Hundreds of children enjoyed an Australia Day slime-filled fun fest at the Whitsunday Sportspark last week thanks to the first annual event run by Proserpine Youth Space.
Photo credit: Rachael Smith and Sophie McManus
Aaron Saxon considers himself a local having been adopted by a town that he says has one of the healthiest music scenes he’s ever seen.
Aaron first visited Airlie Beach in 2002 on the way to the Whitsunday Islands to perform.
He was living in New Zealand at the time and would often return to the heart of the Whitsundays.
“That’s how I knew, when I came back to Australia, where I was going to go,” he said.
“There’s a very healthy music scene and good people up here.”
Aaron’s been based in Airlie since 2015 and has been playing music professionally since he left school.
It was a musical upbringing that first inspired him to pick up a guitar.
“My parents had a huge vinyl collection, so they would be playing rhythm and blues and some jazz and some old soul stuff, all kinds of stuff really, so I was just growing up hearing that,” Aaron said.
Music ran in Aaron’s family, the family record collection consisting of Bill Haley, Louis Prima, Fats Domino, Sam Cook and Creedence Clearwater Revival who all continue to inspire Aaron today.
“They would just be on high rotation, turned up really loud so it was all part of our journey as a family,” he said.
“They all have (music) in them and for some reason I was really drawn to it and got my first guitar in year 12 and since then I haven’t really put it down, I just felt like it was the right thing to do.”
After decades of touring and performing across the world, both solo and with bands, Airlie’s intimate yet thriving music scene drew Aaron in.
“It’s a very small street and there’s a lot of live music condensed into that one street,” he said.
“As a punter, they can walk up and down the street and see a variety of different musicians and different acts happening almost seven days a week.
“As a musician, it’s a good place to be.
“There doesn’t seem to really be another town or street like it.”
As Aaron looks to settle down in Airlie Beach, he hopes to establish his own music studio and plant his roots.
“After doing what I’ve done for years and years and years, just constantly travelling, it’s a refreshing change to just take a breath,” he said.
With regular gigs at KC's Bar & Grill, Beaches Bar & Grill and Sorrento Restaurant & Bar, he said his sets depend on the time and place.
“I enjoy playing the chill singalong stuff and then it can get high energy and get people up and dancing.
“I use a looping pedal and I use the guitar as a percussive device as well, so I can create a soundscape that sounds similar to a band.”
One to please a crowd, Aaron sets often consist of songs that people know and love with a twist but will mix in some reggae and funk-inspired originals.
“A lot of the flavour that I do is based around reggae or funk at the moment with the looper, and just groove based stuff,” he said.
Find Aaron Saxon on Instagram at @aaronsaxonmusic.
Aaron Saxon has played music professionally since he left school. Photos supplied
It’s time to get your eyeliner, ripped jeans and skater belt out, because Airlie Beach Hotel is taking you back to the ‘90s for an afternoon of pop punk and emo hits.
On Saturday, February 11, the afternoon will kick off with the Blink-182 and Green Day Experience straight out of Brisbane.
The band will then back it up with The Teenage Dirtbags, the ultimate tribute to ‘90s pop punk and emo with songs from My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, Weezer, All American Rejects, Simple Plan, Good Charlotte, Frenzal Rhomb and many more.
Lead singer and guitarist Michael Geeves said the tribute shows came from the band’s love of pop punk music.
“We all grew up as little skater kids, we loved skateboarding when we were teenagers,” he said.
“Because pop punk is well aligned with the skating scene and Tony Hawk Pro Skater and that sort of thing, that was the music we listened to.
“When we were playing in bands around town down here, we would play that stuff in pubs and people were responding really well to those songs.
“Over time we started adding more of those songs to our set.”
The band then decided to start the tribute show, filling a gap in the market for tribute acts dedicated to ‘90s pop punk.
“We started getting a really good reaction,” said Michael.
“We actually have 40 and 50 year olds who bring their parents along because them and their parents used to listen to it back in the ‘90s when they were teenagers and they also bring their kids along.
“At shows, we’ve had three or four generations of people there.”
Michael fronts the band that also consists of his brother on bass and his best mate on drums, the trio playing music together since 2010.
“To do it with those two guys, we just have the best time because it’s what we love doing, we love seeing people go off to it, having a good time and enjoying themselves and it’s just as enjoyable for us,” he said.
“It’s a ball, it’s the best thing you can ever do.”
The Airlie Beach crowd can expect a set of hard hitting punk, taking them back to the days of Recovery, Doc Martins and chain wallets.
“It’s a tribute to Blink-182 and Green Day,” said Michael.
“People can expect lots of hit songs from the 90s.
“We’re also doing a special set at the end of the show to keep with the theme of pop punk and that sort of thing, we’re doing an extra show of pop punk and emo so there’ll be extra stuff like The Offspring, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte, all that sort of stuff.”
The band brought the show to the Airlie Beach Hotel last year and are looking forward to returning to the north Queensland heat.
“We made a lot of good friends last time we were there so we’re looking forward to catching up with a whole bunch of people as well.”
This show is a nonstop, hit after hit party that draws crowds of all ages and pays tribute to two of the greatest legacies in modern music.
The Blink 182 and Greenday Experience draws on all eras of both bands, featuring all the greatest hits and always leaving fans asking for more.
WHAT: Blink 182 and Greenday Experience plus the Teenage Dirtbags party set
WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Saturday, February 11 from 2:00pm to 5:30pm
This is a free show.
From the award-winning creators of Rumour Has It, Golden and Christmas Actually comes a brand-new music experience celebrating the world’s greatest soul artists.
Lovely Day brings together award-winning music theatre star Mat Verevis and soulful songstress Alisha Todd for a soulful walk down memory lane.
Audiences will relive and sing along to awe-inspiring music moments from the past 50 years including iconic songs from Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Bill Withers, Jill Scott, Etta James and Roberta Flack.
Every song on this must-hear setlist evokes a bygone era, set alight by world-class musicianship and emotional storytelling.
Mat Verevis is a singer, actor and songwriter best known for his performance as Barry Mann in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical which earned him a 2018 Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.
He also has many credits across theatre and opera in supporting, production and backing vocal roles, including a role in the Australian premiere of Lazarus by David Bowie.
The talented performer has even made appearances on national TV as a former contestant on The Voice Australia.
Alisha is a pop and soul singer, her passion and talent spanning songwriting, production and performance.
When not performing theatre, Alisha has been gracing the Australian original music scene and festival circuit in her indie-pop project GENIIE BOY and latin-soul-groove band Volcanic Lovers.
With a wealth of experience, Alisha is sure to deliver a memorable performance with Mat by her side.
Created by Adam Brunes and Naomi Price and produced by Little Red Company, Lovely Day’s promise is in the name, guaranteeing a lovely morning of melodies and singalongs.
The show embarks on a regional tour in February supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland, also making stops in Bundaberg, Carins, Ayr, Mackay, Gladstone, Maryborough and Caloundra.
Promising soulful original arrangements, magical vocals, and a musical walk down memory lane, The Little Red Company’s Lovely Day will uplift and inspire.
WHAT: The Little Red Company presents Lovely Day
WHERE: Bowen PCYC, Cnr Hay St & Queens Rd, Bowen QLD 4805
WHEN: Thursday, February 16, 11:00am to 12:10pm
TICKETS: $15 available from www.proserpineentertainmentcentre.com.au
Photo credit: Dylan Evans Photography
Lovers of Aussie rock will be in for a treat next Thursday when music from two of the most legendary Australian artists will be faithfully recreated by two of the best tribute bands in the country.
First up, there’s no need to get Downhearted this Australia Day, in fact it is time to get Reckless with the Australian Crawl Tribute Show.
Lead singer Mark Tinni (AKA James Reyne) formed the band five years ago and they have since been playing at large venues across Victoria, developing a huge cult following.
Most of the band members have been performing live music for the past 20 years and they love coming together to pay their respects to one of their favourite bands.
From 12pm on Australia Day you will be able to hear them play their most famous hits like ‘Errol’, ‘The Boys Light Up’, ‘Beautiful People’, ‘Oh No Not You Again’ and of course, ‘Reckless’.
A theme of sun and surf and of course great songs, this all-live show will transport you back to a time when you could see this immensely talented band sweating it out in your local hotel.
After Australian Crawl, Dellacomma Rio and his band take to the stage for the INXS Revived tribute show which will start at 3pm.
One of Airlie Beach’s favourite acts, the boys are returning by popular demand and Dellacomma Rio says he is excited to get back to town and perform for the crowds on Australia Day.
“My passion is live music,” he said.
“I always give more energy than I have in every show – the crowd can expect high-energy, high-passion!”
The INXS Revived Show celebrates and honours both the memory of Michael Hutchence and the band by bringing back to life the halcyon days of INXS, all the way from their self-titled debut and onto Elegantly Wasted.
