Thursday, October 12, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

The Wild Sky Secures Final Spot

Mackay mega-band, The Wild Sky, have secured the final spot in the Passport To Airlie competition and will now join eight other finalists from all over the country in opening the mainstage at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music next month.

Over 200 people came to watch the five finalists that had been selected out of 30 local acts to perform at the Passport To Airlie Mackay Finals on Sunday afternoon at the Metropolitan Hotel.

National Coordinator of the Passport To Airlie Competition, Cherrie Hughes, said the event was a spectacular display of local talent.

“There was a real mixture of ages and cultures supporting live music,” she said.

“Music is one of these universal things that brings people together.”

Natasha Hardiman, Mackay Passport To Airlie Coordinator, said that she was also thrilled with the turnout this year.

“The Wild Sky was this year’s undeniable winner, and we can’t wait to see how these boys go in the national finals!”

The Wild Sky will perform on the opening night of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music alongside seven other musical acts from around Australia, each one the winner of their respective and highly contested heats.

Gravy Train (Darwin), The Robert Cini Band (Cairns), Staremaster (Sunshine Coast), Funk Knuckle (Brisbane), Venus Fly Trap (Byron Bay), Avalanche (Newcastle) and Ally Row (Melbourne) each received a spot.

The Passport To Airlie final will be held on the main-stage in the big-top tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on Thursday, November 9 and the whole family are invited to come along and listen to these quality aspiring musicians perform.

At just $10 entry or free for three-day ticket holders, this event is open to under 18s as well and is a great way for local youth to experience festival vibes and immerse themselves in musical culture.

Each of the Passport To Airlie Finalists will also perform once a day at one of the 14 different venues around town, so there will be plenty of opportunities to see them live.

Tickets are selling fast to the Airlie Beach Festival of Music and, with leading acts such as Ian Moss, Ross Wilson, Frenzal Rhomb, Dragon, King Stingray and Billy Field, it’s easy to see why.

Attendees can choose between a single day ticket or a weekend pass and individual $10 tickets for the Passport To Airlie Finals.

With its idyllic waterfront setting in the grounds of the Whitsunday Sailing Club, and across the tropical township of Airlie Beach, there is no other music festival in Australia or globally quite like the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

From 5-star resorts to budget-friendly backpackers and camping at beautiful caravan parks, Airlie Beach has an accommodation option for everyone. Bookings during the four-day event are filling up quickly, so holidaymakers are strongly advised to book ASAP.

For more information or for tickets to the 2023 festival from November 9-12, visit, and follow @airliebeachfestivalofmusic on Facebook and Instagram.

WHAT: Passport To Airlie National Showcase Final

WHERE: Airlie Beach Festival of Music Main-stage

Whitsunday Sailing Club

WHEN: Thursday, November 9 from 6pm


WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club and 14 local venues

WHEN: 9 – 12 November


Natasha Hardiamn (Soulful Entertainment - Regional Host), Michael Peters (Bass Player The Wild Sky), Ronny Croker (Vox & Lead Guitar The Wild Sky) Evan Daly (Drums & Vox The Wild Sky), Cameron Smith (Judge), Josh Notting (Judge Swoon School Of Rock), Elly Hanlon 9Airlie Beach Festival of Music)

L-R Front Row

Daniel Farmer (Judge Whitsunday Anligcan School) and Lindsay Crowley (Judge)

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