Whitsunday Region Entertainment News

“Kindness Is Free, Let’s Share It”

“Kindness Is Free, Let’s Share It”

Schools across the region celebrated b kinder day last Wednesday by spreading its message of love and empathy.

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Aussie Hip Hop Royalty To Tear The Roof Off At Magnums

Aussie Hip Hop Royalty To Tear The Roof Off At Magnums

One of the country’s biggest hip-hop groups is finally touching down in Airlie Beach to bring their electric energy and unmatched flow to the Whitsundays in celebration of their seventh studio album.

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A Picture Painted By You And There’s Alcohol Too

A Picture Painted By You And There’s Alcohol Too

Picture this: waves gently lapping against the rocks, palm fronds swaying along the shoreline in one of the most iconic locations in the Whitsundays, and you painting a masterpiece to hang above the mantle.

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Movie Review

Movie Review

Thor: Love And Thunder The world is in an eighties renaissance thanks to the vanguard of creatives born and raised in that long-ago time of hairspray and synth. The influence from that era of popular culture seeped into the 2010s and has become a permanent stain on the carpeting of our collective cultural unconscious.

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No Quarter: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience

June 30, 2022

The Pub’s bar-top stage will be a Stairway to Heaven for No Quarter, a tribute to the legacy of Led Zeppelin performing as the Airlie Beach Hotel’s first ever show by an internationally touring band.

The American group coming straight from Seattle are bringing their live concert to the little coastal town, smashing out famous riffs from Heartbreaker, Immigrant Song, Kashmir, and more for Whitsunday audiences.

Potentially the greatest band of all time will be recreated in painstaking detail by No Quarter in two afternoon shows at everyone’s favourite local on July 16 and 17.

Led Zeppelin IV

The word has spread; this Rock and Roll band from Over the Hill and Far Away have captured the characters of John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page, and infamous leading man Robert Plant.

They’re the real deal.

No Quarter are their own Led Zeppelin IV – they recapture the vigour and bring it back to fore as if the hard rock band were within touching distance, live on stage in their absolute prime.

Die Hard Zeppelin Fans and even the rockstars they’ve shared the stage with have sworn they were watching the real group live. Their show is a pounding, haunting experience where history comes alive, as if the original band have returned for once last gig.

Bryan Christiansen founded No Quarter back in 1998 – cementing a lifelong love affair with the band – and acts as the stand-in for Zeppelin’s stalwart guitarist, Jimmy Page.

On touching down in Australia, landing in Sydney, he was “dying to see the Great Barrier Reef” and the iconic landscapes in Australia that are “absolutely breathtaking”.

Born in the United Kingdom, Christiansen moved stateside to live in Tacoma, Washington, and fell in love with Led Zeppelin from the first time he listened to When The Levee Breaks.

“When I was a kid, my brother played Led Zeppelin albums and I didn’t know who they were. I heard the drums on When The Levee Breaks and it wasn’t until years later that I even connected that was Zeppelin,” he said.

“I picked up the guitar and started fiddling around and I was learning all the styles as a kid; there wasn’t a better idol to have than Jimmy Page growing up as a young guitarist. He’s always consistently in the top three greatest of all time.”

Christiansen has been a lifelong musician since those days, and eventually realised he wanted to continue the legacy for a band that has brought him so much joy. He formed No Quarter to create a real-to-life experience that only a Led Zeppelin show can provide.

It led him on a career to perform alongside incredible artists, strumming Stratocaster guitars last played by Jimmy Hendrix at Woodstock, and keeping Zeppelin alive in the best way possible: through their music.

“It’s hard to put into words. There’s a musical force, an energy that gets thrown out when you play like them. The audience throws back their own energy and you see in their eyes that they’re feeling what Led Zeppelin were like; that they’re right in front of them,” he said.

“We throw the energy back at them until the roof’s ready to blow up. There’s a magic to the music.”

In their performance at Airlie Beach Hotel, Christiansen said the show will be a special one for fans and for himself. The band will perform a first-ever, taking the audience through the entire iconic Led Zeppelin IV album from start to finish, just as Zeppelin played it, and just as he listened to it as a kid all those years ago.

“That extra set will be so special. We’re going to be stretched a little and I’m so excited for it – that album is mind-blowing – Stairway to Heaven, Levee Breaks, Black Dog – I can’t wait,” he said.

Christiansen ended the interview with an anecdote: Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones was signing autographs when he was approached by Chad McMurray, who plays the role of Jones for No Quarter.

McMurray presented Jones with a concert photo – an image from one of No Quarter’s legacy performances.

“That’s scary,” Jones said as he signed the concert photo and looked across the faces and likeness of each character: “As long as you’re doing it, means we don’t have to.”

Gonna Make You Sweat, Gonna Make You Groove

For over 15 years they’ve performed as No Quarter, pounding the Hammer of the Gods to Led Zeppelin fans across the US as well as internationally. Now, they’re arriving on the golden sands of the Whitsundays to bring the ocean of true Led Zeppelin fans a Whole Lotta Love.

The Black Dog barks in this authentic reproduction that goes far beyond any covering the legendary British supergroups tunes.

It’s no wonder they’ve performed alongside legendary artists like Peter Frampton, Foreigner, Molly Hatchet, Kansas, Steppenwolf, Nazareth, Tesla, Warrant, Jefferson Starship, Eric Burden and the Animals, Eddie Money, and many others.

They’re eerily close to watching one of rocks all-time great quartets in their glory days, and they’ll be arriving at the Airlie Beach Hotel for two free shows on Saturday July 16 and 17, from 2.00pm to 5.30pm both days.

Airlie Beach Hotel’s first ever internationally touring act is No Quarter, the real deal Led Zeppelin Legacy Band

They’ve performed for over 24 years, keeping the spirit of Zeppelin alive

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Time To Get Creative!

June 30, 2022

The third annual Whitsundays Arts Festival is fast approaching and creatives from across the region are putting the final touches on their entries to this years’ art prize which has a pool of over $11,000 up for grabs.

The Whitsundays Art Prize Exhibition opened in April and is due to close on Monday, August 1 and organisers are asking last-minute entrants to get in quick before submissions end.

This year’s theme is ‘Memories’ and is open to artists working with any 2D or 3D mediums aside from photography.

The art prize winners will be decided by guest judge Tracy Cooper-Lavery who is the Director, Gallery and Visual Arts at Home of the Arts Gold Coast (HOTA).

The major prize-winning artwork will be acquired into the Whitsundays Regional Council Art Collection and selected finalists will be exhibited at the Elbow Room at Coral Sea Marina for a week after judging.

Categories include Local Artist Award, 2D Works On Paper, 2D Painting, 3D Sculpture, Young Artist and People’s Choice.

Winners will be announced on Friday, September 23 and the Art Exhibition will be held at Coral Sea Resort until Friday, September 30.

This year, the festival is also opening up a competition to children - the 'Junior Whitsundays Art Exhibition,' is an opportunity for the budding artists, talented tots and creative kids aged 5-15 years to show-off their work.

There are prizes up to $200 so this is an unmissable chance to develop your child’s passion for creating.

To enter, simply head to whitsundayartsfestival.org.

What’s Happening This Year?

Handmade Markets

A popular favourite at the festival, these lively open-air markets held at Fairy Tree Park on the Airlie Beach Foreshore are vibrant affair with live music, colourful artwork and giftware. There is also an opportunity to network with a fascinating bunch of artists, designers and makers. Register on the website if you would like to become a stall holder.

Workshops

Offering an extensive range of workshops hosted by expert creatives, this engaging series of events are an excellent way to develop your skills and engage with others. The professional workshop series will be held from 17-24 September in the workshop space at Kipara Tropical Rainforest Retreat, and on 24-25 September at the Festival site in Fairy Tree Park.

WHAT: Whitsundays Arts Festival

WHEN: September 17-30

WHERE: Airlie Beach

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Community Parenting Sessions – Genius!

June 30, 2022

Parenting can often be an isolating experience where you feel like you are constantly making mistakes when navigating the sleepless nights, tantrums and mealtime mishaps involved with raising a young child.

Genius Childcare in Cannonvale understand this implicitly which is why they’ve decided to launch a series of community parenting sessions designed to bring parents together in an informal setting to share knowledge and learn tips and tricks from facilitator Jen Frisby-Young.

“It’s all about empowering children without losing your mind!” said Centre Manager, Bec Schultz.

“We are promoting parent self-care and tackling the hot topics like toileting, sleep habits and more.”

Each session will have a different theme and tea, coffee and snacks will create a sociable atmosphere for all to enjoy.

Facilitator Jen Frisby-Young is a qualified neuro-linguistic Programmer who meticulously researches each topic so she can impart as much knowledge as possible.

“I’ve found that there is a large need in the community for connection and support,” said Jen.

“These events are open to everyone in the community – they are a great way to meet-up and form friendships.”

Genius Childcare is an innovative and holistic early years education centre for preschool-aged children offering state-of-art, purpose-built childcare facilities, a diverse and thoughtful curriculum, and passionate, highly skilled educators to lead the way.

The Curriculum is based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and has a strong emphasis on play-based learning, recognising the importance of communication, language, social and emotional development.

Join Jen and Bec at the next parent’s information evening.

WHAT: Community Parenting Session

WHEN: 1st Tuesday of every month – 5pm-6pm

WHERE: Genius Childcare in Cannonvale

Centre Manager Bec Schultz and Facilitator Jen Frisby-Young are here to support and connect with local parents

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Prossie Book Bonanza Coming Soon!

June 23, 2022

Whether you are looking for some historical non-fiction or a little love and romance, some new recipes to bring into the kitchen or some magazines to keep you entertained – the Book Bonanza will have you covered.

There are thousands of books on display and avid readers from across the region are invited to browse for bargains, select a special book and breathe new life into old treasures.

The first Book Bonanza that sold pre-loved books and magazines was held in St Catherine’s Hall over a weekend in 1996, with the aim of raising funds to build the new Museum.

This was achieved in 2001 and the event has since become so popular that it extends over an eight-day period.

These days the Book Bonanza is held on the foyer of the museum at 198 main street.

“The mezzanine floor is groaning with the weight of books,” said Ailsa Reinke from Proserpine Museum.

“The response from a generous public has been better than ever and prices are very reasonable!”

In addition to books and magazines, there will also be puzzles, bric-a-brac, CD’s, records, DVD’s, lots of fabric remnants and plants for sale this year.

There will also be Trash and Treasure stalls and raffle draws during event with all proceeds going back into the local community towards maintenance of the present building and a future extension of the museum.

The Book Bonanza takes place from 9pm to 4pm Saturday, July 2 to Friday, July 8 and from 9am to 12pm on Saturday, July 9.

Customers are asked to bring their own bags and boxes so they can stock-up on some good reads for the year ahead.

WHAT: Book Bonanza

WHEN: July 2-8

WHERE: Proserpine Museum

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F45 Official Opening This Saturday

June 23, 2022

The fitness craze that everyone is talking about in Airlie Beach has its official opening day this Saturday and the whole community are invited to come down to F45 Functional Training.

