Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
The Cruise Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef Festival is gearing up for success with another action-packed line-up that includes live entertainment, immersive experiences, street parades, fireworks, fairground rides and fun.
Due to be held from 3 to 6 August, the festival is an exciting, family-friendly fiesta that has become a cornerstone of the local events calendar.
Commencing at 6pm with a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony, the Friday night festivities include a traditional dance and whale story performance by Yooribaya Cultural Experiences, as the enchanting Immerse art installation in Fairy Tree Park is illuminated for the first time.
Afterwards, the Main Stage entertainment will kick off at 6:30pm with an electrifying showcase of the region’s top youth bands and performers, with the evening hosted by HitFM's Jacob ensuring a lively atmosphere.
At 8pm, all eyes will be on the sky for spectacular fireworks display over the Coral Sea.
Back on the Main Stage, get ready for a captivating performance by rock ‘n’ roll young gun, Reece Mastin, followed by dynamic duo Salt and Steel.
Entertainment will be spread along the foreshore on Friday night, with night markets and the Whitsunday FoodService Eat Street providing a delightful culinary experience.
The kids can also enjoy a screening of "Finding Nemo" on the movie screen starting from 6:00pm, where pop-up performers will be ready to surprise and delight.
Saturday promises a day of excitement and festivities with the Mackay and Whitsunday Life Saturday Street Fun event starting from 10:00 am with the Fraser Ford Car, Truck & Bike Show.
Main Street entertainment includes a showcase of Young Whitsundays Got Talent, the Miss Pinup Comp, mesmerising roaming performers, and exhilarating carnival rides for all ages.
Music enthusiasts can head to the Airlie Beach Hotel at 2:00 pm to enjoy the sounds of Classic Rock legends. Magnums gets in the festival spirit with an afternoon of games for the big kids and joining in the Street Parade fun with some big hair and big heels will be Drag Queens Shushu Funtanna and Scarlett Fever.
After the parade, the day will melt into night with a special performance "Call from the Deep" at 6pm from within the Immerse installation, featuring solo classical musicians and whale song, guided by renowned contemporary composer Corrina Bonshek.
Beats on the Beach will be where the party’s at on Saturday night with a stellar line-up of live music headlined by popular 7-piece reggae band Sun Salute.
Also playing the main stage are blues funk Mackay 3-piece The Wild Sky, local alt-rockers Flying Double Front Kick, and multi-instrument songstress Mish N Possible.
The VIP bar area will be available on Saturday night, providing an exclusive experience for guests. Magnums will have Aussie rock double-header, The Chats & Cosmic Psychos in the nightclub.
The entertainment extravaganza will continue on Sunday when the Fish D’Vine Bait to Plate lunch takes guests on an interactive culinary journey with Owner and Chef, Kevin Collins.
The afternoon winds down with Chill in the Park, acoustic vibes from 2:00pm to 6:00pm on the foreshore stage, the perfect end to a jam-packed weekend of excitement.
Reece Mastin will headline on Friday night. Photo supplied
Popular 7-piece reggae band Sun Salute will play Saturday night. Photo supplied
Everyone is invited to get involved in a range of immersive events. Photo supplied