Thursday, September 7, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Songwriter Festival Success!

International Artists Inspire At Special Event

The annual Whitsundays Songwriter Festival and Residency has concluded, following a massive success with a sold-out performance event at Paradiso on Saturday evening.

With headliners Mark Sholtez, Toni Childs, and Vika and Linda joining as the professional mentors, 11 aspiring songwriters engaged in a week of dedicated support and encouragement, producing music with their idols.

The culmination of the event was the Concert and Conversation showcase, held at Paradiso Restaurant on Saturday evening, where each aspiring songwriter was given the stage to perform an original song they’d developed over the week to a live audience.

Karen Jacobsen, Co-Founder of Whitsunday Songwriter Festival and Residency said the week helped aspiring songwriters develop their original music alongside professionals that have been involved in the industry for years.

“The mission of the festival is to create and support a new generation of songwriters, and make opportunities for regional Australia, that big cities have,” she explained.

“We bring these industry connections to the regions and create a thriving hub of music and song writing here in the Whitsundays.”

On the final evening, all the songwriters performed two songs together and two songs developed during the residency.

“Brand new music is always exciting, and these songs were quite raw,” said Karen.

“One celebrated music and the art of songwriting, the other was about heartbreak, the age-old topic for all.

“It was a wonderful evening and the audience was moved to tears.”

Karen explained that each artist on the residency created new music, with even the mentors writing new songs we can expect to hear in upcoming albums.

Vika Bull, Toni Childs, Karen Jacobsen, Mark Sholtez, Francesca de Valence, and Linda Bull. Photo credit: Bronte Hodge

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