Combining cardio, strength, mobility and agility into a unique 45-minute workout, extending to one hour on Saturdays, with 36 other members in a controlled and supervised setting, F45 is different to any other workout you’ve tried.

Head down to 13 Waterson Way tomorrow morning between 6am and 11am to watch a class in action and meet the team.

Coral Sea Resort resident DJ, Nina Sinclair, will be playing live from 6am to 9.30am and there will be giveaways, with two three-month memberships up for grabs and lucky door prizes worth approximately $1500.

During the event there will also be free supplement sampling so you can discover the tastiest accompaniments to your fitness regime.

“We are celebrating a successful first week as a studio and opening our doors to everyone,” said F45 owner Sonny Ivanovic.

“Come on down and check it out!”

F45 is more than a place to work out, it is a community and a culture, a place to make friends and a place to belong.

The special foundation membership offer, which includes a two week trial, ends on Saturday so make sure you get in quick if you would like to get involved.

WHAT: F45 Official Opening Day

WHEN: 6am – 11am, June 25

WHERE: 13 Waterson Way

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Gymnast And Ninja Holiday Camps

June 23, 2022

Whitsunday PCYC are hosting a range of exciting school holiday camps over the next few weeks open to those looking to fine-tune their skills as well as those who want to experience a class for the first time.

With its extensive range of gymnastic equipment and its popular ninja course, the Whitsunday PCYC has one of the best facilities in our region.

This is matched with a highly skilled gymnastic team who can offer professional training tips and advice on all levels and abilities.

On Wednesday, July 6, newcomers are invited to a free 60-minute trial in Gymnastics and Ninja so they can experience the course and possibly discover a new passion.

This is an extremely popular event so families are advised they must book ahead.

Throughout the school holidays Under 5’s playtime sessions will continue to run on Wednesday and Friday morning from 9am to 10:45am and community group play for older kids runs on Fridays between 11:45am to 12:45pm.

“The PCYC team can’t wait to welcome both new and old faces to the club for some school holiday fun,” said Sergeant Billy Li from Whitsunday PCYC.

Camps and trials must be pre-booked and paid due to limited spots available please contact the office on 07 4948 1144 or email whitsunday@pcyc.org.au for further information or to book.

Holiday Camps

June 27-30

Gymnastics Monday and Thursday 10am-12pm

Ninja Monday and Thursday 12pm- 2pm

July 4-7

Gymnastics Monday and Thursday 10am-12pm

Ninja Monday and Thursday 12pm- 2pm

Find your inner-gymnast these school holidays

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Year 12’s Shine At Prom Time

June 23, 2022

The first prom of the senior year took place at Coral Sea Resort last Thursday night with 47 Year 12 students from St Catherine’s Catholic College dressing in their finest frocks and smartest suits to mark the culmination of their school career.

With the largest Year 12 cohort in St Cath’s history, this year saw over 100 staff, family and friends gather at the entrance to the resort while 35 cars rolled around the driveway, every student greeted by cheers and applause as they disembarked.

From hot rods to tractors and army jeeps, there were many different modes of transport to view, creating a spectacle that even resort guests enjoyed watching.

Every student made a striking entrance, the girl’s sparkling gowns stealing the show.

St Cath’s hold their prom in June every year so that it can differentiate between the graduation ceremony at the end of the year and allow the students to focus on their end of year exams.

“Having our Formal at this time of the year makes graduation a bigger celebration of our students’ 13 year journey as graduates,” said Principal Luke Thomson.

Family members attended for drinks and canapes on the jetty and mother-son and father-daughter dances in function room.

Afterwards, students and teachers dined together and then danced the night away.

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Motown Millennia With Sex And Chocolate At The Airlie Beach Hotel

June 16, 2022

There’s not much better than an afternoon out at The Pub, but when you add Sex and Chocolate, it really seals the deal.

The Airlie Beach Hotel is bringing the Motown era up close and personal to Whitsunday audiences in an indulgent show by one of the hottest groups on the Queensland circuit.

Performing centre stage, Sex and Chocolate – a multi-award-winning act - will play all afternoon long with their Motown II Millennia show at everyone’s favourite local.

They bring the swing and croon era of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra to modern audiences, pairing it with the tunes from Usher and the Black Eye Peas – all with some incredible choreographed dance moves.

The harmonies are varied, with hits from bands like the Temptations in their repertoire, and others like the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, The Spinners, Earth Wind and Fire, Barry White, Billy Ocean, Prince, Shaggy, Bruno Mars, and many more.

They’ve been a trusted band – and brand - for more than 20 years, entertaining at more celebrity and high-profile events than you can count.

Sex and Chocolate’s resume includes a string of well-known celebrity weddings and special events, including the Indy 500, HRH Gala, the Mayoress Charity Ball for Ruth Tate, a string of Rugby league and union stars weddings - Brent Tate, Petero Civoniceva, and Daniel Herbert.

A personal favourite for the famous quartet was with the great Aussie favourite Paul Hogan, where Sex and Chocolate performed at his Crocodile Dundee after party.

They’re expert entertainers that connect with an audience like only the very best can.

Meet The Gang:

Maihi Pinker, a born New Zealander entrenched in Maori culture. He developed a keen ear for melodies and harmonies in a musically religious family, mastering the art of using his voice to suit many genres: from soul, r&b, and reggae to the sweet highs and tantalising lows.

Possessing rich vocals with Hayes Loau is our next member. A charismatic, high energy performer who brings the stage to life – and another New Zealander. He started his career at Australia’s wonderland at 15, dancing and singing in stage shows for seven seasons.

Leader of the pack is Paul ‘The Wolfman’ Thompson, a natural born entertainer with a deep soulful voice and charisma. His performances have a genuine warmth, humour and charm.

And finally Wilz Karekare, a star who possesses an incredible vocal range and vocal control that very few can match. Singing songs with feelings and meaning, and touching people’s hearts, is what he loves best.

This amazing two-hour spectacle brings the four phenomenal singers and supporting DJ Fia to The Pub on Sunday, July 2 and 3 from 2.00pm to 5.30pm both days.

You wanted a dance floor! You’ve got your dance floor!

Sex and Chocolate arrive at The Pub on July 2

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Double-Double Features At Outdoor Cinema

June 16, 2022

The Airlie Foreshore Outdoor Cinema is hosting two Thursday night double featurettes in both weeks of the upcoming school holidays.

Both nights of holiday films will host food trucks alongside the Foreshore’s entertainment.

A classic Hanna-Barbera character will be the first to waddle onscreen in the screening of the 2010 film Yogi Bear on June 30 starting 6.00pm.

The mixed live-action and computer-generated comedy features Dan Akroyd of Ghostbusters fame as well as Justin Timberlake in a wacky adventure to save Jellystone Park.

The Foreshore event isn’t just for little kids, though, as Yogi makes way for Jim Carrey in The Mask for the first Thursday double feature.

As a meek bank employee, Carey turns into an eccentric, maniacal, reality bending green-skinned superhero when he adorns a wooden mask created by Loki, the Norse god of mischief.

A classic performance from the 90’s star that ends the first school holiday movie night.

Next up are some more cinema landmarks, this time on July 7 from 6.00pm.

It’s a paleolithic pair of pictures at the Foreshore with first up The Land Before Time, where an orphaned dinosaur faces a string of obstacles before coming across four other dinos. Together, they learn how to survive and search for the fabled Great Valley.

To finish off the holidays is the original Jurassic Park, where entrepreneur John Hammond will open his wildlife park of cloned dinosaurs – I think we all know how that one ends.

WHAT: Yogi Bear and The Mask

WHEN: June 30 from 6.00pm

WHAT: The Land Before Time and Jurassic Park

WHEN: July 7 from 6.00pm

WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore

TICKETS: Free

This school holidays the Airlie Foreshore Outdoor Cinema will host four movies

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Pedal To The Metal For Horsepower Day

June 16, 2022

Whitsunday rev-heads rejoice as the out-of-nowhere motorsport event Whitsunday Horsepower Heroes returns for its second iteration next month.

Last year under the title of Full Metal Health Day, the event hosted a 60-vehicle display and an appearance by Supercar Driver Cameron Waters along with his Monster Energy V8.

Now with a new name and a fresh coat of paint, Whitsunday Horsepower Day is back to create a “place where people feel safe and can enjoy their passions” while raising funds and awareness for mental health charities.

Last year the event surpassed its organisers’ wildest expectations, raising $1850 dollars for charities with a conservative estimate of 600 attendees. This year, it will return on July 2, again with V8 Supercar driver Cameron Waters in its showcase of Australia’s leading motorsport categories.

It promises to feature “genuine heroes of horsepower” – both drivers and their cars - including the Monster Energy Race Car, and vehicles from various racing categories.

Whitsunday Horsepower Heroes founder Victor Pozolli and local Steve Knox founded the previous event after learning the harrowing statistic that, in the Whitsundays, two thirds of death by suicide are men.

The event this year will again donate its funds raised back to local groups like Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network, Real Mates Talk, and Kick On to combat that statistic.

The event’s fundraising raffle is offering three incredible prizes this year: A first prize Ultimate Hot Lap Experience with Cameron Waters, a second place Hayman Helicopter Experience, and a third place Hamilton Helicopter experience.

If you are in an emergency, or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, please contact emergency services on 000

Crisis support numbers: Lifeline: 13 11 14 ; Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 ; Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

You matter.

WHAT: Whitsunday Horsepower Day 2022

WHEN: July 2

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

TICKETS: Gold Coin Entry

V8 Race Car driver Cameron Waters will be back in the Whitsundays for Horsepower Day at the beginning of July

Image: R Jean Photography

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Movie Review

June 16, 2022

The King Of Rock and Roll has never had a feature length blockbuster portraying his life until now. He starred in his own bout of films: Flaming Star, Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock – but never was there a biopic focused on Elvis the man, especially one so haunting.

Australian director Baz Luhrmann has been away from the big screen for almost a decade, and his much-anticipated return to the silver screen is an impish, delirious fever dream. In Elvis, our Presley stand in (hardly) is Austin Butler – a teenage heartthrob who, with Elvis, becomes a man. He outshines fellow cast members to create something indelibly dynamic, putting seasoned actors like co-star Tom Hanks – playing Elvis’s Dutch puppet-master, Colonel Tom Parker - to shame.

Luhrmann’s Elvis is beautifully shot, coloured, and textured. But its performances elevate it; Austin “channelled and embodied” Elvis’s energy, his “heart and soul” according to his own daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

“If he doesn’t get an Oscar for this, I will eat my own foot,” she said.

A return to form for Luhrmann, who captures the Moulin-Rouge magic of his early career to follow Elvis from young, impressionable writhing performances in Memphis gospel tents to the blinding lights of Las Vegas legendry.

There have been performances which embodied a since passed artist, a towering cultural figure - Joaquin Pheonix as Johnny Cash in Walk The Line comes to mind. There is the plaintiveness of Walk the Line in Elvis – a gloomy American Dream that is sadder than one might expect from a film about The King.