From ‘Never Tear Us Apart’ to ‘Suicide Blonde’, ‘Need You Tonight’ and ‘Original Sin’, you will be able to hear some of your favourite classics in this fully themed, highly visual performance.
The INXS REVIVED Show is the definitive ‘Live Baby Live’ tribute to INXS and faithfully reproduces the live spectacle INXS were famous for.
The Airlie Beach Hotel will be the heart of fun and excitement on Australia Day and what better place to celebrate our nation than the local’s favourite Pub in the middle of Airlie Beach.
Ice-cold beer will be served on-tap throughout the day, along with specialty cocktails and a huge range of other delicious drinks.
A full menu will be available all day as well, from juicy Australian burgers to sumptuous pasta dishes, tangy ribs and chicken wings, pizzas and a range of dessert items.
The Pub at Airlie Beach Hotel has a large outdoor beer garden and a bar-top stage with a huge flat screen TV animating each performance.
There is also an indoor airconditioned dining room, pokie room and a sportsbar showing all the most popular games.
See you at The Pub this Australia Day!
PLAYING AT THE PUB, AIRLIE BEACH HOTEL
WHAT: The Australian Crawl Tribute Show
WHEN: Thursday, January 26
TIME: From 12pm
WHAT: INXS Revived
WHEN: Thursday, January 26
TIME: From 3pm
There are plenty of ways to celebrate in the Whitsundays this Australia Day.
10:00am to 1:00pm
Proserpine Entertainment Centre
Join Whitsunday Regional Council on Australia Day as the community celebrates Australia Day, Our Whitsunday Way Family Fun Day, from 10:00am to 1:00pm at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre. The family fun day will include a whole host of free family activities including live Aussie music, wildlife meet and greet, little red train, face painting, jumping castle, slip ‘n’ slide, craft workshops, family games and more! Plus, there will be a free sausage sizzle and lamingtons (while stocks last).
The family fun day will be followed by a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony before the inaugural Whitsunday Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremonies inside the PEC from 1pm onwards. General admission seating will be available for the awards ceremony until seating is exhausted.
Collinsville Community Centre
Every year, Collinsville residents gather at the Community Centre on Australia Day for breakfast facilitated by local community groups. During the event Australia Day Awards are presented, recognising the tireless efforts and contributions of volunteers and community members. The morning will also include music, arts and cultural performances from local community groups.
Breakfast will start at 7:00am with the Australia Day Awards to be presented by Mayor Julie Hall at 8:00am.
Registration opens 9:30am, run starts 10:30am
Join Proserpine Youth Space on Australia Day for their slime run spectacular! Fun for all ages, there will be an obstacle course set up with a jumping castle. The event will also feature a traditional smoking ceremony and Welcome to Country, Aussie BBQ, lamingtons, slime slide, entertainment and plenty of family fun. $5 per person or $25 per family with proceeds funding support and programs for local disadvantages youth.
Proserpine Youth Space is a not-for-profit organisation that allows the youth of the region to have a safe and open space to talk freely about how they are feeling or just catch up with mates.
10:00am to 1:00pm
Whitsunday Sailing Club
Discover sailing this Australia Day at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. There are opportunities to go for a sail with an experienced sailor, explore the club facilities and find out about the programs and sailing courses available. There will be a sausage sizzle going and activities available for the whole family. Discover Sailing Days are free to attend, and all boats and safety equipment are provided by the club. All you need to bring is clothes you don’t mind getting wet, a change of clothes, sunscreen, a hat and a friend or two. Suitable for ages 7 to 80.
The highly anticipated next instalment from Guy Richie also brings us the long-awaited union of this famed London Director with everyone’s favourite Cockney – Jason Stratham.
The talented duo team-up to deliver a suave, stylish old-school action thriller that knows exactly what it is and offers everything its audience wants.
A team led by private contractor Nathan Jasmine is hired by the British government to retrieve a valuable device known as "The Handle" before it falls into the hands of billionaire arms dealer Greg Simmonds.
They infiltrate a gala dinner hosted by Simmonds in Cannes and learn that the device is a highly advanced artificial intelligence.
Tracking Simmonds to his Turkish villa in Antalya, where the exchange for the Handle is set to take place, their plan is disrupted by the intervention of another private contractor, known only as Mike, and a shoot-out ensues.
This movie has it all; glamourous settings, espionage, deceit, quick whit and fast-paced fun – if you love Guy Richie movies, you will love this!
Tom Hanks fans are in for a treat in this heart-warming story of a recently widowed man who is struggling to navigate the world on his own after losing the love of his life.
When a loud and unruly family move into the house across the street he feels like his quiet solitude has been invaded, but soon realises he needs the connection when they refuse to leave him alone.
The spirited mother of the two children (Mariana Trevino) provides a much-needed candid commentary in his serious and stoic nature and Hanks cannot help but warm to her lively and caring personality.
Though initially resistant, Otto is drawn to her and the family, and he begins to open up and embrace the joys of life and connection with others.
As Otto's relationships with his neighbours deepen, he finds himself becoming increasingly involved in their lives and helping them through their various challenges by helping them fix up the house and even taking in their cat.
Through their relationship, Otto discovers a new purpose in life, lets go of his grief and embraces the joys of living in the present moment.
Showing now at Bowen Cinema.
A man of many personas, a voice that transcends the ages and a performance that is guaranteed to rock any stage, Dellacomma Rio is always greeted to a superstar welcome when he comes to Airlie Beach.
Famed for his lifelike renditions of two of the world’s biggest stars – Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Hutchence - Dellacomma gives passionate, high-energy, larger than life performances at his shows that always rock out to packed audiences at The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel.
“I’ve performed in towns all over the world and you can never tell where you’re going to take off,” said Dellacoma.
“But Airlie Beach is one of those places for me. This is the only hotel we ever perform at, the rest are convention centres and concert halls, but I love the crowd and the atmosphere which is why we keep coming back.”
Dellacoma was born in the US, (his dad is from Texas and his mum is from Brisbane) but he grew up in Tasmania from the age of two.
During his childhood, Dellacoma spent a lot of time attending an Acappella Church, where there were no instruments, just vocals, and he loved watching both his parents creating magical harmonies with others.
Later on, he attended university and discovered theatre and went on to launch an acting career while living in LA.
Dellacoma spent six years performing live theatre and featuring in some well-known TV shows in America before coming back to Australia and once again reuniting with his musical routes.
Following his return to Australia in 2007 Dellacomma recorded and toured with two Sydney based bands - Innertone and Sunset Riot.
He then launched his solo rock band career in 2014 with his first album, “Dead Will Rise”.
Earlier this year he released another album entitled ‘Blood’.
To most Whitsunday fans, however, Dellacoma Rio is best known as the front man for INXS Revived and the Bon Jovi tribute show.
“My passion is live music,” he said.
“I always give more energy than I have in every show – the crowd can expect high-energy, high-passion – I always say that you can capture moments in live music – during a show you can create something special that can never happen again, share an experience that only happens in that moment.”
Bringing the flare and passion of live theatre to his shows, Dellacoma is renowned for his flamboyant live performances, video screens running along simultaneously to the show and crowd interaction which has everyone in Airlie Beach coming back for more each time he is in town.
“I love coming to Airlie Beach, there are a few towns who have really welcomed me, and Airlie Beach is one of them – it’s next level!” said Dellacoma.
“The Pub and the crowd that come along to my shows each time have a really special place in my heart.”
Favourite song ever: ‘Dream On’ by Aerosmith
Favourite song to perform: It’s My Life (Bon Jovi) or Never Tear Us Apart (INXS)
Last song you listened to: ‘Madness’ by Muse
PLAYING AT THE PUB, AIRLIE BEACH HOTEL
WHAT: INXS Revived
WHEN: Thursday, January 26
TIME: From 3pm
WHAT: Bon Jovi
WHEN: Friday, January 27
TIME: 2pm – 5.30pm
WHAT: Australian INXS Show
WHEN: Saturday, January 28
TIME: 2pm – 5.30pm
WHAT: Rock Anthems
WHEN: Sunday, January 29
TIME: 2pm – 5.30pm
This weekend North Queensland’s skateboarding royalty are coming to Bowen for an action-packed two-day event which is free for the community and open to all ages and abilities.
Rumble is presenting a weekend of fast-paced skatepark fun which will feature Skateboarding Mayor of North Queensland Dexter Brassington who will come down from Townsville specially for the event.
Rumble's head MC and commentator Theo George will also be part of the event, giving attendees a unique opportunity to meet the industry legend.
“You’ve seen him on TV, you’ve heard him commentating some of the country’s best and now you’ll get the chance to meet him in person,” said event organiser Donny Fraser.
