Santana headlines new blues festival

LEGENDARY US rock guitarist Carlos Santana will join some of international music’s biggest names at an Easter Blues and Roots festival in Deniliquin.

US stars Tony Joe White, Bonnie Raitt, The Steve Miller Band and Chris Isaak and Jamaican reggae icon Jimmy Cliff will also make the trek to the Deniliquin Ute Muster site to star on Easter Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31.

The site, five kilometres from Deniliquin, is best known for the annual Deni Ute Muster, the biggest event of its type in the world. The two-day event, a springtime homage to country and rock music and the Aussie ute, began in 1999.

Chugg Entertainment and Rob Potts Entertainment Edge will stage the event festival manager John Harvie describes as a fantastic coup for the region.

Michael Chugg and Rob Potts will work with the team behind the Deni Ute Muster — Deni Play on the Plains Festival Ltd — to stage the festival which will run at the same time as the long-running Bluesfest at Byron Bay.

Chugg Entertainment chief Matthew Lazarus-Hall said a Deniliquin festival would help both events.

“It’s all about complementing, not competing,” he said.

“That festival is totally aware of us creating the Deni Blues and Roots.

“It allows our festival to grow and Byron Bay to continue to be the absolutely amazing juggernaut of a festival that it is.”

Some acts, including Santana and Tony Joe White, will also play at Byron Bay.

Rob Potts said the venue had all the attributes needed for a successful festival — a great site, access to many people, world-class staging and infrastructure and a killer line-up of international and local talent.

Headline act, Grammy Award-winning Mexican-born guitarist Santana, rose to fame in the late 1960s and early 1970s with his pioneering rock, Latin and jazz fusion band Santana and hits including Evil Ways (1969) and Black Magic Woman (1970).

Mr Lazarus-Hall said the Easter break was the ideal time for the festival which he expected could attract 10,000 people from as far away as Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and across regional Victoria and NSW.

He said Deniliquin would be a bigger camping festival than Byron Bay’s Bluesfest.

“There is camping at Byron Bay but they’re limited by space but, at the Deni site, space is not the enemy.

“And I think, like any festival, this will grow to have its own culture.”

- Earlybird tickets through Ticketek will go on sale tomorrow with general sales from 9am on Monday, November 26. For ticket, camping and festival information go to denibluesfestival.com

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