But this story about Elvis and Colonel Parker’s relationship is real, it has the endorsement of those who were there.

“It is a true story told brilliantly and creatively that only Baz, in his unique artistic way, could have delivered,” Priscilla Presley, Elvis’s ex-wife said.

Elvis is opening at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema in late July.

Austin Butler in Elvis

Photo: Warner Brothers Pcitures

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Sydney Hotshots Sizzle At The Sailing Club

June 16, 2022

Some of Australia’s finest male physiques are about to sizzle and seduce some locals for one night only at the Whitsunday Sailing Club with their brand-new killer show - The Secret Fantasies Tour.

A hand-picked selection of the Sydney Hotshots will have the crowd off their chairs and screaming for more with a high energy production that boasts the perfect mix of killer dance routines, eye-catching costumes, acrobatics, and of course jaw dropping athletic male physiques.

Each of the 14 dreamy guys coming to the Whitsundays have been chosen from hundreds of men nationwide and put though an intensive “Hotshots Bootcamp”, all graduating with an A+ in hip thrusting!

Coming from various backgrounds, the smorgasbord of delicious dudes includes Tradies, Cops, Farmers and even Fireman who love touring Australia and entertaining the ladies!

Hosted by seasoned professional Paul Reynolds, who was the original cast member of Manpower Australia and is a Las Vegas headliner, the showmanship and cheeky banter with audiences makes for an extra entertaining evening.

It’s the most fun a girl can have standing up!

The Sydney Hotshots have graced television screens, appearing on Studio 10, Sunrise, AGT and Good Morning New Zealand.

It is not very often that this type of performance comes to our small town, so let’s make the most of this opportunity!

WHEN: July 9

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

TICKETS: sydneyhotshots.com

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Bowen Rodeo And Campdraft

June 16, 2022

A crowd of thousands passed through the gates at the Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft last weekend and organisers said it was a fantastic four days full of action and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.

Held in Collinsville, the annual event has been running since 1886.

This year, an unprecedented number of competitors signed-up for a variety of events which encouraged the whole family to participate - the campdraft was especially popular with junior level competitors.

Organiser Sally Fry said that it was wonderful for the children to get involved and also watch the professionals so they could learn first-hand what they could aspire to achieve one day.

The committee are still adding up all the proceeds which will be heading directly to two worthy local causes – the RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter services and BUCK OFF Melanoma which raises money to aid medical research into finding treatment and possibly a cure for melanoma.

Dan Condon Winner of the Futurity

Gotcha!

Yee ha!

Sam Kime takes control

Thumbs up if you’re having a good time

Mac Shann riding Porter - winner of the Restricted Open

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INAUGURAL CORPORATE CHARITY GOLF DAY A HUGE HIT

June 16, 2022

Over $10,000 was raised at the inaugural Lions Club Corporate Golf Day which was held at Whitsunday Green Golf Club on Sunday.

150 keen golfers played at the event, accounting for 32 teams who each represented a local business – from Red Cat Adventures to Eclipse Financial Services – this was an opportunity for a broad spectrum of businesses to get together and raise money for charity.

All proceeds will go to the Proserpine Hospital, split equally between the maternity ward, children’s ward and the palliative care ward.

Maurice Kite was the main instigator of the event, having suggested it to his Lions colleagues, recounting its success when held in Currumbin each year.

During the event many businesses donated items which were then awarded as raffle prizes.

An impressive $1000 was also up for grabs for anyone who scored a hole-in-one at hole 16 but unfortunately no-one got there on the day, so the prize money was put back into the raffle prize draw.

The organising committee said they were thrilled with the turn-out this year and are looking forward to making it an annual event.

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Go Wild At Festival’s 10th Year

June 10, 2022

The Airlie Beach Festival of Music has been keeping this news caged up for weeks, but finally it is free to run wild – The Animals are set to take to the stage at the 10th anniversary festival from November 4-6 this year.

The infamous UK band are known for their greatest hits including House Of The Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Bring It On Home To Me, Don’t Bring Me Down, It’s My Life and more.

Two original band members, John Steel and Mickey Gallagher, will feature alongside new additions Danny Handley and Bobby Ruiz in celebrating a decade of bringing live music to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Also announced in the latest reveal, Aussie legends Eskimo Joe, known for their iconic tracks Black Fingernails, Red Wine and Foreign Land.

Rick Price, Lloyd Spiegel, Lily and King, Innocent Eve, Lash 78 and Mardi Wilson, also join previously announced main stage acts including Ben Lee, Rogue Traders, the Badloves, Bill Chambers and Mi-Sex.

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, said he was thrilled to make this second line-up announcement and honoured to welcome such high calibre acts.

“It’s been hard keeping a lid on this one while the details have been finalised but now that the cat’s out of the bag so to speak, we’re expecting to see a big surge in ticket sales,” he said.

To purchase tickets or for more information visit www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au.

WHEN: 3-7 November

WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club

Tickets: $300 weekend pass

The Animals are playing on the main stage this year

Jaw-dropping sea views from the main tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club

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Fundraising Dinner Supports Local Family

June 10, 2022

A community dinner will be held at The Creek Whitsundays in July to help raise funds for the Edwards- Bland family who tragically lost their 12-year-old son Stirling in a car accident in May.

Stirling’s twin brother was also in the car and sustained serious injuries.  

The event has been organised to wrap the family in a large community hug, with all proceeds, love and kind thoughts donated straight to the them at their time of need.

Jodie Ferdinand from The Creek Whitsundays said her son, Archie, had been one of Stirling’s good friends since grade 4 and they wanted to help his family through this difficult time.

Mel Butcher from Taylors has been working hard gathering items for the auction and Tolita Dukes from 8 Seconds has been volunteering her time with design work and social media posts.

Since announcing the fundraiser, organisers have been overwhelmed by the support from the community with many businesses donating prizes for the silent auction.

The night kicks-off at 5pm and Whitsunday Transit are providing three courtesy buses to ferry passengers out to the venue and back.

Held in the beautiful mountain backdrop of this rural venue, guests will enjoy a buffet dinner with live music from a guitarist followed by a DJ as the night progresses.

Metropole Bar will be operating with Happy Hour prices throughout the night and a silent auction will be led by Rob Murolo from Elders.

Amazing lucky door prizes will be announced every 30 minutes.

All proceeds go to the Edwards-Bland family and tickets can be purchased at Whitsundaytickets.com.au or call phone 0438750282 for further details.

WHEN: Saturday, July 9

WHERE: The Creek Whitsundays

TICKETS: $110 per person

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What’s New At The Show?

June 10, 2022

In a week’s time the annual Show Whitsunday celebrate its 110th festivity with a repertoire of new attractions, as well as familiar favourites returning to the fold on June 17 and 18.

Carnival rides will light up the Proserpine showgrounds, dodgems will collide, and food vendors will whip up corn dogs to delight showgoers in mid-June.

10,000 people are set to roll through the show over its two-day duration specially to enjoy some of those new offerings.

Airtime FMX

High-flying, Evel Knievel like stunts are making their way to the Whitsundays courtesy of Airtime FMX Motocross next Friday and Saturday. In their first year at the Proserpine Showgrounds, the motorbike gymnasts will deliver captivating and jaw dropping live Freestyle Motocross entertainment, flying through the air in death-defying stunts.

They’ll display their acrobatic prowess all on motorbikes – a combination of skill, speed, and precision that no other show in the country can match.

Show Organiser Donna Rogers said they went the extra mile this year to secure these talented racers.

“They’ve been getting a lot of talk up and down the coast,” Ms Rogers said.

“These incredible athletes are going to be something so different for the show this year and we know they’re going to be an enormous hit.”

JetPak Entertainment

A “mysterious jet pack man” is gracing the showgrounds next week as part of the festivities. The water sport attraction propels its rider up into the air, allowing them to perform flying feats and twists and turns.

“We don’t want to spoil it too much,” Ms Rogers said.

“Let’s just say he’s going to be an absolute treat – a real spectacle!”

Familiar Favourites

The sugar town showgrounds will be filled with plenty of action for families to enjoy – with tickets available through online pre-purchase only this year.

For more info visit www.showwhitsunday.com.au

WHAT: Show Whitsunday

WHEN: June 17 and 18

WHERE: Proserpine Showgrounds

TICKETS: Friday https://bit.ly/3M7Ax2D and Saturday https://bit.ly/3agSEG0

The high-flying Airtime FMX will take on the show on both Friday and Saturday

A mysterious jet pack wearing man will shoot into the air on stilts of water at Show Whitsunday

All the familiar rides are back this year too

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Rock And Grohl At The Pub

June 10, 2022

Come as you are to The Pub when one tribute show recreates the performances of two of the world’s most iconic bands, The Foo Fighters and Nirvana, all in one afternoon.

Four highly experienced musicians – Clint Timothy on bass guitar, Dean with the vocals, backed by guitarist Barry, and Steve on the drums - will come together at the Airlie Beach Hotel as FooVana on Saturday, June 25.

They’ll celebrate the genius of Dave Grohl and Kurt Cobain, faithfully recreating the energy and the dynamism of Foo Fighters and Nirvana.

When they came together in 2001 to form the Australian Foo Fighters and Nirvana Tribute Show known as FooVana, they never knew they would perform over 200 live shows at venues across Melbourne and regional Victoria, as well as interstate.

These guys aren’t The Pretender, they’re the real deal, delivering a cross section of the renowned band’s material, from early Nirvana to the latest Foo Fighters, all while preserving the power and integrity of the original music.

“We’re very excited to first of all to escape the Melbourne cold, but to perform in front of a new audience in Airlie Beach will be amazing,” Clint said.

“It’s stuff we grew up on and we’re proud to bring the sing-along lyrics to new places.”

Chris said that the Airlie audience should get ready for a special set.

“This show has taken on a new direction for us, it’s not just a tribute to the bands we love, but also to Taylor Hawkins from Foo Fighters, who recently passed away,” Chris said.

“We’re keeping the spirit of both Nirvana and Foo Fighters alive.”

FooVana emulate the raw energy and emotion of the vocals, while maintaining the complexity of their pulsating rhythm and the searing power of lead guitar.

Then, on Sunday they’ll roll into the Airlie Beach Hotel as Louderfinger, delivering a hard-hitting and set from Powderfinger’s 7 albums and 18 Aria award winning songs, including My Happiness, These Days, Sunsets, On My Mind and much more.

At the end of their set, they’ll bring it all home with a carefully curated set of 90s rock classics from the likes of Pearl Jam and more.

On Saturday, June 25, FooVana will rock The Pub before they return on Sunday, June 26, as Louderfinger from 2pm – 5.30pm both days.

Don’t miss the free tribute event to some of the world’s best rockers.

FooVana arrive at The Pub June 25

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Movie Reviews

June 10, 2022

Jurassic World: Dominion

A perfect storm propelled Jurassic Park into cultural ubiquity back in 1993. Author Michael Crichton was at the height of his writing powers, and Steven Spielberg had already carved out the edgings of blockbuster cinema, defining its contours and ridges. Ground-breaking computer-generated imagery mixed with life-size animatronics brought Dinosaurs back from the dead to movie screens across the globe.