“This is a good opportunity to come down and give it a go – Bowen has two awesome skate parks right there and skateboarding is free and accessible to everyone – it is also really good for your mental health.”
Donny is helping selectors for the 2032 Olympics, and he is looking forward to meeting some home-grown local talent.
“There are some great skaters from the Whitsundays, and you should be able to see a lot of local talent on display at this event,” he said.
On Saturday, January 14 the action will kick-off at Bowen Front Beach Skatepark from 9.30am, finishing up at 1pm.
On Sunday, January 15, the Queens Beach Skatepark will be at the centre of the action from 9am to 12pm.
Everyone, from beginners to the more experienced, are invited to come along and learn from the best.
Get free lessons, tips and tricks, watch talented amateurs skate to impress and connect with the broader community, future events and a network of people who share your passion.
The event has been made possible by the PCYC in Bowen, through Australian Drug Foundation funding and the Bowen Local Drug Action Team.
The first event of its kind, PCYC Bowen are hoping to make this a regular feature on their social calendar, along with other similar events supported by the same funding stream.
“We have some of the top skaters in Queensland coming this year,” said PCYC Bowen Community Development Officer, Lynn Butler.
“So, it’s an event not to be missed! There is also a free BBQ provided by the PCYC and skateboards available for use – so bring your mates and come on down this weekend!”
WHAT: Skateboarding Workshop
WHEN: This weekend
Bowen Front Beach Skatepark, Saturday January 14 from 9.30am to 1pm
Queens Beach Skatepark, Sunday January 15 from 9am to 12pm
Cost: Free thanks to PCYC Bowen
Film lovers are in for a treat this year with an action-packed movie schedule announced for the open-air cinema located at the Airlie Beach Foreshore.
Bring your picnic blanket down and enjoy some bare-foot film-viewing while watching the sunset over the bay and the twinkling lights of the night sky appear.
This is the perfect activity for families, and it is completely cost-free with each event provided by the Whitsunday Regional Council.
Bring snacks along or treat yourselves to a takeaway dinner from a nearby venue or even one of the food vans that regularly set up on-site.
This Friday night two movies will be showing, providing back-to-back entertainment for the whole family will enjoy.
First-up is Barnyard, The Original Party Animals, which tells the story of Otis the bull (Kevin James) who, like the other animals in the barn, enjoys singing and playing while the farmer is away.
The carefree bovine, however, must soon find the courage to be a leader when, unexpectedly, he finds himself in a position of great responsibility.
Next-up is 101 Dalmatians, the much-loved Disney classic that follows the story two London dalmatians and villainess, Cruella De Vil, who wants to buy all the dalmatian puppies she can find in order to turn them into fur coats.
Open air movies will be held every second Friday of the month throughout the year and a full schedule is available from the Whitsunday Regional Council website.
In the meantime, here is the schedule for the next few months:
February 10 – How To Train Your Dragon
March 10 – Sing
April 14 – Shark Tale and Oddball
May 12 – Babe and The Sapphires
There’s no need to get Downhearted this Australia Day, in fact it is time to get Reckless with one of our country’s most iconic bands – Australian Crawl Tribute Show.
Featuring on Saturday, January 21 and then joining forces with INXS Revived for an incredible afternoon of live music on Australia Day, these Melbourne-based musicians have been performing live for over 30 years.
Lead singer Mark Tinni (AKA James Reyne) formed the band five years ago and they have since been playing at large venues across Victoria, developing a huge cult following.
Their success got the attention of Australian Crawl’s Drummer who reached out to Mark Tinni.
“We were contacted by the original drummer and we’ve since become personal friends,” said Mark.
“There are three Australian Crawl Tribute Bands in the country, and we are the only one that has been formally endorsed which has opened a lot of doors for us.”
Mark developed a passion for music when he was nine years old and by the time he was 15 he had become a drummer and a singer for a band in what he calls a “bit of a Phil Collins thing”.
By the time he turned twenty, Mark put down the drumsticks and focused on vocals.
For two years he received musical tuition from Peter Cousens which cemented his singing career and set his future on a new trajectory – bringing music to thousands of people through various cover bands performing across Victoria for the next 30 years.
Despite his musical success paying tribute to a multiple of famous acts, Mark always remembers the moment he first heard Australian Crawl.
“I was at a roller-skating rink when I was 17 when I first heard ‘The Boys Light up’ and I remember saying to my cousin that it was incredible,” said Mark.
“I remember feeling so inspired back then and this hasn’t changed since!”
When Mark got a “new lease on life” five years ago he immediately knew he wanted to start a tribute in their honour and, bringing together a host of other professional musicians, he hasn’t looked back since.
This will be their first time performing in Airlie Beach and Mark says the audience can expect to be transported back to the 80’s.
“We will play a heap of great songs that unfortunately some people may have forgotten about,” he said.
“When we’re finished, people always say that they can’t believe how many good songs they had!”
Australian Crawl are still performing today, and the tribute performance includes songs from the 80’s all the way through to present day.
You can catch Reckless in their debut Airlie Beach performance on Saturday, January 21 for some sweet Aussie summer vibes.
On Australia Day they will be forming again from 12pm and their set list includes all the hits like Errol, The Boys Light Up, Beautiful People, Oh No Not You Again and of course, Reckless.
At 3pm that afternoon the INXS REVIVED Show celebrates and honours both the memory of Michael Hutchence and the band by bringing back to life the halcyon days of INXS.
This show will take the audience all the way from their self-titled debut and onto Elegantly Wasted and faithfully reproduces the live spectacle INXS were famous for.
WHAT: Australian Crawl
WHEN: Saturday January 21 from 2pm – 5.30pm
Thursday January 26 from 12pm
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
WHAT: INXS REVIVED
WHEN: Thursday January 26 from 3pm
WHERE: The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel
It’s school holidays.
So, what does that mean? – A lot of things, sure. Kids everywhere, tired looking parents, an uptick in coffee consumption. But, I’ll tell you one thing it means for certain: A seemingly endless onslaught of animated features created specifically for children which curmudgeonly movie reviewers are tasked with watching and critiquing. The same gents who could – and certainly would - pick apart Citizen Kane, giving it a passing grade of C-.
Perhaps, like the grinches that they all are, these light-hearted festivals of fun can remind them what it means to be a kid – and their hearts might just grow three sizes that day.
In the case of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, the heart-growing is in full swing.
The feat from director Joel Crawford to accomplish anything with a film that is a sequel to a spin-off of a series 20-years old is exceptional. And that’s undoubtedly helped by the cast at his disposal, the veteran pair of Antonio Banderas (as Puss) and Salma Hayek (Kitty Softpaws).
Discovering that his passion for adventure has taken its toll - burning through eight of his nine lives - Puss sets out on an epic journey to find the mythical Last Wish and restore his nine lives. Channelling Indiana Jones, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is a whimsical treat.
The world of Shrek has always been replete with humour, particularly in its ability to embrace storytelling tropes, as well as breaking them in hilarious ways. And that’s the strength of writer Tommy Swerdlow’s script – it takes that manic, Grimm’s Fairytale world and turns it up to 11, adding in the spice of a Spaghetti Western.
As well, there’s a surprising elegance to the film’s animation, pushing the envelope of what we expect as an audience accustomed to two decades of Shrek and its spinoffs. Through a new, stylised approach, this film is as fresh and fun as they come.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish is showing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema now.
This Australia Day the Whitsunday Sportspark will be transformed into a giant family-friendly slime fest and the whole community is invited to come together to get wet, messy, and of course slimed!
A series of fun obstacle courses will challenge participants, an inflatable waterslide will excite and lots of happy volunteers armed with spaying slime will add to the exhilaration of the day.
Make sure you wear some clothes you don’t mind getting ‘slimed’ and bring with you some water, a towel and some sunscreen.
Attendees can complete the course as many times as they want and are able to compete with teams or family members.
The cost is $5 per person or $25 for teams or families.
All proceeds go directly back into local projects that directly help disadvantaged youth.
The day begins with registration at 9.30am and the Slime Fest will start around 10am.
Before this, there will be a Welcome To Country and Smoking Ceremony officiated by the local Indigenous people.
Organiser and Youth Space Coordinator, Renee Buckley, said this was an important part of the day.
“We are all part of the same family, and we share the same story,” she said.
“Australia Day is a time to ‘Respect and Reflect’ and it was important we included everyone in the community.”
There will be a sausage sizzle and lamingtons on the day and refreshments for sale.
Renee is also hoping to confirm some local live entertainment in the coming weeks.
“We are very excited to put this together and do something a little different,” she said.
“The kids love water fights, and they love slime so we thought – what better way to celebrate Australia Day than this!”
The event has been organised by Proserpine Youth Space and was made possible by a grant from the National Australia Day Council.
