Music fans flock to Caloundra Music Festival
  • Saturday 18 October 2008

A record crowd of 15,000 flocked to the Caloundra Music Festival over the weekend – triple the number who attended last year.

The crowd-pulling line-up including Pete Murray, Vanessa Amorosi, Ian Moss, The Whitlams, Lior, Jackson Jackson and Kate Miller-Heidke drew music lovers from across the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and interstate.

Festival Director Richie Eyles said the huge turn-out exceeded his wildest expectations, attracting three times the number of music fans who attended last year (5,200 in 2007).

“This year’s festival drew 9000 people to the ticketed venues on Friday and Sunday, and 6000 on Saturday,” he said.

“When you add in the 20,000 people, mostly families, who came to the free Festival Village area along the Kings Beach foreshore, it was a massive turn out.

“Even better, was seeing everyone so happy over the weekend – whether on the beach listening to the music, or doing the free workshops with their families, or at the ticketed events.”

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot said the huge crowds also gave a much-needed boost to local tourism operators.

“Not only did it provide magnificent entertainment for the people of the Sunshine Coast in a well controlled and safe environment, it also had a massive impact on the economy of Caloundra – you could barely get a room in town for the weekend,” he said.

Cr Abbot said most impressive of all was the Festival Village, which was run by volunteers for the benefit of community groups.

“I saw a juggler on Sunday afternoon performing in front of 1500 to 2000 people,” he said.

“To provide that level of free entertainment for those people who couldn’t afford tickets in this tough economic climate was just great to see.

“I can’t speak highly enough of those who took part in the Village, and the many Council volunteers and young people who worked tirelessly to make sure everyone had a good time.”

The high calibre line-up of performers at this year’s festival proved to be a winning formula.

It started on Friday night, when young music fans poured through the gates to see Jackson Jackson tear up the stage with their blend of psychedelic rock.

They were followed by Vanessa Amorosi, who belted out her new hits as well as old favourites including “Absolutely Everybody”, inviting children on stage to enjoy the song that closed the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.

Young fans were also picked from the audience to share the stage with iconic Aussie band The Whitlams, who performed a range of hits from their ‘best of’ album ‘Truth, Beauty & a Picture of You’.

The festival closed on a high note with the crowd singing along with legendary Aussie act Daryl Braithwaite as he performed his mega hit “The Horses”.

Other popular acts included New York jazz legend Roy Ayers and comedy trio Tripod.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Bob Abbot also performed at the festival with his band ‘The Blueocrats’.