That was almost thirty years ago.

One of films crowning franchises has had a long and storied life, and Dominion is the conclusion to this dinosaur fraught universe, and it pulls out all the stops.

Dinosaurs now live—and hunt—alongside humans all over the world, and some old timers are out of retirement to try and help save mankind. The familiar cast of Pratt and Bryce Dallas-Howard are joined by Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill – each of whom had starring roles in the original.

It’s not to be missed.

Catch Jurassic World: Dominion (M) at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema opening 6.45pm this Friday.

The star-studded cast includes returning Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and Laura Dern for the final instalment of Jurassic World. Image: Universal

Lightyear

Let me explain this to you: Lightyear is a blockbuster film within a film. It’s the movie the characters in Toy Story would watch. Basically, Andy – little boy, loves Buzz Lightyear – would have seen this movie, which would have made him beg his parents to buy the Buzz Lightyear toy who put the entirety of the Toy Story franchise into motion.

I hope that clears things up.

In this film within a film, Chris Evan’s voices a new-look Buzz Lightyear, a young space pilot who finds himself in a sticky situation. It’s his first adventure into the infinity of space, but he ends up going beyond. Marooned on a hostile planet, having travelled 60 years into the future, he now needs to find his way back home through space and time.

The definitive Buzz Lightyear origin story has a little something for everyone; particularly adults who will recognise the voice of Taika Waititi, who lends his quirky New Zealand humour to the fold.

Catch Lightyear (PG) at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema opening Friday, June 17.

Talent like Chris Evans as Buzz Lightyear lend their talent to this blockbuster Toy Story spinoff. Image: Disney

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Calling All Young Musos

June 10, 2022

Local up-and-coming artists will take to the stage in three sets of heats starting in August for the return of Young Whitsundays Got Talent.

The showcase of local singers aged 19 or under will run in two heats: August 28 in Proserpine, September 25 in Bowen, and a grand final on October 23 in Woodwark.

The talent show, which started back in 2019, has gained a stellar reputation amongst the region’s young artists.

Local Paula Hovey created the identifier show as a performance platform for young burgeoning musicians in the Whitsundays. In its first year, it began as a partnership with the Airlie Beach Festival of Music – one which has continued to this day.

That partnership sees the winner of Young Whitsundays Got Talent head for tours of the festival’s main stage to rub shoulders with its nationally renowned acts, as well as perform on the Fish Jam Stage.

Founder of Young Whitsundays Got Talent, Paula Hovey, said they were looking forward to another year of top tier talent for the competition.

“We’re super excited to hear from the young local superstars registering already, and I’m super excited to get out amongst it to Bowen and Proserpine and see what they can bring to the table, Ms Hovey said.

“It always blows me away to see how much talent is on offer around the region.”

Heat one will see the competitors head to the Prince of Wales Hotel in Proserpine, and heat two will take place at The Grandview in Bowen.

From there, the best of the best will compete in the grand final at Northerlies.

Ms Hovey said the competition “gives young musicians a chance to perform in front of an audience in a supportive and encouraging environment,” as well as a chance for them to improve their skills with lead up events and exciting workshops.

Winners will receive a makeover and photoshoot as well as a backstage tour at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music during sound checks and a performance at the after party at Northerlies.

All finalists will be invited to perform on the Fish Jam Stage at the market foreshore during the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

Ms Hovey said any prospective contestants should reach out to her through the Young Whitsundays Got Talent Facebook page.

Some of last year’s competitors will be showcased at the Great Barrier Reef Festival on Friday, August 5 on the Fish Jam Stage.

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Movie Review

June 3, 2022

John Madden’s newest drama, Operation Mincemeat, is a somewhat microcosm of World War II British operations; a time of devastation and horror, and in the face of it, unequivocable hope. Its true to life story – the British deception operation to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily – is a macabre tale of espionage brilliance that contributed to Ally victory.

The British lost countless lives in the war, but it was ironically “The Man Who Never Was”, a tramp who lost his life after eating rat poison on the streets of London away from the fighting, that would become one of its most important.

Madden’s film tells the astounding story of the men who cooked up a high-risk disinformation strategy centred on that dead man.

Five weeks before the invasion of the Italian shores by allies to break Hitler’s grip on occupied Europe, an impossible challenge presents itself: how to protect the invasion force from potential annihilation.

Two remarkable intelligence officers, Colin Firth’s Ewen Montagu and Matthew Macfadyen’s Charles Cholmondeley, dream up the most inspired and improbable strategy of the war: to convince the Germans that the English will invade Greece, set in motion by a corpse with fake classified information washing ashore in Spain.

That information was a correspondence between two British generals suggesting the Allies would invade Greece and Sardinia, and that Sicily was merely a feint – an extraordinary gamble.

Madden’s telling of one of war history’s greatest and most fanciful achievements is replete with dark humour, remarkable circumstance, and an exceptional cast – both in its talented actors and its historical figures.

It serves as an espionage tilt at a World War II story – a site greatly plundered, and often told in grandeur and sentimentality. A spy thriller that inspired the world, especially when a young Lieutenant Commander, Ian Fleming, who worked on the operation would go on to pen Casino Royal and give the world James Bond.

Operation Mincemeat (M) is coming to the Bowen Summergarden Cinema this June.

Colin Firth stars in Operation Mincemeat, which doesn't always take itself seriously because the idea at its centre "edges over into Monty Python territory".

Supplied: Transmission

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It’s A Long Way To The Bar-Top Stage

June 3, 2022

Let There Be Rock on your way down the Airlie Beach Esplanade, a surrogate Highway To hell where a Whole Lotta Rosie will shake The Pub all night long.

The Acca Dacca tribute band Whole Lotta Rosie will Shoot to Thrill at The Airlie Beach Hotel this month, taking the bar-top stage by storm on June 18.

These Australian rockers came together with one goal in mind: to create an AC/DC show with the best of the best and bring the authentic hard rock band’s sound to audiences across the nation.

Each Whole Lotta Rosie member has more than one thing in common, but there love for AC/DC is chief among them. Each lists the band from the Razors Edge as one of their most influential while growing up.

Their love for the Sydney rock and roll band shines through in their own performances with each member playing their parts to a tee.

It helps when a few of A Whole Lot Of Rosie members ended up touring with Mark Evans, the actual AC/DC bassist from 1974 -1977, as well as alongside Simon Wright, the Acca Dacca drummer from 1984 -1989.

Led by Cynthia Gallie - the only voice in Australia that can do justice to both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson – she and her band are the closest thing to the original.

Since its inception, the band has gained the trust and respect of true AC/DC fans, with many now travelling alongside the faithful tribute act just to catch a glimpse of what the real shows were like.

“We don’t pretend to be the real band, we don’t make our guitarist wear the school uniform, we just want the music and performance to be 100 per cent AC/DC Rock and Roll!” Cynthia Gallie said.

So, for Those About To Rock, you can catch Whole Lotta Rosie Saturday June 18 and again Sunday June 19 with their Women of Rock show from 2pm to 5.30pm free, live and loud at the Airlie Beach Hotel.

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Movie Review

June 3, 2022

Operation Mincemeat

John Madden’s newest drama, Operation Mincemeat, is a somewhat microcosm of World War II British operations; a time of devastation and horror, and in the face of it, unequivocable hope. Its true to life story – the British deception operation to disguise the 1943 Allied invasion of Sicily – is a macabre tale of espionage brilliance that contributed to Ally victory.

The British lost countless lives in the war, but it was ironically “The Man Who Never Was”, a tramp who lost his life after eating rat poison on the streets of London away from the fighting, that would become one of its most important.

Madden’s film tells the astounding story of the men who cooked up a high-risk disinformation strategy centred on that dead man.

Five weeks before the invasion of the Italian shores by allies to break Hitler’s grip on occupied Europe, an impossible challenge presents itself: how to protect the invasion force from potential annihilation.

Two remarkable intelligence officers, Colin Firth’s Ewen Montagu and Matthew Macfadyen’s Charles Cholmondeley, dream up the most inspired and improbable strategy of the war: to convince the Germans that the English will invade Greece, set in motion by a corpse with fake classified information washing ashore in Spain.

That information was a correspondence between two British generals suggesting the Allies would invade Greece and Sardinia, and that Sicily was merely a feint – an extraordinary gamble.

Madden’s telling of one of war history’s greatest and most fanciful achievements is replete with dark humour, remarkable circumstance, and an exceptional cast – both in its talented actors and its historical figures.

It serves as an espionage tilt at a World War II story – a site greatly plundered, and often told in grandeur and sentimentality. A spy thriller that inspired the world, especially when a young Lieutenant Commander, Ian Fleming, who worked on the operation would go on to pen Casino Royal and give the world James Bond.

Operation Mincemeat (M) is coming to the Bowen Summergarden Cinema this June.

Colin Firth stars in Operation Mincemeat, which doesn't always take itself seriously because the idea at its centre "edges over into Monty Python territory".

Supplied: Transmission

Read More

Like A Rolling Stone

May 27, 2022

Some folks are born, made to wave the flag! And those folks are Late for Woodstock, the tribute band bringing the 60s and 70s to The Airlie Beach Hotel in two June afternoon shows.

On Saturday June 11, the boys will play the best songs ever written from an era never to be forgotten.

They’ll rock out with tunes from The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, The Kinks, Santana, The Rolling Stones, Doobie Brothers, Rodriguez, Bob Dylan and many more in a beautiful tribute to these classic artists

On Sunday June 12, they’ll bring in ‘The Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jimi Hendrix Tribute Show’.

A tribute band like no other, there’ll be guitar licks a-plenty when this tribute band turn the Airlie Beach Hotel’s bar top stage into a Watchtower.

Late for Woodstock formed in May 1998 in Noosa Heads, and this Queensland quadruple have been rocking with the authentic sounds of the era they love ever since.

It was an astronomical rise for the bunch, who quickly became one of the Sunshine Coast’s favourite bands playing “the music they grew up with”.

As the years raced by, the band continued to age gracefully, and will be riding all the way down Green River to arrive at everyone’s favourite local in June.

The four-piece rock group have Wrote A Song For Everyone, having fine-tuned a collection of Creedence Clearwater Revival and Jimi Hendrix classics for live performances.

Late for Woodstock have always been “students and fans” of Creedence and Hendrix – both of whom appeared at the original Woodstock Festival.

There’s sure to be a Commotion when they roll through the doors to play the night way. The band have been learning Creedence and Hendrix hits as part of their repertoire for decades – and its not a show to be missed.

While the times are indeed a-changin’, the music of the 60s and 70s is as good as ever and will bring The Pub to life once again on that June afternoon.

Late for Woodstock, playing with their notorious joy and enthusiasm, will embrace the Creedence and Hendrix oeuvre with open arms, giving it a level of grit and authenticity that reeks of the good ole days.