WHAT: Whitsunday Slimefest
WHEN: Thursday, January 26
WHERE: Whitsunday Sportspark
Bring in the New Year with some sweet tunes, ocean vibes, great company and a relaxed party atmosphere at Balearica Beach Club’s three-day spectacular fiesta.
Famous DJs, live musicians and roaming dancers will entertain across this epic event which spreads out over the Whitsunday Sailing Club lawns and incorporates two-stages and a barefoot beach dancefloor.
Relax on one of the soft white sofas, lay back on a sun lounger looking out to sea or get amongst the party and join the dancefloor that will be pumping throughout the event.
Legendary DJs will feature across the three-day event - Nina Sinclair, DJ Madison, Gloria Ansell, Skye Walker and Groove Armada’s Jamie Porteous as well as Austin King who used to play with Snoop Dogg.
A central dancefloor will be at the heart of the event and a second stage at the Bali Hut will offer a more intimate feel and chilled out vibe.
Extending from Friday, December 30, to Sunday, January 1, the first day will be a warm-up event and the last day a chilled-out Sunday session with popular remixes of your favourite songs.
New Year’s Eve itself will be the main day with a bigger festival feel that will feature an array of food vans and pop-up bars.
A Spanish tapas food van will serve up fresh and delicious street eats – from prawn skewers to meatballs, stuffed calamari and olives.
A world renowned, award-winning Paella Chef will also be attending and cooking some of the most incredible Spanish cuisine.
There will also be the Rilo ice-cream truck for the kids or kids at heart.
The main bar has also been extended and there will be dedicated espresso martini station, Corona bar and a champagne bar with a glass of bubbles free on arrival.
WHAT: Balearica Beach Club New Year’s Eve Spectacular
WHEN: Friday December 30 to Sunday January 1
PRICE: $75 per person for New Year’s Eve (kids free)
Globetrotting, ‘Atlantic Crossing’: A Rod Stewart tribute concert with the look, the voice, and the moves is making its way to the Whitsundays’ ‘Sailing town’ in early January
Direct from America, ‘Forever Rod’, a Rod Stewart and Cher Show is coming to The Pub for two free shows on Tuesday, January 3, and Wednesday, January 4.
Helmed by Rob Caudill as Rod Stewart and Ashleigh Toole as Cher - two world-class performers – this tribute act is a high-calibre affair not to be missed at the Airlie Beach Hotel as the very best of both artists is on display.
People stop Rob Caudill in airports for autographs. They stare at him in restaurants. And when he struts on stage, women scream themselves hoarse. Why?
Well, ‘Some Guys Have All The Luck’, Rob Caudill amongst them; he is an absolute dead ringer for Rod Stewart.
There’s the high-definition jawline, the shock of spiky blonde hair, but ‘Hold On’, this is the kicker: He has the nose.
And if that weren’t enough, Rob has Rod’s naturally raspy voice, which sounds like the legendary Stewart, even allowing him to easily nail every high note from the singer’s younger days.
He has Rod’s repertoire of favourites down pat: Maggie May, Hot Legs, Rhythm of My Heart, Forever Young, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, Tonight’s the Night, Do You Think I’m Sexy, and so many more – and it’s taken him all over the world, mesmerizing crowds with his amazing vocals and high energy portrayal.
And his credentials backup his looks: He’s been a part of the longest running Las Vegas based tribute show, ‘Legends In Concert’, for 15 years.
“I’ve got the greatest job in the world, making a living doing something I love,” Rob said.
In fact, those Las Vegas shows have left “no doubt about it”, with some famous faces attending over the years – take it from Joe Walsh of ‘The Eagles’: “This is one impersonator that will make you do a double take. He is that good.”
And John Entwhistle of ‘The Who’ had some kind words to say, too: “Rob’s voice and look is unbelievable. It is like looking at Rod Stewart himself”
Adding to the excitement is who Rob will share the spotlight with at The Pub.
Ashleigh Toole – a storied songstress who made it into the top 12 of Australian Idol in 2009, wowing the judges – will show off her honed likeness to Cher, embodying the famed singer as If I Could Turn Back Time and a young Cher is back on the Bar-Top Stage.
“Cher has many idiosyncrasies that I include in my show,” Ashleigh said. “It’s a lot of hard work but a lot of fun at the same time.”
Don’t miss their combined shows – the fun, the electricity – when it arrives at the Airlie Beach Hotel in the New Year for absolutely free.
What: “Forever Rod”, Rod Stewart & Cher Show
When: 2.00pm to 5.30pm on Tuesday, January 3, and Wednesday, January 4
Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel
Two Rod Stewart Tribute performances of epic proportions are coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel in January
Rob Caudill, who has the uncanniest resemblance to Rob Stewart, helms the free shows
Joining him is Ashleigh Toole, who will take on the role of Cher in the double feature
Utter insanity, thy name is Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.
I’m not entirely sure how someone convinced Shawn Mendes to star as a computer-generated, singing reptile. But thank goodness they did; we’d all been asking for it.
Most of the film’s fun comes from that absurd premise which is the topping to a standard film-base: The Primm family (Constance Wu, Scoot McNairy, Winslow Fegley) have moved to New York City, and their young son, Josh, is struggling to adapt to his new school. How do we remedy that? We give him a singing crocodile named Lyle (Shawn Mendes).
It’s all very Paddington without the foppish, British charm.
But where it lacks in that department, it makes up in spades of this fever-dream, phantasmagorical quality that makes it insane for viewers over 20, but sensical for those under it.
Why wouldn’t the crocodile have a taste for baths, caviar, and great music? It’s that dream-logic, kid’s storybook styling that is Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile’s biggest strength. And of course, as a children’s book, it has that moral heart of: Being an outcast isn’t a bad thing – be you, be unique.
So, after all of that mess of moral signalling, we have a story about Lyle's existence being threatened by the evil neighbor Mr. Grumps (Brett Gelman). So the Primm's must band together with Lyle's charismatic owner, Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem – yes, he’s in this), to show the world that family can come from the most unexpected places and there's nothing wrong with a big singing crocodile with an even bigger personality.
Regardless of the absurdity, there is an impressive feat of technical wizardry on display in Will Speck’s film that reminds of Robert Zemeckis’ Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In the sense, at least, that the actors are interacting with something actually there, if cartoonish, crocodile.
A good bit of family fun for the school holidays.
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is showing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from December 28
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile is absurd – but it’s also great fun for the whole family
A New Years’ Eve celebration is never complete until you’ve watched the magnificence of brightly coloured fireworks illuminate the night sky. There’s something about the dazzling lights and large pops of noise that inspire, enliven and cast you back to a nostalgic place where you can reflect on the past then look to the future with hope and promise.
There are three free community firework events this year:
WHERE: Bowen Foreshore
WHERE: Collinsville Showgrounds
WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore
WHEN: 8.30pm and 12am
Wear your best Hawaiian shirt and join a sea of bright, bold colours as you welcome the New Year in with a tropical party. Each guest will receive free Leis on arrival and legendary musician Lloyd Saunders will be performing from 8pm until late. Fireworks can be seen from across the road.
WHEN: open 11am until 2pm
PRICE: Free entry before 9.30pm and $10 after
Enjoy an Indonesian Smorgasbord at Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar this New Year’s Eve, the perfect beginning to the night’s festivities. Located at Mirage Whitsundays, this exclusive venue has uninterrupted sea views, and a delicious Gin cocktail will be served on arrival. The event wraps-up at 10pm and a free shuttle into Airlie Beach is running from 8pm until close.
WHEN: open 10am until 10pm (Indonesian Smorgasbord from 6pm until 8pm)
PRICE: $99 for adults and $59 children aged 4 to 12
Celebrate New Year’s Eve evening at Coral Sea Resort with poolside vibes, panoramic sea views and the sweet tunes of DJ Dave Brannon. There will also be real life mermaids, fire twirlers, a light show and fireworks at 9pm. The a la carte restaurant is open with Lobster specials and there are food stations dotted across the venue including the Wagyu beef slider station and the Moreton Bay bug roll station.
WHEN: From 4pm until 9pm
PRICE: $60 entry only
Everyone is invited to dance the night away at the Grand View Hotel this New Year’s Eve with live band Rebelquin booked to get the party started and play throughout the evening. A range of cocktail specials will also be on offer.
WHEN: open from 10am till late
The party will be rocking all night long at The Pub, Airlie Beach Hotel. With its bar-top stage, pumping atmosphere and friendly bar staff, this New Year is guaranteed to be fun. Start the party early with Gold Coast entertainers Geed Up - boasting their polished three-piece harmonies, impressive dance moves and unique humour – this band always impress. This event gets the crowd warmed-up for the headline act – Dreams – Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show. Re-live one of the legendary bands and performers of the seventies and eighties with a group of musicians dedicated to the task of bringing this era to the stage for all to enjoy.
