Teaser for music festival restores confidence after cancelled Whitsunday Calling gig
BEAUTIFUL one day and perfectly rockin’ the next. This is the Whitsundays that organisers of the upcoming Airlie Beach Music Festival want to promote through their three-day event from November 8-10.
Festival promoter Gavin Butlin and local musician Kieran McCarthy have been dreaming of putting this event together for 25 years and on Sunday both men were part of a ‘teaser gig’ featuring local musicians on the November line-up and hosted by the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
Mr Butlin said bad publicity surrounding the separate Whitsunday Calling festival, which was cancelled on October 3 with less than 48 hours notice, had rubbed off on his event and he was keen to end any confusion and restore public confidence in the local music industry.
“Everyone knows now it was two separate festivals so let’s just get on with the Airlie Beach Music Festival – this one’s going ahead full steam,” he said.
With the Whitsundays’ famous 74 island theme translated into 74 bands playing at 16 different venues, the Airlie Beach Music Festival is expected to be a weekend of non-stop fun in the sun. Kasey Chambers, the Hoodoo Gurus, Diesel, Dragon and Mental as Anything are among the musicians who are booked to play.
Kasey Chambers said she was “so excited” to be heading up to Airlie Beach – one of her favourite places in the country.
“And with 73 other bands includ- ing my dad, who’ll be playing with us as well... we’re looking forward to it. We can’t wait,” she said.
Meanwhile, Whitsunday Tickets director Jan Martin said refunds for Whitsunday Calling were completed last Friday.
“I have personally sent a refund confirmation notification to each ticket holder via email over the last three days [and] we are pleased that we were able to complete this process ahead of schedule in just three days,” she said.
LEGENDARY guitarist Phil Emmanuel cannot wait for the Airlie Beach Music Festival from November 810.
Emmanuel and his band will play the festival’s closing set on the main stage at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on Sunday, November 10.
Among their repertoire will be songs from the latest album Chariots of Fire, which will also be available to buy at the gig.
“I’ll be playing a heck of a lot of stuff at the festival that people will never have heard before – it’s just going to be great,” He said.
As a solo artist, Phil Emmanuel is no stranger to Airlie Beach.
“I go up there and play at KC’s and it’s just fantastic, but this time I want to show the people of Airlie Beach and North Queensland what I really do,” he said.
Born in Dorrigo, NSW, Phil Emmanuel started playing guitar when he was about seven years old, eventually touring the nation with his brother Tommy as The Emmanuel Brothers.
Over the course of his musical career he has played with all the greats including musicians like Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana. One of his most memorable moments was playing a concert for Dire Straits and all of their production crew on the Brothers in Arms tour in the late ‘80s.
“Another highlight would have been playing the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000,” he said.
Having played at numerous festivals including the Tamworth Country Music Festival and Blues on Broadbeach, Emmanuel says what he is most looking forward to about the Airlie Beach Music Festival is the variety that 16 venues and 74 bands will bring.
“You’re not going to be standing in amongst 4050,000 people watching artist after artist on the same stage,” he said.
“You can see different acts in different situations and that’s just one of the things that’s going to be good about it.”
Three and two-day festival passes are available at a cost of $245 and $195 respectively, with day tickets also available for $115.
For more information about tickets, venues and a full line-up of the bands visit www.airliebeachmusicfestival.com.au or the festival’s Facebook page.
RESTORING CONFIDENCE: A teaser gig for the Airlie Beach Music Festival was held at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on Sunday, restoring confidence in the local music industry after the recent cancellation of Whitsunday Calling.
GUITAR LEGEND: Phil Emmanuel is one of the stars of the upcoming Airlie Beach Music Festival from November 8-10.