They’ll be performing these very special and free sessions for Airlie Beach Hotel on June 11 and 12 – from 2pm to 5.30pm both days - it’s just Up Around The Bend, so make sure you’re booking your seats for a meal and a show.

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Show Whitsunday One Month Away

May 27, 2022

It’s less than a month until the Proserpine Showgrounds light up with carnival rides, dodgems, and food vendors in mid-June for the 110th Show Whitsunday

The annual show is celebrating the milestone in style, coming off the back of its annual fundraiser the Show Ball, the team of volunteers behind the carnival of colour and culture are busily preparing for the main event on June 17 and 18.

10,000 people regularly roll through the show over its two-day duration and Show Whitsunday Committee President Donna Rogers expects this year to be even bigger.

“There are lots of things going on at the Showgrounds, and its full steam ahead for us for the next couple of weeks in anticipation,” Ms Rogers said.

“The show is always a constant in Proserpine, with the regular competitions and events, but this year we do have some new shows like motocross bikes coming this year – a new group who have never been here before.

“They’ve been getting a lot of talk up and down the coast, so we’ve gone the extra mile and secured them.”

Along with the new shows, the familiar favourites will be returning, meaning plenty of action around the showgrounds for families to enjoy.

Melville’s Baby Animal Farm, Dinosaur Park, horse jumping, carnival games, woodchopping, sugar cane exhibitions and more are set to bring the sugar town showgrounds to life.

Ms Rogers also said Luke the Reptile Man will be coming back to entertain the crowd with some crazy critters.

“We also have a mysterious water jetpack man coming, who we only booked yesterday!” Ms Rogers said.

“We’re gearing up for a big show in a months’ time and with all these new attractions and performances, it’s going to be so exciting.”

Don’t “Freak Out!” but Show Whitsunday is back in less than a month. Photograph: Declan Durrant

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Come Together Right Now At The Pub

May 20, 2022

There are few more famous fellowships than the boys behind Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and audiences at everyone’s favourite local are getting ready to relive Beatlemania this June with The Beatnix.

The Airlie Beach Hotel will Twist and Shout when one of the world’s longest running tribute shows bring Abbey Road to Airlie Beach on June 4 and 5.

It’s been 35 years since The Beatnix first formed – ten years after the Beatles themselves broke apart – and they’ve long been regarded as the best Beatles tribute show in Australia.

It was in Perth in 1980 that Tony Dean created this incredible show.

The Beatnix have stacked their claim as a special brand of tribute band; there’s something in the way they move that adds the expert touch of authenticity.

With every Beatles favourite under their belt, they not only sound like the Liverpool lyricists, but they also look like them. Helped by their authentic musical instruments including an identical drum set to that played by Ringo Starr in the 1960s.

They’ve got the look: costumes and stage props, including the outfits from that very Sgt. Pepper’s album - it’s as close as you’ll see and hear to the real thing.

It’s not just a Day In The Life to see this remarkable show that rekindles the Fab Four and experience firsthand a Guitar Gently Weeping all while enjoying a delicious afternoon feed.

Seasoned performers, The Beatnix have performed internationally across Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bangkok and New Zealand.

Domestically, they’ve ticked off every type of show: large venues like the ARL Grand Final at the Stadium Australia in front of 100,000 people, to intimate 50-person back garden sessions.

Now in an exclusive throwback at The Pub, The Beatnix will perform two free afternoon shows on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 June from 2pm to 5.30pm.

Take The Long and Winding Road down the Airlie Beach Esplanade to your seat at The Pub and enjoy a revival of potentially the greatest band of all time.

The Beatnix are bringing Beatlemania to The Airlie Beach Hotel in June Image: The Beatnix

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Movie Reviews

May 20, 2022

There’s a unique British humour, and it’s emblemised in Roger Michell’s final film ‘The Duke’. Michell - who died last September - managed to see his film screened just a handful of times to audiences, happily to rave reviews.  

Now with its theatrical release, his swan song is still raking in those plaudits.

Actor Jim Broadbent stars in Michell’s adaptation of the true story of taxi driver Kempton Bunton, who ‘borrowed’ Francisco De Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington in 1961. It remains the only theft from the National Gallery, and it was done for all the right reasons. Sending ransom notes to the British Police, Kempton promised the portrait’s return on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly.

Broadbent is a familiar face in British cinema, and his partnership with Hellen Mirren – who plays his loyal wife, Dorothy - in The Duke is the heart of the film. The duo are magnificent, lending the story dignity, whilst balancing it with humour and charm that manages to deftly avoid oversentimentality.

“You couldn’t invent such a ridiculous tale. If you presented it as fiction, you’d never get away with it,” Jim Broadbent said of the film in an interview with The Guardian.

It took 50 years for Kempton’s full story to emerge - and the only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage - how and why he used the Duke to achieve that makes for a wonderfully uplifting cinema experience that opens up like a flower. Its quirky, kind and absolutely true.

The Duke (M) is coming to the Bowen Summergarden Cinema on Saturday, May 28.

Jim Broadbent and Hellen Mirren in ‘The Duke’

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The Pub Is Jumpin’

May 20, 2022

Last time the beautiful and bodacious Lisa Hunt performed on the Bar Top Stage at ‘The Pub’, the soulstress tore down the roof with her ‘Forever Soul’ Show.

Her undoubted stage presence was what lured the enormous crowd to the hotel last time, the impressive songstress’ voice attracting people from near and far.

Audiences at The Airlie Beach Hotel on that night could hardly forget when she took the place by storm, and the now Byron Bay-based singer will be returning to treat the seaside town again on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May.

With her Forever Soul show back and better than ever at ‘The Pub’, Hunt is bringing with her Motown music and soul, as well as funk rhythm and blues for the completely free outing.

A singer in the great African American tradition of gospel music, Hunt emerged as a soul sensation in the 80s and has kept the music pumping all that time.

With a background in studying music at The City College of New York, Hunt was a soulstress made in the Big Apple, but it’s her natural vocals that set her apart from the rest.

A storied career featuring numerous compilations around the globe, both as singer and songwriter, she’s sold more than a million records as of 2015.

When she headed to the continent, she became an absolute sensation in Italy – a place of powerful musical heritage, seeping with strong voices.

She featured as a vocalist on tour and recordings of Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari for almost a decade and has worked with a range of artist from Pavarotti To Ray Charles – talk about a resume!

She’s shared the stage with the greats like Eric Clapton, James Brown, and even Andrea Bocelli, and now she’s at your favourite local, and the crowds are going to be loving it.

There are few places in town to get a meal and a show, especially one of this calibre – so book your tables for the Airlie Beach Hotel and experience soul, sister.

Soulstress Lisa Hunt performed one of the best ever shows at The Pub last year, and now she’s back

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Movie Reviews

May 13, 2022

The Northman

There’s an undoubted stylistic rhythm to all of director Robert Eggers films, and this time it’s no different. Voracious greed and visceral violence are the brushes his newest outing ‘The Northman’ is painted in.

And it is a surprisingly beautiful colour.

An adaptation of story ‘Amleth’, a medieval Scandinavian legend which formed the basis for Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Northman follows Amleth on the quest to avenge his father’s murder by removing his despot uncle from power and in turn save his mother. Brilliant performances and masterful directing make this the must see of the year.

The Northman (MA15) is due to open Saturday, 21 May at Bowen’s Summergarden Cinema.

Top Gun: Maverick

If you were to put two photographs of Tom Cruise together, one from the first ‘Top Gun’ and the other its 2022 sequel ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ next to one another, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. Certainly, you would hardly know that more than 30 years have passed since Maverick first flew onto screens in 1986.

There’s going to be a whole new audience introduced to the engine blasting thrill ride of Top Gun, a film so ubiquitous in the American psyche it was preserved in the National Film registry by the US Library of Congress – presumably until the end of time.

Cruise’s performance in the revival of the, now-franchise, thirty years on is a parallel to his character. Maverick and Cruise are where they belong: pushing the envelope – Cruise as an actor turning 60 who continually performs his own stunts, and Maverick as a courageous test pilot dodging the advancement in rank that would see him grounded for good.

There are plenty of familiar faces, familiar theme tunes, and this bombastic action flick manages to roll back the years in style, all with a smooth landing.

Top Gun: Maverick (M) is due to Open Friday, 27 May at Bowen’s Summergarden Cinema.

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Knock Knock The Doors Are At The Pub

May 6, 2022

Is everybody in? The Ceremony is about to begin: a mesmerising tribute to the eclectic and provocative music and poetry of Jim Morrison and the Doors is breaking on through to The Airlie Beach Hotel’s bar top stage on May 21.

The energy, mayhem and psychedelia of the late 60s are well and truly alive in the vessel one of Australia’s most authentic tribute shows, ‘Unlocking The Doors’.

In the first of two nights of performances, Unlocking the Doors take a psychedelic trip through the 50 years since the release of the band’s first album, all for free at the Airlie Beach Hotel.

In one of the best tribute shows in the country, they’ll take The Pub back in time to when ‘The Lizard King’ ruled, all the while lighting the fire in the heart of a new wave of listeners.

Led by Rich – aka Jim – this tribute band formed in Wollongong have travelled across the country, amassing a growing legion of fans and critical acclaim.

Rich, a long-time devotee of The Doors, delivers a heartfelt performance in channelling the mystical command once held by the man at the iconic heart of the band.

“We like to show people how brilliant The Doors were and how intoxicating Jim Morrison was on stage,” Rich said.

Each member expertly reproduces the unique Doors sound: Sandy on organ and keyboard bass holds the key to reproducing the authentic live sound of Ray Manzarek

Mick draws on his classical guitar and rock background to play his Gibson SG standard in finger-picking style to emulate Robbie Krieger’s beautiful legato tone.

And completing the line-up on drums is Lee, who unlocks John Densmore’s original style, providing the backbeat so vital when paying tribute to their catalogue of classics.

On Sunday, the band will back up the performances by recapturing the vitality of six famed performers: Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix.

You won’t want to miss the performance as Brazen Lyres in the Psychedelic Rock Show.

Afternoon sessions will run 2pm – 5.30pm on Saturday and Sunday free at The Pub.

Tribute band Unlocking The Doors will be riding on the storm to the Airlie Beach Hotel this month

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Movie Reviews

May 6, 2022

Downton Abbey: A New Era

The Downton Abbey franchise - built on country-manor snobbery and titillating familial drama – is back and doesn’t disappoint as the Crawley’s return for a grand journey to the South of France. On the Riviera, they’re seeking to uncover the mystery of the dowager countess's newly inherited villa.

All the while back home, Hollywood has come to town, seeking to shoot a riotous film in exchange for a princely sum.

Downton now has seven seasons and two movies under its belt. Its characters have been all over the shop, and the melodrama of it all has astoundingly held up all that time. All the toffs and their servants are back - Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley chief among them.

There’s an inherent, undeniable charm to this installation of the Downton mythos, which Julian Fellowes’ has once again deftly penned. It’s a fabulously frocked outing that will have you laughing along at its foppish and British nature.