WHEN: from 2.30pm
Dreams Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute Show
WHEN: 5pm until 12am (show starts at 8pm)
PRICE: $120 pre-sale ($150 on the door)
Kids eat free this New Year’s Eve at the Jubilee Tavern and families are invited to enjoy a meal together before heading into Airlie Beach to watch the fireworks.
WHEN: 5.30pm to 830pm
PRICE: Kid’s eat free with purchase of adult’s meal
Photo credit: Matthew Newton
Rumours? This ain’t no ‘Second Hand News’. Not someone’s ‘Dreams’. No, you’re hearing that magic, midnight music right: The Airlie Beach Hotel is bringing back one of its biggest shows in an epic New Year’s Eve extravaganza.
Australia’s premium Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks Tribute - which recreates the sound, look, and style of one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time - will bring in 2023 at The Pub in an epic two-and-a-half-hour non-stop event before transforming into their party cover band, Krush.
There might not be any snow-covered hills in Airlie Beach, but there’s bound to be a Landslide of Fleetwood Mac favourites thumping out from the Hotel when the crowd favourite ‘Dreams’ show will have audiences shouting, “Don’t Stop”.
Recapturing the seventies and eighties, bringing one of history’s most legendary bands – and its leading lady, Stevie Nicks – to Airlie Beach, this massive tribute show will stretch from 8.00pm to midnight.
Listen to the wind blow and watch the sun set as this well-oiled and talented group of musicians dedicate the night to the New Year, as well as the memory of Fleetwood Mac member Christine McVie.
Big guitar leads, all the iconic songs, and a perfect revival, Dreams brings the outfits, the moves, harmonies and grooves to the Bar-Top Stage at local’s favourite local, flanked by food and great drinks.
And if you needed any more convincing that this would be the way to bring the New Year in, listen to Dennis Dunstan, former Fleetwood Mac manager from 1981 to 1999: “The ‘Dreams’ Show was a breath of fresh air when it comes to Fleetwood Mac tribute shows. These guys deliver, big time!”
“I was thoroughly impressed from start to finish. Don’t miss this show if you’re a Mac fan!”
Fronted by ex-Las Vegas dancer and performer Nikki Canale, Dreams is host to the British-American band’s full gallery of anthems: Go Your Own way, Gypsy, Edge of Seventeen, Rooms on Fire, Say You Love Me, Everywhere, Sara, The Chain and many, many more.
After two and a half hours, Canale and her band mates will follow their performance up with a costume change, becoming the party cover band Krush from 11.00pm to see in the New Year.
Sisters of the Moon, beckon in the New Year at The Pub. There’s nothing quite like singing along to “Isn’t It Midnight” when the year comes to its close – especially in this exclusive, ticketed event.
At the end of the night, the Airlie Beach foreshore is right across from the Hotel, making it the best view for the annual fireworks display over the bay – you won’t even need to leave your seat.
What: ‘Dreams’ Fleetwood Mac & Stevie Nicks Tribute
When: Doors open 5.00pm for an 8.00pm start until midnight on Saturday, December 31
Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel
Tickets: Adult only, $120 per person pre-sale at Whitsunday Tickets
The Airlie Beach Hotel is welcoming back Fleetwood Mac in a tribute show like no other on New Year’s Eve
‘Dreams’ The Fleetwood Mac & Stevie Nicks tribute show is back in town to deliver a midnight sermon to beckon in 2023
The 70s and 80s are back with this incredible show that stretches for four hours at The Pub
Brisbane’s punk band of the moment is making its way down the Bruce Highway, flipping off North Queenslanders by the truckload in performances across the state for their newest album tour for ‘Real Rare Whale’.
Dune Rats arrive in Airlie Beach on December 30 for a Friday night, hearty-party festival at Magnums to keep the loud alive – which they’ve been accomplishing as part of an impressive upward trajectory.
Their new album already landed the No. One spot on the Australian ARIA position, has been nominated for Best Hard Rock/ Metal album, their shows are drawing in huge, sold-out crowds domestically, and they’re heading international soon enough.
Success to success has put the Brisbane trio on a one-way trip down from Cairns back to Brissie, and they’re certainly “Psyched to come back to North Queensland!”
“It’s been years but last time were some of the best shows we’ve played,” Dune Rats’ BC Michaels, the band’s backing vocalist and drummer, said.
The band’s front man couldn’t agree more: “North Queensland has always turned it on for us,” Danny Beus said.
“Last time the barriers were crowd surfed out of the venue so we can’t wait to see what’s in store the time around.”
That affinity for North Queensland might come from the working-class element – which punk has long-tapped into en mass – and it’s no wonder their Airlie Beach show is drawing a stir in the ticket department.
So, how best to describe Dune Rat’s music? Undoubtedly it owes a legacy to Nirvana, taking an absurdly Australian lilt at the American band’s alternative rock and infusing it with a healthy dose of the angrier punk-grime scene of the ‘70s – the Sex Pistols most enthusiastically.
But working-class Oi!-esque anger wasn’t the sole domain of Brits, and Americans didn’t have copyright on disaffected youth – Dune Rats reviles in the Brisbane punk scene, which has its own storied past and vibrant, acrimonious present – most notably in The Saints.
As well, Dune Rats sautés in the milieu of its contemporaries: They are indebted to the indie-trance music mesh of New South Wales bands like Skegss and Hockey Dad.
But, the Brisbane boys take it about three steps to the left – where Hockey Dad is either soft or garage rock, Dune Rats is impolite punk, no-holds-barred, like a harsher, throatier Join The Club. It’s a middle-finger-fusion where “good-natured bad behaviour” is reviled and proliferated to a new MTV Generation.
They’re big, bombastic, and they’re taking off, gathering steam like a punk locomotive – and they’re Australian to the core.
Crowds will head to Magnums Airlie Beach to catch Dune Rats on Friday, December 30.
Dune Rats are another of the big acts coming to Magnums Airlie Beach this year
James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water was, amongst what became a turning tide of popular opinion over the past 13 years, an unwelcome sequel. Audiences would certainly have eaten up a return to Pandora in, maybe, 2011. But after more than a decade, they weren’t begging for a new Avatar - but JC still thought he should deliver.
Has he delivered, though? Maybe. Certainly, he has in a few personal parameters.
What I mean to say is, the indisputable thing with this universe that Cameron has collated is that it’s a passion project where he’s aspiring to perfection not for audiences but for himself. For Cameron, his aspirations for cinema can be expressed in few key metrics: Is it visually stunning, is it pushing the technological envelope, is it splendiferous and winsome, awe-inspiring, and beautiful?
He believes that a simple, solid story surrounded by an exceptional shell of visual acuity and worldbuilding can still create something special. James Cameron is a master of ‘Movie Magic’ – the true blockbuster experience - where the audience’s jaw is plastered to the floor, and they’re saying to themselves: “I don’t know how he did that.” Therein lies the achievement behind his return to the Avatar universe – he has created something breathtaking and immensely enjoyable because of it. There is a beating heart to this world, like our own.
Avatar: Way of Water sees Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) return alongside Ney'tiri (Zoe Saldana), the pair having formed a family, trying to do everything they can to stay together by even moving across Pandora’s regions to a new aquatic land. We have the standard faire of action, but there’s also Avatar’s often heavy-handed message to protect our own natural world – one that Whitsunday audiences will be attuned to in its salience; The Great Barrier Reef may just be an excellent allegory for our own Way of Water.
Avatar: Way of Water arrives at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema today.
Avatar 2 is a cinematic achievement in its pure spectacle, and may very well capture the hearts of audiences worldwide
For the past six months members of the Bowen community have been enjoying the relaxational powers of breathing at free weekly Breathing Classes held by Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network.
Held by facilitators Megan Mattingley and Donna McLauchlan, the weekly classes are proving popular, with between 9 and 12 people attending each week.
“You can learn some simple breathing techniques to slow your heart rate down, as well as gentle movements to open up your body and calm your central nervous system,” said Megan.
“This creates a deep sense of relaxation and is great for anyone who wants to simply practice good self-care or those that are managing stress, anxiety, depression, grief and loss.”
Breathwork supports so many of the challenges that we all face in day-to-day life, and it has been used for years to connect mind and body.
It reached global fame when Wim Hof broadcast the merits of breathwork to audiences all over the world.
The way you breathe strongly affects the chemical and physiological activities in your body, by learning different techniques you can incorporate them into your everyday life to provide calm in times of stress.
The weekly classes are completely free and take place at Dynamic Health and Fitness, 33 Maroona Street in Bowen from 6pm to 7pm every Monday.
The venue is a beautiful community space with polished wooden floorboards and a relaxing vibe.
Attendees are requested to bring a warm blanket or jumper, a pillow, a yoga matt, and an open mind.
There is another breathing class in Airlie Beach every Monday at EvoPrime Fitness, 1A/11 Shute Harbour Road, Cannonvale every Monday from 6pm-7pm.
