‘BLUE ON BLUE’ Win­ners an­nounced

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE Air­lie Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val’s ‘Blue on Blue’ cover com­pe­ti­tion was de­cided on Sun­day at the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club.

A to­tal of 31 com­peti­tors from all over Aus­tralia were vy­ing for a $15,000 Whit­sun­day hol­i­day prize by sub­mit­ting their ver­sion of the iconic song, writ­ten by lo­cal mu­si­cian Kieran McCarthy

The 31 en­trants were whit­tled down to 10 by way of fan vot­ing on the mu­sic fes­ti­val’s Face­book page and the top ten were voted on by 28 judges be­hind closed doors on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Even­tu­ally it came down to a split decision and the com­pe­ti­tion was taken out by two lo­cal acts – Re­belquin and the com­bined ef­forts of Tony Fossey and Mark Ni­col.

Another lo­cal, 15-year-old Sam McCann, won the un­der-18 cat­e­gory of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Com­pe­ti­tion or­gan­iser An­drew Pat­tin­son said a packed house at the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club was treated to a pub­lic show­ing of the top ten ver­sions of the song and all were very well re­ceived.

“The crowd erupted once the win­ners were an­nounced as both ver­sions were crowd favourites,” he said.

Lead singer of Re­belquin, Sharon Van Den Berg, said it was “ab­so­lutely awe­some” to win.

“And it’s a great op­por­tu­nity for us to get our name out there, per­form­ing all my orig­i­nal stuff, fi­nally,” she said.

Mark Ni­col, who col­lab­o­rated with Tony Fossey, was equally over the moon.

“And I thought it was a big hon­our to be able to sing a song for Kieran and to have it played at a mu­sic fes­ti­val in the Whit­sun­days,” he said.

Kieran McCarthy said he was sim­i­larly “hon­oured and priv­i­leged” by the way the com­pe­ti­tion went.

“At least half of the en­tries were out­stand­ing and it was in­ter­est­ing to hear the song in dif­fer­ent gen­res,” he said.

The Blue on Blue cover com­pe­ti­tion was launched in March as a way of pro­mot­ing the Air­lie Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, the Whit­sun­day re­gion and the 25-year ca­reer of Kieran McCarthy.

Mr Pat­tin­son said he was “ab­so­lutely stoked” with the re­sponse and amazed at all the dif­fer­ent ver­sions the artists came up with.

“Each ver­sion was en­tirely dif­fer­ent from the next [and] it is such a beau­ti­ful song and so well writ­ten, I’m just glad that more peo­ple have heard it,” he said.

“Hope­fully some­one in Whit­sun­day tourism cir­cles has heard it too and uses it in an ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign.”

Photo by An­drew Pat­tin­son / Vampp Pho­tog­ra­phy

COM­PE­TI­TION CLI­MAX: Blue on Blue com­peti­ition win­ners Tony Fossey (far left) Sharon Van­den­berg, Tony Bur­bidge, Gor­don Sim­mons and Mark Ni­col (cen­tre), with Blue on Blue song­writer Kieran McCarthy (left) and Air­lie Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val pro­mo­tor Gavin But­lin (far right).

YOUNG TAL­ENT: 15-year-old lo­cal mu­si­cian Sam McCann won the un­der-18 cat­e­gory of the Air­lie Beach Mu­sic Fes­ti­val's Blue on Blue com­pe­ti­tion on Sun­day. Photo by An­drew Pat­tin­son / Vampp Pho­tog­ra­phy

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