Downton Abbey: A New Era (PG) arrives at the Summergarden Cinema next weekend.

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Let me enlighten you: an interdimensional rupture has unravelled reality.

Don’t look around. You won’t see it. An unlikely hero is being tasked with channelling her newfound powers to fight the bizarre and bewildering dangers bursting from that rupture, and in turn the multiverse – and she’s doing it all for you.

In Daniel Kwan and Dainel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All At Once, Michelle Yeoh is that unlikely hero. In her role as Evelyn Wang, a Chinese American immigrant and laundromat owner, she is the last hope for all existence in this metaphysical martial arts caper.

Soon swept up in the insane adventure, she explores other universes, connecting with the lives she could have led. There are surprises galore in Everything Everywhere: it’s audaciously funny and absurd, but balances all of it with poignant tenderness.

Everything Everywhere All At Once (MA) is coming to the Summergarden Cinema soon.

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All The World’s A Stage

May 6, 2022

Opening night has been steadily approaching for the Proserpine State High School student directors, stagehands, and performers of the Seagrass Theatre and Music Company’s Night of Plays.

The troupe have been eagerly preparing for a night of nights not to be missed where the student-run Seagrass Theatre Company will showcase two performances: Dorothy Hewett's Song of the Seals and Angela Betziens Children of the Black Skirt.

Song of Seals, directed by Year 11 student Kaley Gilbert, follows the tale of the orphaned Willow, who lives amongst mystical creatures struggling to defend their home of Mystery Bay from Marlin Prawn and his 'One Big Deal.'

In Angela Betziens Children of the Black Skirt, Proserpine Year 12 student Amelia Brain will direct the story depicting a group of bush children who stumble across an abandoned orphanage.

In their search of the deserted place, they find the forgotten clothes of its residents, and after putting the garments on, the children begin reliving the past through the forgotten clothes.

Chosen by the students, Children of the Black Skirt is a tale of Australia’s history, told through a gothic lens.

The orphanage children tell stories of their lives from the time of convicts through to World War Two, the Stolen Generation and beyond in an evocative play which explores history, reconciliation, and the power of storytelling.

The Proserpine State High School’s PAC (Performing Arts Centre) will be packed to the rafters for the two performances soon arriving in the region.

Opening night was due to take place this week, however it has been postponed.

New dates are set to be announced soon.

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The Anniversary Line-Up Has The X-Factor

April 29, 2022

It’s here for its tenth year! The Airlie Beach Festival of Music has announced just the first snippet of its all-star line-up, backing up their Queensland Music Awards People’s Choice Festival of the Year win with a stellar showing of talent.

Rogue Traders, Mi-Sex, Ben Lee, and the Badloves are all taking to the stages for the decade anniversary of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music November 4-6.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte, together with her band ‘Rogue Traders’, will be bringing the house down alongside the other star-studded acts.

Alongside them, Mi-Sex will be rolling back the years - famous for their landmark 1979 performance at the Sydney Opera House, dubbed the “concert of the decade” - vocalist Steve Balbi said it was fitting to have the band now performing in another quintessentially Australian location.

“That’s what makes these sorts of festivals really attractive to us and to audiences – we all just want to be in that special part of the world,” he said.

Singer-songwriter Ben Lee is booked to play, too, and is grateful to be joining the line-up in 2022 having missed last year due to Covid pressures.

And completing the first line-up announcement for 2022 are ‘90s legends The Badloves, whose debut album ‘Get On Board’ spent a massive 69 weeks in the charts, country king Bill Chambers, soul-fire music afficionado Matty Rogers, and festival favourites, The Hillbilly Goats.

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, said he was proud to be kicking off the 10th anniversary line-up with such a diverse mix of artists, whose music spanned not just genres but also decades.

“The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is renowned for having something for everyone across its three-day line-up and we are determined to make the 10th year exceptional so keep watching this space,” he said.

Tickets are already on sale at a cost of $300 for the three-day festival pass and provide access to all days and events.

To purchase tickets or view the full festival program, visit www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au.

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Music Queens In Airlie Beach

April 29, 2022

P!nk, Lady Gaga, and Aretha Franklin fans unite!

Three of the most influential and powerful women in music are coming together to bring Queens Of Pop, Rock and Soul to the Airlie Beach Hotel on Saturday, May 14, presented by The Australian P!nk Show.

Kim Boath is P!nk, the spiky-haired rock goddess with countless top 10 singles and record-breaking tours.

Kim Boath was born in Mount Isa and has become a powerful performer in her own right.

Kim is supported by Koby Lee as ‘Queen of Pop’ Lady Gaga and Asabi Goodman as Aretha Franklin, arguably the greatest soul singer of all time.

Coming out of Brisbane, Koby Lee is a passionate and versatile performer and becomes a carbon copy of Lady Gaga having been inspired by her throughout her career.

American singer Asabi Goodman has over 25 years’ experience in music, stage, and screen, both here in Australia and across the Pacific, and is currently performing as part of Hairspray.

Asabi, Kim, and Emily are complimented by some of Queensland’s best musicians, all with extensive touring and performing experience.

The Australian P!nk Show band are absolute professionals and guarantee a magical show spectacular.

Band bassist Grant Boath is excited for their shows up in Airlie and says they prepare thoroughly before touring the show.

“The girls practice every night,” he said.

“A lot of work goes into it to make sure every T is crossed.

“Aretha Franklin (Asabi Goodman) toured the world doing it.

“She is dynamite, she is incredible.”

The band will also be backing it up on Sunday, May 15 with Rock The Decades at the Airlie Beach Hotel’s Sunday Sessions.

Take a musical journey through time as the band rocks through the decades starting in the 70s and rocking out all the way up to today’s hits.

Koby Lee and Asabi Goodman will bring powerhouse performances as they guide you through decades of incredible music.

Both shows are free, start at 2pm each afternoon and run until 5:30pm, and bookings are recommended.

Make sure you head to the Airlie Beach Hotel on May 14 and 15 to see these songstresses loud, live and free on the bar-top stage.

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Movie Reviews

April 29, 2022

Morbius: The Living Vampire

The setup for Daniel Espinosa’s film, Morbius, follows the eponymous Michael Morbius - played by Oscar winner Jared Leto – who has been dangerously ill with a rare blood disorder his entire life. That’s a bit of a buzz kill, but Morbius doesn’t let that get him down. He takes it upon himself to become a Doctor, determined to save others from his own fate, and what eventually leads him to a desperate gamble.

That stake transforms him into something unearthly, and while at first it seems to be a radical success, a darkness is soon unleashed and Morbius must contend with friend and foe whilst trying to maintain his humanity.

Leto gives a respectable performance in this superhero flick that is opening at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from Saturday, 1:00pm and 3:45pm.

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

For those who’ve followed the Marvel Cinematic Universe from day one: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is for you. For those who’ve jumped on board a little later: that’s alright – Marvel is more than capable of holding your hand and guiding you through the manic fever dream this second Doctor Strange adventure can be.

Benedict Cumberbatch is back as the Master of the Mystic Arts, and so too is director Sam Raimi, who’s previous Marvel outing was a few films in the early 2000s called Spiderman 1, 2, and 3 – you might have heard of them.

Teaming up Raimi and Doctor Strange is a no brainer, and this film does not disappoint on both the character and the director’s strengths. He also directed the Evil Dead, after all.

So, find out what happens in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness when the casting of a forbidden spell that opens a portal to the multiverse, and a threat emerges.

Opening at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema Friday, May 6.

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Movie Reviews

April 22, 2022

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

It feels a long time since the first Newt Scamander film scurried onto cinema screens in late 2016, and an even greater time since we were introduced to J.K Rowling’s Hogwarts world of Wizarding.

The magic is still well and truly alive though, with its beating heart intact: magizoologist New Scamander, played by the foppish haired Eddie Redmayne. Redmayne gives an increasingly more David Copperfield performance, and he combines with Jude Law’s Aldus Dumbledore exquisitely in the film.

They’re still taking on the wizarding worlds, pre-Voldemort bad guy, Gellert Grindlewald, now played by Mads Mikkelsen, and it invokes heavy themes of fascism in a Europe on the brink of World War Two. That sounds heavy, but the balance of light and whimsy get rid of those nasty ruffles of politicism. There’s a lot to love in the film: the visuals as well as the performances.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is playing now at the Summergarden Cinema.

Caption 2: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Nicolas Cage once bought an octopus - as one does when you're famous, and bored - for $273,000 dollars.

If that doesn’t entice you to watch The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, I don’t know what will. Unfulfilled and on the cusp of financial ruin, Nicolas Cage plays Nick Cage – he plays himself – and attends a wealthy fan’s birthday party in return for $1 million.

It all gets a bit wild - it’s Nick Cage after all - when he forms a bromance with the billionaire fan, Pedro Pascal’s Javi Gutierrez, and Cage becomes an informant for the CIA, and Pascal is cast in a Quintin Tarantino movie.

It’s mental, and you need to see it. Cage said this fictionalised version of himself “bears little resemblance to my real offscreen personality” but he bought an octopus for goodness’ sake – he stole a dinosaur skull, too. Seriously.  

Look forward to it, because The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is playing at the Summergarden Cinema from Saturday, April 30.

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Movie Review

April 14, 2022

The Lost City

In this fizzy action comedy, Sandra Bullock is Loretta Sage, a reclusive writer of exotic adventure novels in the vein of Indiana Jones. Her Jones though is “Dash McMahon”, a blond heartthrob bursting from his linen shirt on the cover of her books, the most recent “The Lost City”. We meet the cover model who portrays Dash early in the film - Alan Caprison, a beefy model who could best be described as a himbo: a good looking but unintelligent young man.

The pair don’t so much get along, but when Loretta is kidnapped by eccentric billionaire Abigail Fairfax (Daniel Radcliffe) to find the real Lost City, Alan heads off to save her. He’s determined to prove he can be a hero in real life and not just on the page of a book, enlisting the help of ex-Navy SEAL Jack Trainer, with Trainer played by a gorgeously wigged-up Brad Pitt.

Alan and Loretta quarrel and flirt their way across the jungle in search of help, and Fairfax’s mysterious treasure.

You can see The Lost City in cinemas Saturday 10.00am, 2.10pm, and 6.45pm.

Monster Family 2

A perfect picture for school holidays, watch as the Monster Family head out to free Baba Yaga and Renfield from the clutches of Monster Hunter Mila Starr. A return to the screen for the Wishbone Family as they once more transform into a Vampire, Frankenstein's Monster, a Mummy and a Werewolf.

Aided and abetted by their three pet bats, the family zooms around the world to save their friends, making new monstrous acquaintances along the way.

A “mix of the Incredible and Mulan”, this feature sees the family finally come to the realisation that 'Nobody's Perfect' – and even those with flaws can find happiness.

You can see Monster Family 2 Saturday 12.10pm.

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Flickerfest Returns To Airlie Screens

April 14, 2022

Film fanatics of the Whitsundays will have their eyes glued to the screen for the return of the Flickerfest Short Film Festival in late May as it brings hand-picked short cinema to the region.