WHAT: Breathing Classes
WHERE: Dynamic Health and Fitness, Bowen and EvoPrime Fitness Cannonvale
WHEN: Every Monday from 6pm to 7pm
Music fans are excited to welcome back a visiting muso, and friend to many, Tennyson King – who spent some time here in the Whitsundays with the musical community in 2017.
Returning for the third time this year, Tennyson will be here all Christmas and says he is looking forward to reconnecting with some old friends and playing good music with good people.
Originally from Hong Kong, Tennyson moved to Canada when he was just eight years old and is inspired by travelling and sharing his culture with others.
He arrived in Australia earlier this year and performed at the Bendigo Blues and Roots Festival with his band before embarking on a solo adventure, doing gigs on the Gold Coast and now finally coming to the Whitsundays in time for Christmas.
Renowned for his “super chilled” music, Tennyson says that many have compared him to Jack Johnson.
Sharing stories of adventure and travels with the audience while strumming electrifying guitar sounds paired with silky vocal lines, Tennyson brings a rock and roll infusion, partnered with earthy roots and blues, all subtly laced together with psychedelic ear candy.
His pathway to music wasn’t always easy though, in fact Tennyson remembers having to take classical piano lessons as a child and viewing music more like homework than fun.
When his sister got him into radio, however, Tennyson heard bands like Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins and felt inspired to pick up a guitar, discovering a true passion for playing music.
For the past four years he has been constantly touring the world and has been given the name ‘nomadic musician’ having travelled throughout Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand and South America.
During his career Tennyson has performed with notable acts such as Paul Dempsey, Paul Woseen, Yirrmal, Geoff Achison, Clare Bowditch, Bashar Murad, Basia Bulat, Whitehorse, Sloan, Elliot Broode and The Jerry Cans.
This current Australian tour is timed to coincide with the release of his latest album – ‘Good Company’ and he has recently put out a remix by an Australian DJ.
You can catch Tennyson King live at KC’s and Magnums in the run-up to Christmas.
Favourite song: Under the Bridge by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Musician you would most like to perform with: Jack Johnson
Last song you listened to: Alicia Keyes – If I Ain’t got You
WHAT: Tennyson King
KC’s: December 20 and 21
MAGNUMS: December 23
Tennyson King is coming to the Whitsundays for Christmas
Get ready to Rock DJ, because it’s time to move your body.
The world’s most authentic Robbie Williams Tribute show is coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel for a close to Christmas carnival of the English musician’s best tunes from Life thru a Lens to The X Factor.
In a week’s time, grab yourself an alibi and make your way to The Pub for this show that captures the Feel of Robbie’s best: ‘The Robbie Williams Experience’.
Come and hold performer Louie Lee Feltrin’s hand - one of Australia’s most popular entertainers – in this all-out tribute performance of the hits from Let Me Entertain You, Millennium, Better Man, Monsoon, and many, many more.
The Melbourne-born musician transforms into one of the globe’s biggest superstar artists in this tribute show, utilising his own God-given gift (as well as pure dedication) of Robbie Williams impersonation.
Capturing that cheeky guy personality of Williams, Lee Feltrin caught the attention of the entire nation with his impersonation on Channel 9’s television program “StarStruck” – shooting him into the limelight as, arguably, the world’s best Robbie impersonator.
He went from strength to strength: That first TV spot with Channel 9 saw him become a highlight of Channel 10’s “Grand Final Breakfast” telecast of 2006, performing to over three million people, and in front of the nation’s Prime Minister and local and international celebrities and dignitaries.
His is a complete vocal and physical metamorphosis where Lee Felton takes on an uncanny resemblance to Robbie – almost scarily so.
Since those days he’s only perfected his spellbinding act, and he’ll be arriving for one show only at the Airlie Beach Hotel on Saturday, December 17.
A natural born entertainer who is spurred on by the energy of the crowd, Lee Feltrin is ready to bring his infectious love of Robbie Williams to the Bar-Top Stage at The Pub next week.
Robbie’s repertoire of anthems – Angels, Rock DJ, Candy, She’s the One – and even some of his newer stylings will be sung out loud and proud in this tribute show that edges on the border of the real deal.
Don’t miss your chance to book your seats at the Airlie Beach Hotel for The Robbie Williams Experience, entirely free.
A world-class tribute show, The Robbie Williams Experience, is coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel next week
Don’t miss Louie Lee Feltrin’s transformation into the rock-pop icon that is Robbie Williams
On the Bar-Top Stage, Lee Feltrin will blast out all of Robbie’s classic songs in an afternoon of music magic
We’ve all dreamt of a mid-life crisis where we’ve traded in our dead-end careers in real estate to, instead, become a Dolly Parton impersonator, haven’t we?
Just me? Okay. Whatever.
Well, that’s the basic rundown of Gracie Otto’s Seriously Red, a flick of supreme Oz-Camp in the vein of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – or Muriel’s Wedding, if that be your preferred flavour of bargain-bin, ‘90s Australiana cinema.
Written by Krew Boylan, who double-dips and stars as the titular Red, this film feels like a fever-dream throwback - both its earnest budget and its screenplay help to emblazon that ‘90s torch flare. Watching Seriously Red is like stepping back into a simpler, sillier time where movies might not take themselves so seriously.
In the opening, audiences are treated to the story of our vivacious and hilarious redhead (Boylan) who’s grappling with high expectations and low self-esteem. But the film moves at such a breakneck speed that we’re soon with her as she pours herself a cup of ambition and trades in her 9-to-5 for a life under the spotlight.
After misreading her work party's dress code, Red tumbles outta bed and finds her world turned upside down. She’s out of a job and quickly falls into a new world of tribute artists and impersonators in a wild and messy journey. Not to try and dissect a popcorn flick that includes scenes of romancing a Kenny Rogers (Daniel Webber) impersonator, but Seriously Red emphasizes how little choices can lead to a better life – those happy little accidents might just see you lose yourself in order to find yourself.
What can be taken away from Simply Red – a fun at its best dramedy that never takes itself seriously, nor overstays its welcome – is we might all benefit from putting on a curly blonde wig and getting out on the road.
Seriously Red (M) is showing from Friday, December 16, at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.
You’re darn tootin’ that Krew Boylan and Daniel Webber are vibrant, fun, and campy in Seriously Red
With December literally upon us and Christmas around the corner, a quick reflection on an amazing and unprecedented 12 months.
This time last year, we were frantically completing vaccinations, struggling to comply with and arguing about government mandates and borders were on the brink of opening up with normality almost within grasp. Since that time, we have been swamped by some of the best business conditions ever experienced locally.
Despite rampant COVID numbers in the first quarter, every sector experienced unprecedented and sustained growth with tourism flourishing on all fronts, building and real estate sales booming and all service and retail sectors travelling well, hampered only by staffing and accommodation issues.
We have had changes of government federally including our local federal member, a new mayor and now a December election for a new Division 2 councillor.
The chamber hosted a meet the candidates forum on Monday evening giving the business and general community a chance to meet and chat to the four candidates. After opening addresses and answering a series of pre-submitted questions, it was clear that we have some extremely passionate and well-intentioned candidates.
Interesting, without going into specifics, all candidates had quite similar views on most of the hot topics in both Division 2 and the region more broadly. It is safe to say that the candidate’s position aligned fairly closely with the preferences of broader community meaning the residents and businesses in Division 2 will be well.
The choice for voters comes down not so much to policies, but who they feel has the experience, time and drive to be an effective councillor. The chamber thanks the candidates for their time on Monday and wishes them all good luck on Saturday. We are grateful to have the option to pick from some quality candidates.
From Allan Milostic, President of Whitsunday Coast Chamber of Commerce.
A series of information sessions were held in Cannonvale and Bowen this week in an effort to give individuals working in the beauty industry the knowledge and resources to best deal with disclosures of domestic or sexual violence.
Owner of The Beauty Room Airlie Beach, Charlotte Greenwood, attended a session and said that she understands how important it is to know how to respond.
“When you find your ‘beauty person’ you tend to go to the same one every time and this creates friendship and trust,” she said.
“You end up knowing everything about them and people feel comfortable to disclose.
“Although I haven’t had a serious disclosure yet, I came here today to find out about the signs to look for and how to respond.”
The two-hour information sessions were held by Whitsunday Counselling and Support (WCS) who actively work within the community to provide services such as the Women’s Refuge.
“This project is just brilliant,” said Poppy Annear, Women’s Refuge Coordinator.
“Often it’s the final step that’s the hardest and encouraging them to make the final move.”
During the information sessions attendees were given tools to best respond to disclosures and advised on how to emotionally process hearing about the trauma.
They also received resources for their business detailing referral pathways.
