Festival explodes into action
Airlie transformed by carnival atmosphere
THE fireworks exploded overhead, the night markets were a hive of activity, the beats boomed and people thronged to the Airlie Beach foreshore on Friday night for the eagerly anticipated opening of the 2015 Whitsunday Reef Festival.
Families wandered the entertainment area, with the younger kids heading for the rides and slides at sideshow alley and older ones making their way to the Main Street Stage.
As the smoke from the fireworks drifted into the night sky, top Australian DJ Joel Fletcher threw it down for a pumped-up audience, and the carnival atmosphere kept the party roaring long into the night.
“It was good, the kids were down,” Mr Fletcher said.
“They were up and about and getting around it, so it was good fun.
“I love Airlie Beach. I’ve been here maybe four or five times now... it’s a beautiful place with lovely people. It’s an all-round good joint.”
The 23-year-old DJ has had something of a meteoric rise, “playing house parties” since he was 14 years old and getting his first club residency just two years later.
“Ever since then it just keeps going up for me.
“I’m pretty humbled to do what I love and get paid for it.”
When asked what it was like playing Whitsunday Reef Festival after performing gigs at festivals like Stereosonic, Mr Fletcher said they were “two different vibes”.
“But I feel like more intimate gigs can be better than a big festival if you’ve got an intimate show with people going crazy compared to a big festival with people kind of standing there,” he explained.
Mr Fletcher said he enjoyed his time in Airlie Beach so much that he and his friends were already planning a return trip.
BIG BANG: Thousands of people turned out to the Airlie Beach foreshore to see the fireworks on Friday night.
Top Australian DJ Joel Fletcher brought the beats to the street on Friday night.