Over 31 years, the largest short film festival in the country has screened the best of shorts from Australia and around the world to audiences across the country – this year chosen from over 3,200 entries.

With Academy Award and BAFTA accreditation, the festival is upper echelon in the Australian film scene, and heads on a national tour each year – having been through Airlie Beach on and off for the last decade.

Its curated 2022 National Tour has collected the Australian and International highlights from the 10-day Flickerfest Festival in Bondi, in what organisers are calling “A kaleidoscopic carnival of short films.”

This year, the tour will play the Best Australian Shorts, Comedy Shorts, and another category to be announced closer to the festival date on May 27-28.

Airlie Beach Rotary Club administrator and event organiser Dalwyn McErlane said she was extremely excited to have the festival return.

“It’s so great to have it be back, with last year our first outing after a bit of hiatus with Cyclone Debbie,” she said.

“It will be great to build it back to where it was in those previous years – so make sure you save the date!”

The full roster of short films will be announced in the coming month.

This year’s Flickerfest is themed after The Great Gatsby and will return to Airlie from May 27-28

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“Good Times” With Chisel And INXS At The Pub

April 14, 2022

This Anzac Day The Airlie Beach Hotel is hosting the ultimate Aussie Showdown featuring two of the country’s hottest tribute shows Chisel Revived and The Australian INXS Show.

In what is promising to be one of the biggest afternoons of classic rock anthems The Pub has ever hosted, The Australian INXS Show will kick into gear at 12 noon until 3pm.

Then it’s time for Chisel Revived to take the stage at 3.30pm until 6pm, keeping the bar-top stage rocking all afternoon.

The absolute festival of Australiana at one of Airlie Beach’s iconic venues kicks into gear with the celebration and honouring of both the memory of Michael Hutchence and INXS.

The Australian INXS show brings back to life the halcyon days of The Farriss Brothers, all the way from their self-titled debut onto Elegantly Wasted, all fronted by the enigmatic playboy Dellacoma Rio.

You’ll Never Tear Us Apart from the definitive tribute show that screams ‘Live Baby Live’ and exudes the live spectacle INXS were famous for.

It’s not time to head home though, because you won’t want to miss Chisel Revived, Australia’s number one tribute to the legends that are Cold Chisel and Jimmy Barnes.

They’ve performed hundreds of shows across the country for the past 10 years to rave reviews and sold-out venues as one of the best tribute bands in Australia.

Chisel Revived more than faithfully reproduce a huge cross section of the unforgettable and dearly loved classic songs of Cold Chisel, their live show is second to none.

You’ll be feeling like Cold Chisel has indeed Revived with the searing vocals of front man Scott Beoford, with his backing band featuring top class musicians who have perfected the unique sounds of Cold Chisel and Jimmy Barnes.

Make sure you’re sticking around for the whole show because Chisel Revived and the Australian INXS show will be teaming for a medley and maybe even facing off to find out who’s better: Chisel or INXS - in what can only be described as ‘Good Times’.

Catch both bands this ANZAC DAY from 12 noon till 6pm and rock the afternoon away, yeah baby!

Whitsunday RSL will also be conducting 2up from 1.30pm – 3.30pm at the Airlie Beach Hotel pool area.

Chisel Revived

The Australian INXS Show

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Get Gee’d Up At The Pub

April 8, 2022

This Easter long weekend the boys are back, entertaining the crowd from the roadside centre-stage at the Airlie Beach Hotel in a special event which sees them perform each afternoon from Good Friday to Easter Sunday.

Back by popular demand, the Gee’d Up crew offer a performance like you have never seen before – with choregraphed dance routines, hilarious jokes and unique medleys to some of the most well-known tunes – the show is guaranteed to entertain.

Influenced by all genres of music and their New Zealand culture, there is nothing that the boys of Gee’d Up can’t cater for with vocal styles that transcends into a fusion of soul, funk, edge and class.

To celebrate this special time of year with a multicultural flair, the Gee’d Up boys mix their Maori, Kiwi, Samoan and Japanese roots with a Polynesian element.

For the first time ever, Gee’d Up have invited dynamic dance troupe Mr Mr to join them on stage – these Polynesian dancers bring an authentic dance routine and mix it with some surprising elements to create a unique twist to tradition.  

Packed with laughs, fun and culture Mat Stokes from Gee’d up says that he is excited to bring some light relief to the stage - an opportunity for us all to forget about the challenges going on in the world.

“It’s a whole lot of laughs, fun and dancing,” he said.

“We want people to get out there, relax, laugh and have a dance if they want.”

From A cappella to beat box and base line to three-part harmonies – the band keep you guessing throughout the performance which is a non-stop rollercoaster ride where each song is a pre-mixed medley with no gaps in between.

“We love putting all these bangers together that people know,” said Mat.

“People don’t know what’s coming – we’re not like any other bands – the joke is always on us and the show is full of laughter because we have a go at each other live on stage.”

Gee’d Up will be performing Good Friday (April 15), Easter Saturday (April 16) and Easter Sunday (April 17) from 2pm – 5.30pm each day.

Gee’d Up performing live

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Meet The Infamous

April 8, 2022

When the costumes go on and the makeup’s applied, when the music kicks in and the lights flick to life, the performers of Infamous The Show take to the stage.

They are the death defying and the raunchy, and in their Spiegel Big Top they travel across the country as one of Australia’s biggest circuses.

But behind the scenes of their bombastic performances are the performers, including the unassuming Jemima - a “newbie” to the circus scene who is the on stage sexy Blonde Bombshell, Marilyn – and the seasoned professional, Jensen, a seventh-generation circus performer.

Jemima, who was born in the Gold Coast, started out as one of the ensemble dancers, she progressed to centre stage and “ties the whole show together.”

“I’m one of the main characters now - mostly dancing but I’m mingling all through the audience throughout the show and getting the crowd going,” Jemima said.

“Involving myself in every part of the show, really – she’s Marilyn with a more contemporary, sexy vibe. And that’s hard to be sexier than she was!”

With a background as a dancer, Jemima has travelled across the world and took to circus life back on her home shores three years ago.

She attributes why she’s slotted in so well to the family feeling Infamous exudes, which is a feeling she shares with Jensen.

“The Circus always calls back to me, no matter how long you’re out of it,” Jensen said.

Jensen’s family, the Ashtons, have been proprietors of circuses for 180 years, back to 1850, and he has always lived in the Big Top – it’s his home.

His role is on the Wheel Of Death, a large rotating apparatus on which he carries out synchronised acrobatic skills with a partner, and it has always been his dream to be on it.

“My first memory of the circus was when I was three years old, and my dad and uncle were doing the Wheel of Death at the time,” he said.

“They stopped, took me up and held my hands while we did it.”

This pair with vastly different roles and experiences – one a dancer, the other an acrobat – are part of the Infamous family. Catch them while you can over the weekend

for an incredible evening of Cabaret.

Jemima as Marilyn

Jensen on the Wheel of Death with his partner

Images: Lu-Ella Oxley SB Photography

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Movie Reviews

April 8, 2022

Sonic The Hedgehog 2

Sonic the Hedgehog, a blue ball of whirring energy - played with jubilant and childlike glee by comedian Ben Schwartz - speeds onto the screen. Across from him in a rain-drenched, broken backyard is a beefier, red furred and fisticuffed minion of the moustachioed Dr. Ivo Robotnik. For those who played the famed SEGA video games of the ‘90s and early 2000s, you’ll know this anti-Sonic looking red guy as Knuckles the Echidna, played here by Idris Elba.

Echidna, meet Hedgehog.

If that’s not crazy enough for you, you’ll have recognised Robotnik as a comically Machiavellian and moustachioed Jim Carrey. There’s a shocking amount of talent in Sonic The Hedgehog 2, which sees its eponymous hero take on Robotnik once more with a new friend and ally, Tails. Funnily, it all works – once you’ve toppled the tower of confusion that comes with watching an animated hedgehog fight Jim Carrey, that is.

There’s a deeper story here, too. Sonic finds responsibility and friendship during this fun, kids romp that is perfect for a school holiday watch. There are even jokes for the parents along the way.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (G) is playing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from today, 10.00am, 2.10pm, and 6.45pm.

Dog

A man and his best friend tale that plays to Channing Tatum’s strengths? – don’t mind if I do.

Lulu, a Belgian Malinois army service dog, was once paired with the late Sergeant Rodriguez, who sadly lost his life in combat. The dynamic duo had once been military royalty – but since his passing, Lulu has been untameable. Returning Army Ranger Jackson Briggs (Tatum) is tasked with getting Lulu to the funeral on the other end of America’s Pacific Coast on time.

A mismatch story to its core, Tatum delivers a touching performance along the journey. He and Lulu drive each other completely crazy, break a handful of laws, narrowly evade death, and learn to let down their guards to have a fighting chance of finding happiness. There are sombre touches, funny performances, and great scenery on show in this trip of a lifetime.

Dog (M) is playing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from today, 12.15pm, and 4.25pm.

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Movie Review

April 1, 2022

The Bad Guys

There’s an extraordinary cast of actors lending their sultry tones to The Bad Guys, which follows the notorious criminals Mr Wolf, Mr Snake, Mr Piranha, Mr Shark, and Ms Tarantula. Led by Oscar winner Sam Rockwell, triple threat of rapper, comedian, and actress Awkwafina, Richard Ayoade of IT Crowd fame, and comic genius Craig Robinson - The Bad Guys is off to a rollicking start just in its by-line. After a lifetime of crime and legendary heists, this band of notorious criminals has finally been caught, and to avoid a sentence, they must pull off their most challenging con yet – becoming model citizens - to rapturous laughter and the delight of audiences.

Under the tutelage of their mentor, Professor Marmalade (Ayoade), the dubious gang sets out to fool the world that they're turning good in this feature animated film filled with genuine laughs and comic characters that mixes up the usual good guy narrative, replacing them with baddies with a heart of gold.

The Bad Guys (PG) opens tonight at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from 6.45pm.

Marry Me

Jennifer Lopez is pop superstar Kat Valdez, and tonight she’s set to marry her fiancé Bastian before an audience of her loyal fans. But Bastian, played in slimey greaseball fashion by Colombian singer Maluma, has some pre-ceremony, unsavoury antics with a backstage dancer. With his cheating ways exposed, Valdez melts down on stage, and in a moment of inspired insanity, the songstress locks eyes with a total stranger holding a Marry Me sign in the crowd – Owen Wilson’s Charlie Gilbert – and marries him on the spot.

In classic rom-com fashion, the pair give it their best go, and events conspire to separate the unlikely newlyweds, but they must decide whether a pair from different worlds can find true love together. Wilson and Lopez have a surprising chemistry in the featurette, and comedian Sarah Silverman manages to be a consistent source of laughter as the quirky-best friend to Gilbert.

Marry Me is playing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from Saturday at 12.10pm and 4.15pm.