Amanda Jensen from WCS facilitated the sessions and says she is happy to come to any salon or beauty parlour in the Whitsundays to give the same free talk to anyone who is interested in upskilling their team to handle disclosures.
Poppy Annear, Women’s Refuge Coordinator, with owner of The Beauty Room Airlie Beach, Charlotte Greenwood and Whitsunday Counselling and Support Manager, Amanda Jensen. Photo credit: Rachael Smith
It’s time: Let’s Go Crazy! Because one of Australia’s biggest R&B artists, with a career spanning three decades, is bringing his dedication to The Artist (Formerly Known as Prince) to the Airlie Beach Hotel in December.
Andrew De Silva, the famed R&B and Rock singer who exploded onto the scene in the ‘90s as the leading member of CBD (famous for their platinum award winning cover of ‘Let’s Groove’, amongst other hits) and returned to the limelight as winner of 2012’s Australia’s Got Talent, is making his way to ‘The Pub’ for two shows next weekend.
On Saturday, December 10, Andrew will take to the stage in a heartfelt tribute to the music of one of the 21st Century’s greatest musicians and icons, Prince.
Get on your Raspberry Berets and head to locals’ favourite local and see De Silva, a multi-platinum, ARIA award winner, join forces with Australia’s leading musicians to take audiences on a funk-filled, electrifying musical journey through the life of Prince.
To say that Andrew is a musician who has “done it all” is an understatement. His storied career at the top of the Australian music world saw him receive countless vocal comparisons to Prince and led to him putting together his band Purple Revolution – a tribute to the diminutive star which has been pegged as “One of the best going around” and like “Born again Prince”.
From stadiums to theatre shows and solo acoustic sessions, Andrew has proven time and again that he is a seasoned performer that simply entices the crowd with his voice and musicianship.
Andrew’s Prince Show promises to bring you the songs, entertainment, the energy, and the individuality that is His Royal Badness. It’s the entire experience of Prince’s discography: From his albums I Wanna Be Your Lover to Diamonds and Pearls and Purple Rain. Every song from Around the World in a Day, Paisley Park, and Kiss – there’s no stone Andrew won’t uncover in this free, two-hour show.
And that’s just half of what Andrew is offering in his two-day extravaganza. From Saturday’s Prince performance, he’ll return, transforming from the iconic artist back to himself on Sunday to play his own repertoire of famous tunes.
He’s a true artist, always evolving, and is proving that his sound and style is still on the pulse. Don’t miss him performing his back catalogue as well as his latest single What’s Up What’s Down.
Catching Andrew with his band or as a solo artist is pure world class entertainment. The R&B and Soul specialist is versatile, able to win over any audience, and will never disappoint.
Don’t miss Andrew De Silva when he arrives at The Pub for a Saturday afternoon show as Prince, and when he returns as himself on Sunday at the Airlie Beach Hotel.
WHAT: Andrew De Silva’s ‘Dedication To Prince’ and ‘Andrew De Silva & Band’
WHEN: 2.00pm to 5.30pm on both Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11
WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel
Andrew De Silva is bringing Prince to The Pub with his Dedication to The Artist in December
De Silva will be making two performances over two days at The Airlie Beach Hotel, one as himself and one as Prince
Andrew has a long career in the Australian Music scene, most famously as a member of CBD
When Black Panther arrived in theatres in 2018, black audiences felt they had been given their mainstream cinema voice. Marvel, at the height of its powers, had given their culture the platform it deserved.
There had been arthouse films before it, like 2016’s Moonlight, or more mainstream ventures like Jordan Peele’s Get Out, and audiences were experiencing a renaissance for black cinema – particularly the American kind. But Black Panther was the one that picked up the ball, and Marvel had a touchdown. A huge commercial and critical success and following it up was always going to be a challenge.
What doubled the difficulty of the task was the death of Black Panther’s star, Chadwick Boseman.
Ryan Coogler, who returns to direct Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is hyper aware of this. He has a balancing act that now demands several things: The action needs to be exceptional, the stakes higher, the culture vibrant, and it needs to be a poignant tribute. But, of course, if that weren’t difficult enough, Coogler is tasked with maintaining the tired Marvel demand that all things must serve The Franchise.
The Franchise demands toy sales, it demands comic sales, it demands more box-office, more tie-ins, more sequels. And so, here we are, two years removed from Boseman’s death with a sequel that, yes, audiences asked for. But was it in this circumstance?
I don’t think any director would envy him for the tearing pain the directions his studio, his actors, and his conscience were tugging him in throughout production.
How does Black Panther: Wakanda Forever fair, though? Its performances are its beating heart; its actors are grieving and the moments where Boseman is remembered are its most remarkable and touching. That heart is surrounded by a standard Marvel film body. One that is serviceable but could have been much more had Coogler been free of commercial constraints. Grief overshadows this superhero sequel.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PG-13) is showing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema from Saturday, December 3.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is serviceable Marvel cinema with a strong, sombre story at its core
Visiting 20 different venues up and down the East Coast, the Festival of Small Halls brings some of the best folk and contemporary acoustic artists from as far afield as Prince Edward Island, Canada, and as close as Byron Bay, to the McKenna Hall in Bowen this Wednesday night.
A celebration of soulful sounds and great company, this rich and vibrant touring festival sees halls of every shape and size flung open for an event which is dedicated to bringing quality music to regional communities.
For the for the past 30 years, music lovers have been enjoying The Festival of Small Halls, an opportunity for everyone to gather for an evening of music, cakes, tea and neighbours.
Having departed Mount Mee on November 16, the tour featured at the Queenscliff Music Festival before its stop in Bowen and will travel on to conclude at the Woodford Folk Festival on January 1.
Bowen will be its northernmost venue.
Famous for their larger-than-life music festivals, Woodfordia Inc. are the creators of the event which always features at least one Australian act and a touring international band.
This year they present Byron Bay-based folk-pop songwriter Sam Buckingham, whose repertoire has progressed alongside her life experience.
Growing from her American/folk roots into alternative pop with fierce storytelling and rich
soaring vocals, Sam’s live show combines vocal looping with guitar into a dynamic and intimate performance.
"To be back touring again after two years of stops, starts and a lot of waiting has felt magical,” said Sam.
“To then be invited to work with legendary Small Halls tour feels like a dream. I've seen my friends play these shows, and heard them rave about the beautiful shows, the incredible team, and the lovely people they meet along the way. I'm honoured to become a part of this nationwide family."
A young trad-folk trio, Inn Echo, from Prince Edward Island in Canada are also featuring.
Blending hundred-year-old traditional tunes with contemporary arrangements and originals that have been enchanting audiences across the Pacific, their music is captivating and beautifully crafted.
Each member hails from a different town and they each blend their individual experiences into this project.
“We are beyond excited to bring our music to Australia for the first time as part of the Festival of Small Halls!” said the group.
WHAT: Festival of Small Halls
WHEN: Wednesday, December 7
WHERE: McKenna Hall Bowen
Byron Bay based folk-pop songwriter Sam Buckingham
Trad-folk trio, Inn Echo, from Prince Edward Island in Canada
Qui Nguyen coats his animated feature with world-building, transforming what is ostensibly a standard narrative into an exceptionally poignant, visually gorgeous, and thoroughly jubilant tale in a vibrant world. The writer-director has crafted a heartfelt and humorous ode to classic, pulp action-adventure comics of old with his 2022 animated film Strange World.
In terms of script, there is the old familiar framework: An emotional tale of an estranged father and son, and the legacy and expectation our previous generations can leave behind. It borrows heavily from classical works like Jules Verne’s ‘Journey To The Centre Of The Earth’, as well as Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, but there is a complexity, comedic, and contemporary feel that elevates Strange World from its pulpy premise.
We follow Jake Gyllenhaal’s Searcher Clade, the son of legendary explorer Jaeger. Gyllenhaal is our audience vehicle – an everyman character – but his complexity comes from his relationship with his father, played with roguish charm by Dennis Quaid. Jaeger disappeared on an unchartered adventure in year’s past, and now Searcher is heading on a similar trip, torn from his normal home-life by a sense of generational duty. He takes with him Ethan, his son played in earnest and humorous manner by Jaboukie Young-White, who definitively steals the show. When Jaeger, believed to be dead, is found living as a Crusoe-esque figure in a manic, goopy world of alien lifeforms, generations collide and are forced to reconcile with emotional trauma.
A film of stunning beauty – pushing the envelope on animations malleable form – Strange World is at its core an age-old message that is a more than welcome revival. Charming and disarming, the film is a triumph and the best animated feature of the year with a heart of gold.
Strange World opens tonight at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.
Strange World is a visually gorgeous animated feature with a message of bettering our world
Local creatives are rejoicing after the official opening of a new gallery in Airlie Beach which hopes to become a home for the Whitsundays’ artists and their artworks.
