showed us (Bluesfest) the way forward to booking the style of event the festival is famous for today and one that has been copied all over the world."

"I am very honoured that Ben Harper chose the first major global performance of the Innocent Criminals Reunion to occur at Bluesfest."

"Bluesfest is their spiritual home and the last time the band performed officially was in 2007 and it was in 2008, when they decided to take a break."

"They did one impromptu unannounced performance - at Bluesfest in 2011 to the astonishment of their fans - who came expecting to see the Relentless 7. What an unexpected performance, it was pure magic."

"I remember that night in 2011 well: It was all so last minute, to a point where their percussionist bought a djembe drum from a busker in the street in Byron Bay- the home of Bluesfest- for the performance, as he hadn't brought one with him."

"It really was so special for everyone - the audience couldn't believe that they were seeing, perhaps the most influential band to EVER play Bluesfest, back on our stage unannounced and hearing the songs they love once again."

"I recall the band's celebrations in the dressing room, after their truly great show, going most of the night - they were all so thrilled to be back together again."

"What an honour that they chose Bluesfest to reunite and do their first official performance - save for a couple of warm up dates in a club in San Francisco."

"We have had so many magical moments at Bluesfest - this is surely going to be up there with the best."

Already announced previously to play at Bluesfest 2015 was: The Black Keys, Zac Brown Band, Alabama Shakes, Michael Franti & Spearhead, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Paul Kelly presents the Merri Soul Sessions featuring Dan Sultan, Kira Puru, & Vika And Linda Bull, Xavier Rudd and The United Nations, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Rebelution, Soja, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Beth Hart, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, Mariachi El Bronx, G. Love & Special Sauce, Pokey Lafarge, Band Of Skulls, and Rockwiz Live.

Bluesfest will be held Thursday, April 2 - Monday, April 6 2015 at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm.

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