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Infamous Returns To Dazzle And Delight

April 1, 2022

The sexy, sizzling, devilish show that makes you laugh so hard you feel like crying, is back in town and its cast of flamboyant characters are looking forward to welcoming audiences to opening night this evening.

Infamous The Show has been touring Queensland and returning to the Whitsundays on an almost annual basis, with organisers saying this iteration will see the return of our favourite acts plus a range of new twerks and tricks to keep us all entertained.

“The basis of the show is never going to change,” said performer Bekki Ashton.

“But acts do change and evolve constantly as new skills are learned – we don’t want to ruin any surprises but there are a lot of new elements to the show!

“Simon and Mimi do a fantastic act where they paint using UV light – art is getting painted while you are watching – it’s incredible!”

The big thrill acts have also gone up a notch with the ‘Wheel of Death’ now featuring three dare-devil performers and the skills on the Flying Trapeze are set to wow the crowd with a double full-twisting summersault and a triple summersault – both extremely difficult tricks that less than 10 people in Australia are able to achieve.

Other popular favourites include the raucous and ridiculous clown, Jessie as well as newcomer Blonde Bombshell who adds a classy sexiness.

The Spiegel big-top tent has become a fixture on the Cannonvale Plaza lawn, with every cast member helping to erect the massive structure.

On opening night, the cast will swap their overalls and work boots for eyelashes, sequins, high heels and thongs as they set out to captivate and caress their adoring crowd.

Guests will enjoy an entrance like no other, when the round-bottomed Infamous Dancers show you to your seat and serve refreshments from the bar.

This year, they are introducing two specialty cocktails – the aptly named Jessie’s Dick and the fantastical Fairy Flosstini.

“It’s like circus memories from when you are a kid but with a delicious adult twist,” said Bekki.

Infamous The Show is in Airlie Beach, on the green field next to Whitsunday Plaza, from Friday, April 1 to Sunday, April 10.

The show is for adults only.

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Acoustic Sessions At The Pub

March 25, 2022

Bringing you quality performances by some of the very best local musicians, the Acoustic Sessions at the Airlie Beach Hotel run from Thursday through to Sunday evenings every week.

Residencies are secured by the best talent in town and range from experienced stage master Andy Mammers who plays Friday and Saturday evenings to local legend Matt Angel who has just returned to town and will begin his Thursday night residency in June.

Newcomer, Pluto Tango, is becoming a popular Wednesday night feature and with some fresh Melbourne-inspired renditions of our favourite cover classics, it is easy to see why.

Loui Battour is Pluto Tango, the one-man looping sensation that eloquently loops guitar, keys, electronic percussion and vocals live before your eyes.

“I like to play different stuff, not just the standard pub classics,” he said.

Focusing on groove-based elements, Pluto Tango observes music with playfulness and curiosity through a range of styles including Reggae, RnB, Funk and Soul - all with his own unique twist.

Originally from Melbourne, Loui started playing music so he could join a band at school and has been inspired by his musician father throughout his life.

With the music scene struggling in Melbourne due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, he ventured to Airlie Beach, arriving here six months ago, and he is now thrilled to be playing live music most nights of the week.

The unique name for his show was founded by the simple love of two words – Pluto and Tango. He searched online to check if the name had been used by any other band and was surprised to discover it was a phenomenon where the orbits of Pluto’s moon are thrown out of kilter.

Fortunately, it was not the name of another band, so the first ‘earth-based’ Pluto Tango was born.

Acoustic Sessions at the Airlie Beach Hotel are live, loud and free on the bar-top stage from 7pm Wednesday through to Friday and double-up on Friday afternoon with the first session beginning at 3pm.

For the full line-up, check out the gig guide.

Loui Battour is Pluto Tango

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Prince At The Pub

March 18, 2022

Celebrating the true majesty of world-famous artist – Prince – the bar-top stage at Airlie Beach Hotel will come alive with a tribute show that sounds, looks and feels like the real thing.

Hosted by ARIA award winning singer Andrew De Silva, the Purple Revolution Tribute Show is a heartfelt dedication to the music of one of the greatest icons of the 21st Century.

From Purple Rain to Little Red Corvette, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World and You Got the Look – the band will deliver back to back sing-a-long classics throughout the afternoon.

The following day, Andrew De Silva and his band will take to the stage performing their own unique take on R&B, Funk and Soul which is guaranteed to win the audience over with its versatility and charm.

Andrew De Silva shot to fame when his band, CDB, won and ARIA for highest selling single –“Lets Groove” and for over a decade, he worked behind the scenes lending his vocals and experience to shows such as Dancing with Stars, X Factor and the Masked Singer.

In 2012 Andrew was encouraged by friends and family to step back into the limelight once again and he entered Australia’s Got Talent, winning the competition and proving to himself that he has what it takes.

From stadiums to theatre shows to solo acoustic sessions and corporate events, Andrew is the seasoned performer that entices the crowd with his voice and musicianship.

Often likened to Prince, it was an easy decision for Andrew to put together a tribute show that played to his strengths and love of the legendary artist.

His show has since become popular right around Australia.

While emanating Prince is a fun element to his musicianship, Andrew also focuses on his solo music career and has just released his latest single “What’s Up What’s Down” which was added to Spotify’s Nu Funk playlist alongside artists Anderson Paak and Thunder Cat which has seen the track gain over 100,000 streams around the world.

Purple Evolution will be performing at The Pub on Saturday 2nd April from 2pm to 5.30pm.

Andrew De Silva and band will be on-stage from 2pm to 5.30pm on Sunday 3rd April.

Andrew De Silva

Andrew De Silva and band

Purple Evolution

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North Queensland’s Biggest Talent Show Returns

March 18, 2022

Calling all singers, dancers, bands, musicians, comedians, DJs and rappers, it’s time to express your talent on the stage as applications are now open for Fast Track North Queensland.

The only event of its kind in the state, Fast Track North Queensland is returning to the Burdekin Theatre on Saturday 2 April.

The talent showcase invites performers from across Queensland and the country who perform in all disciplines of the creative world to enter, with over $5,000 of cash and prizes to be won.

Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said it was fantastic to be welcoming the Fast Track talent scouts back to the Burdekin, with the talent show becoming a regular fixture for the region over the past few years.

“Fast Track North Queensland is a fantastic opportunity for all performers – from singers and dancers to bands, musicians, comedians and more – to gain experience on stage and be seen by capital city talent scouts here in the Burdekin,” Councillor McLaughlin said.

“This year we are incredibly lucky to have two special guest judges, Chris Sebastian, and Jael Wena, who will host an exclusive not-to-be-missed performance workshop for all contestants.

“There are only a limited number of spots, so I encourage anyone in North Queensland with a passion for performing to be the first to nominate before word gets out.”

Chris Sebastian was winner of The Voice 2020, while Jael Wena was a Voice Generations 2022 Grand Finalist.

Past winners have been from a variety of fields, and judges have said they want to see every performance style from every age group.

Entrants also travel from across the country, with contestants last year from as far away as Sydney and Brisbane.

Fast Track North Queensland will be held at the Burdekin Theatre on Saturday 2 April.

Applications are now open: email your contact and performance details to burdekin@fasttracktalent.com.au or visit fasttracktalent.com.au for more information.

Last year’s group of rising stars at the Fast Track North Queensland talent identifier at the Burdekin Theatre

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Movie Review: Blacklight (M)

March 18, 2022

Liam Neeson has shown his aptitude for helming gruff, no holds barred action flicks that pit him – a one man army on a quest for vengeance – against endless streams of henchmen.

In 2020’s Blacklight, Neeson’s role is no different as he plays Travis Block, a government agent who uncovers a conspiracy within his own ranks that reaches the highest echelons of power. Block has his own shadowy past, but when he discovers a plot targeting U.S. citizens, it’s time for him to draw the line. Soon, he finds himself in the crosshairs of the director of the FBI – whose life he had once saved.

This action political thriller sees Neeson put in an excellent performance regardless of the sometimes-cheesy dialogue, and audiences will come away with a reminiscence of the ’80s paranoid thrillers akin to The Fugitive.

Neeson’s weary-warrior act makes this run-and-gun worth the watch, and Blacklight is showing this weekend at The Bowen Summergarden Cinema.

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Proserpine Street Party Coming Soon!

March 18, 2022

Stall holders, musicians and amusement ride operators are getting excited to participate in the first Proserpine Street Party which is due to take over Main Street at the end of this month.

Everyone in the community is encouraged to come on down for a lively fiesta to celebrate the opening of the newly re-built Proserpine Entertainment Centre and more broadly, the unique lifestyle of our much-loved country town.

The Council-funded event is free for everyone to attend.

Live music will provide the perfect accompaniment as stall holders show their wares and a petting zoo as well as free amusement rides will entertain the kids.

The event takes place on Sunday, March 27 from 2pm to 6pm.

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Paint A Grand Scene At The Grand View

March 11, 2022

Bowen artists get your pastels and paint brushes set, on the last Tuesday of every month local artist Mel Stone has been hosting Paint And Sip sessions at The Grandview Hotel.

The next tipsy painting gathering is set for March 29, and it’s your opportunity for a no judgement artistic journey helped by some red or white wine.

If you’ve been out of the loop, Paint and Sip is a relaxing, fun way to step into painting, where a resident artist takes participants step-by-step through painting a picture, portrait or otherwise.

With an easel, paint brush and a creative juice -preferably wine, although it can be coffee, tea, or beer – you can enjoy a no-pressure painting experience, with no painting experience required.

Last Month’s session was a grand success at the Grandview, with the wannabe artists showing their teacher their very best interpretation of shuttered blue window with plants below.

New and novice artists alike can find out more by contacting the Grand View Hotel.

25 seats are available for the sessions, which run $45 per person, and they’re a guaranteed blast – you might even discover a new talent.

Bookings are essential, so call the Grand View Hotel on (07) 4786 4022 to secure a seat for the next go around.

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Classic Duo Crash Down At Foreshore Cinema

March 11, 2022

The Airlie Beach foreshore will fill with the sounds of chaotic battle next Saturday, but not between knights or Vikings, instead the long-standing feud between Jerry Mouse and Tom Cat will take to the screen.

The Tom & Jerry Movie will be playing for free at the Airlie Beach Foreshore screen on Saturday, March 19 at 6:30pm.

The Tom and Jerry movie pits the famous fighting pair against each other in another instalment of their continuing feud, this time in Manhattan.

Jerry, running from his long-time rival after an incident in Central Park, takes refuge in the Royal Gate Hotel, with Tom in hot pursuit

Tom soon finds himself hired to drive him away before the day of a big wedding arrives in this family fun film.

The 2021 released slapstick comedy is filled with familiar faces like Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, and even Ken Jeong – so there’s some fun for the parents, too!

Whitsunday Regional Council are inviting local parents and their kids along to this relaxed family night, so bring the picnic rugs, chairs and food and enjoy a night of entertainment under the stars.

Airlie Beach Foreshore Outdoor Cinema has been a hit with locals since its instalment and the upcoming screening is looking to continue the trend – make sure you’re arriving early to find yourself the best spot to snuggle up for the night with the family!

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