Stars rockin’ Air­lie Beach

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THEY came, they saw and they rocked Air­lie Beach.

From pop to rock to reg­gae and blues, ev­ery genre but mod­ern dance mu­sic was cov­ered by the 74 bands and over 200 mu­si­cians play­ing the Air­lie Beach Fes­ti­val of Mu­sic over the week­end.

To say the town’s been pump­ing would be the prover­bial un­der­state­ment – it’s been a liv­ing, breath­ing “bo­hemian rhap­sody”, with live mu­sic re­ver­ber­at­ing from al­most ev­ery main street venue and plenty more on the fringes over the three and-a-half day event.

On the main stage in a big top tent out­side the Whit­sun­day Sail­ing Club, head­line acts like The Black Sor­rows, An­gry An­der­son and Wendy Matthews re­galed the crowds.

Black Sor­rows front man Joe Camil­leri brought his Agame to the stage on Fri­day night and Toni Childs scored a “crowd mo­ment” when she per­suaded the au­di­ence to sit on the ground and “tune in” with her on Satur­day. Al­though her set list of many un­known songs left those han­ker­ing for her great­est hits a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed, for those that stayed to the end it was an emo­tional way to wrap up the day.

The undis­puted fes­ti­val kings were 10cc, who lit­er­ally brought the house down with their fi­nale set in­clud­ing the iconic songs Rub­ber Bul­lets and Dreadlock Hol­i­day.

Fes­ti­val pro­moter Gavin “Butto” But­lin said the ex­act num­ber of ticket sales was yet to be con­firmed, but he es­ti­mated the crowd at about 2500 peo­ple over the week­end.

As for his per­sonal high­lights, “The Black Sor­rows were awe­some”, he said.

“And 10cc. I cried, I got goose bumps – it was amaz­ing. I couldn’t think of a bet­ter way to end the fes­ti­val – ev­ery sin­gle per­son in that tent was on their feet scream­ing.”

Mr But­lin thanked ev­ery­one in­volved in the fes­ti­val, from the spon­sors, to the vol­un­teers to the crowds. He also said he was very pleased with the way the crowds had be­haved.

“There was no dra­mas – the po­lice were stoked – not one per­son got in trou­ble from the fes­ti­val,” he said.

“All the mu­si­cians be­haved them­selves and I’ve had tonnes of feed­back from peo­ple say­ing it was the best fes­ti­val they’d ever been to – and that was peo­ple from all over Aus­tralia who want to see it back next year.”

10cc wows the crowd at the 2015 Air­lie Beach Fes­ti­val of Mu­sic.

MACKAY res­i­dent Phil Hughes and Mt Ju­lian man Ken Spruce were the lucky win­ners of two signed gui­tars at the Air­lie Beach Fes­ti­val of Mu­sic. They are pic­tured here with Kelly O’Con­nor and Rae­lene Wells, who set up the Pink Rib­bon Char­ity Fair in hon­our of her mother, who passed away from can­cer in 2012. The char­ity raised over $3000 at this year’s mu­sic fes­ti­val, join­ing a long list helped over the past three years by fes­ti­val pro­moter Gavin “Butto” But­lin.

Wendy Matthews singing her heart out.

Toni Childs en­thralls the crowd.

Phil Em­manuel turns up the heat.

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