LET THERE BE MUSIC: Huge crowds pack into one of the stages at a previous Bluesfest.
LET THERE BE MUSIC: Huge crowds pack into one of the stages at a previous Bluesfest. DAVID NIELSEN

House almost full

SANTANA, Rodriguez, The Break, Manu Chao and Wanda Jackson.

Five acts that might just be the reason Friday single-day tickets have already sold out for Bluesfest.

Festival director Peter Noble said the three-day passes for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Saturday, Sunday, Monday are looking to do the same soon.

Chris Isaak and Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite will get the festival started on the Thursday night while Robert Plant and Iggy and The Stooges are the big drawcards for Saturday.

The festival kicks off in less than two weeks and the buzz is already taking over town.

The busking competition starts today at the Byron Youth Centre for the grommet category while the general competition heats start at the Beach Hotel on Tuesday and continues through until Thursday.

The final is on Good Friday at the Beach Hotel, with the winner opening the APRA stage on Monday, April 1.

While last year's festival had its hick-ups - Roger Daltry pulling out was a sting - this year it has been nothing but shining light for the artists in the line-up.

The film based on Rodriguez, Searching For Sugarman, picked up an Academy award for best documentary, while three artists picked up a Grammy; Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Cliff and Zac Brown Band.

While the countdown is on for this year's festival, Mr Noble is already looking to the future.

"Next year we turn 25 so you can bet that it will be one hell of a party," he said.

At a glance

Bluesfest is on March 28, to April 1 at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm. For tickets and the full program head to bluesfest.com.au



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