Thursday, April 20, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Music And Art In A Pocket Of Paradise

It takes something special for a music festival to last 27 years, and the organisers of Wintermoon Festival know they’re onto it.

Starting in 1996 as a small event hosted by the Mackay Folk Club, the festival returns to its home in Cameron’s Pocket over the May long weekend for its 27th iteration, welcoming patrons into its unique universe of folk, country, and world music.

“We were probably one of the first festivals in this area doing that kind of thing,” said organiser Patrick Burke, who has worked with the festival since 2000.

“We’ve always had some of the best festival acts from around Australia but as the festival’s grown bigger, we’ve been able to increase and improve on some of those artists and the quantity of those artists that otherwise wouldn’t be seen in this location.

“We have a particularly strong view about their ability to perform and to be great musicians, so we try and pick the best acts that we can from around the country.”

Fostering a unique, welcoming, and friendly environment, Wintermoon is proud to welcome new and emerging acts to their stage while those in the Wintermoon “family” often return regularly, with performers such as “Australia’s greatest bush band” the Bushwackers, the Ploughboys in their original form, Hillbilly Goats, Matt Tandy, Kate Mahood and Salt and Steel all returning in 2023.

The festival focusses on quality and patron experience, utilising a location that is hard to beat while partnering with the neighbouring Ballantyne’s Strawberry Farm for the first time.

“The location is absolutely stunning with the mountains and St Helen’s Creek and the way it’s nestled into that little pocket there at Cameron’s Pocket,” said Mr Burke.

“It’s a very family focussed festival, so we have grandparents and their children and their grandchildren and sometimes even great grandchildren who are coming.

“It’s just a lovely environment, people care for each other, they look out for each other, and it’s a very kind, family event.”

On top of a camping and music festival, Wintermoon offers the opportunity for families to connect, learn and grow together with interactive arts, music, poetry, songwriting, and circus workshops bringing people together.

“It’s lovely to have the joy of parents and children connecting away from screens and all those other distractions,” Mr Burke said.

“Mobile phones don’t work there and that creates its own lovely vibe.

“You’ve got all of these nice things happening if you want to get involved in them and some people don’t; some people just have a really nice campsite, enjoy the music and just relax.”

For more information and for tickets, visit or find Wintermoon Festival on Facebook.

WHAT: Wintermoon Festival

WHEN: Friday, April 28 to Monday, May 1

WHERE: Cameron’s Pocket


The Bushwackers are back for Wintermoon Festival 2023. Photo supplied

In other news