The 3 Little Birds Espresso & Creative Hub conducted its first open weekend starting from Friday, November 4, and ending on Sunday, November 6, inviting the Whitsunday community in to view nine artists’ works across the mediums of paint and sculpture.
The local artists displaying their pieces included Brigette Peel, Courtenay Vivian, Angela Vivian, Agnes Durbet, Bernard Avantin, Pam Harrison, Leah Warren, and Nelida Avila.
Another of the artists, Joan Hunter of JHunter Creations, curated and opened the gallery alongside her two sisters as an extension of their business, 3 Little Birds Espresso, which is situated next door.
“When we opened up our café, we started meeting local artists who wanted a space to display their artwork,” Ms Hunter said.
“When we were given the opportunity to take over this space next door, we thought: This is how we can support the creatives in our local community.
“We want to be a voice of people at all levels of artistic capability.”
The official gallery opening on Friday was named ‘A Day With an Artist in Airlie Art Exhibition’ and introduced locals to the space and the artworks, as well as hosting live music by Whitsunday musician Lucy Sherrington.
“A Day With an Artist In Airlie is a concept we came up with thinking that, even if it’s not local, if they’re international, national, we can host them,” she said.
“It doesn’t need to be a visual art either, we have the space for sculptures and even movement; we’re limited only by our imagination.”
Ms Hunter said the gallery is “an organic space” where malleability is key, with it already being utilised to host Central Queensland University creative workshops.
“If we need to, we can adapt it; add false walls, chop and change it, host workshops” she said.
“It’s not a clinical environment, it’s a creative space where people’s creativity can flow.”
The 3 Little Birds Espresso and Creative Hub plan to continue hosting exhibitions, as well as Paint & Sip sessions, workshops, and more, including potential collaborations with Whitsunday Arts Festival.
Locals turned out in droves for the official opening night of the 3 Little Birds Creative Hub in Airlie Beach, a new home for Whitsunday artists
Image: Hannah Hannon-Worthington
There’s an early Christmas present for the Whitsundays’ live music fans with Allday heading up the coast on a festive tour.
The Adelaide born hip-hop artist – a three time Top 10 Aria charter with over 80 million streams under his belt – is on the road, arriving in Airlie Beach at Magnums, November 24.
The young artist has a palette of influences he’s drawn from for inspiration: "I grew up listening to different kinds of Hip Hop from MF Doom and Wu Tang to Kanye and Drake,” Allday said.
“I am also influenced by folk, country & old rock. I think the goal of my music is to combine it all.”
Aussie audiences know him from his hits like ‘Girl in the Sun’, ‘You Always Know the DJ’, and countless covers alongside The Veronicas.
With a monster new single under his belt, ‘Runtrack’, Allday is heading across the country to bring all the hits from his acclaimed four albums to the stage, as well as some new stuff.
There'll be fresh new tunes to go along with the swag of platinum and gold record hits, the favourites from countless Triple J Hottest 100 appearances, and the sing-along monsters that have been shutting down huge festivals for years – like Groovin’ The Moo, Beyond The Valley, Falls Festival, Field Day and more.
Don't miss Allday live for his ‘Early Christmas Present Tour’ at the local venue in two weeks’ time.
WHAT: Allday Early Christmas Present Tour
WHEN: Thursday, November 24 from 8.00pm
WHERE: Magnums Airlie Beach
Adelaide-born artist Allday will bring his acclaimed Oz hip-hop to Airlie Beach in a few weeks
This weekend marks the start of the seven-day Schoolies celebration, with hundreds of students from around the country inundating the local holiday town of Airlie Beach to mark the moment their formal education finishes and life as young adults begins.
Last year 1500 school leavers chose to celebrate Schoolies in Airlie Beach and organiser Margie Murphy said that this years’ event will be another opportunity for a brand-new cohort to enjoy festival vibes, local tours, and nightly parties.
Located in Fairy Tree Park, the main festivities will begin at 8pm each evening and finish at 12am.
Popular local DJs such as Isaiah and Karma will be performing, and they will be joined by special guests DJ B and Nina Sinclair.
For the first time, there will also be a Schoolies DJ competition where attendees from around the state will battle it out on the main stage.
Each evening will also have a theme: Saturday is ‘Back to School’, Sunday ‘Tight & Bright’, Monday there will be a Pink Party, Tuesday is ‘Tropical’, Wednesday ‘Festival Fits’, Thursday night is a ‘Neon Disco’, and Friday features a classic ‘White Party’.
A special bus service will be running nightly from in front of the Heart Hotel between 10pm and 1am to get Schoolies safely to their accommodation.
The event is supported by the Queensland Government Safer Schoolies Program, Whitsunday Regional Council, Queensland Police Service, and Queensland Ambulance Service.
On ground support is given by the kind volunteers at Red Frogs and WYAM (Whitsunday Youth with a Mission).
This is strictly open to Year 12 students, with school ID required upon entry.
A fully fenced perimeter will ensure ticketed entries only and it is an alcohol-free event.
“Last year we had such a great bunch of kids come and enjoy the event who were really well behaved,” said Margie Murphy.
“These are Airlie’s future tourists, so making them feel welcome and safe benefits everyone in the long run as they are sure to keep returning”
WHAT: Schoolies Week
WHEN: Saturday, November 19 to Friday, November 25
WHERE: Fairy Tree Park
TICKETS: airlieevents.com.au or at the gate
Last year 1500 youngsters attended Schoolies in Airlie Beach
Crowds at The Pub are going to be singing loud and proud: “I Need You Tonight”, when Dellacoma Rio and five enigmatic, energetic, and effervescent musicians take on the role of one of Australia’s biggest bands.
The Australian INXS Show is ‘What You Need’, and it’s making its way to The Airlie Beach Hotel, not just once, but three times, beginning with their performance on Saturday, November 26.
The country’s number one touring INXS tribute band are bringing their Oz music-inspired magic to locals’ favourite local alongside The Down Under Show where they’ll run the gamut of Australian Classic Anthems.
‘Listen Like Thieves’ as playboy Dellacoma Rio celebrates and honours both the memory of Michael Hutchence and his exceptional band by bringing back to life the halcyon days of INXS, all the way from their self-titled debut to Elegantly Wasted – it will bring you to ‘Bitter Tears’.
The Australian INXS Show is Australia’s definitive tribute to the Sydney-side band, faithfully reproducing their live spectacle, their sound, and their feeling.
There’s a reason these boys have sold out venues worldwide with incredible high energy live shows, including headline concerts in Dubai, India, China, and New Zealand, and exclusive headline theatre shows on Royal Caribbean cruise ships.
Although it’s almost impossible to capture the essence of the late Michael Hutchence, Dellacoma Rio – an experienced, explosive lead vocalist with a relentless work ethic – comes as close as you can get.
He’s shared the microphone across the globe with a slew of major acts like Def Leppard and Skid Row, as well as graced main stages at major festivals. He brings the natural charisma of Michael Hutchinson to the stage in a performance that needs to be seen to be believed.
Dellacomo is backed by Rob Moody, a 21-year guitar veteran of the Melbourne gig scene; Tim Phillips, a bass guitar legend of the Victorian capital; the consummate professional drummer Noel Tenny; and Tim Saxon, another Melbourne muso-alumni.
Since 2012, when INXS closed the book on their storied career as a band, thanked their fans, and paid tribute to their fallen front man Michael Hutchence, there have been few that have encapsulated the spirit of one of Australia’s biggest acts.
With The Australian INXS Show, audiences can come within touching distance of the band that entertained the world for 35 years and who sold over 30 million albums.
Don’t miss your chance to see them live and loud at The Pub in late November, on Australia Day, and back again for a third outing on January 28.
WHAT: The Australian INXS Show, Australia Day Two Up INXS & Aussie Crawl, and INXS Revived
WHEN: 2.30pm to 5.00pm on Saturday, November 26, Saturday, January 28, and from 3.00pm on Thursday, January 26.
WHERE: Airlie Beach Hotel
Never Tear Us Apart! The Australian INXS Show is heading to The Airlie Beach Hotel in November
For the first of three shows within three months, the Dellacoma Rio led, six-piece band will take to the bar-top stage
Don’t miss them in a few weeks’ time, as well as live and loud for Australia Day
Last week, a former Federal Member of Parliament and now Whitsunday resident announced the release of his seventh crime novel.
Richard Evans launched his new thriller, ‘The Mallee’, which focuses on the issues surrounding water in a fictional world close to our own. Political power and criminal leverage are used to achieve economic and social goals while following a female politician fighting for her community.
“Through The Mallee I aim to keep alive the critical issue of water rights in public debate, as well as exposing the political dark arts, the ruthless nature of the politics we never see,” Richard Evans said.
“The Mallee, and my other books, are a form of creative advocacy on contemporary issues. I use political fiction to pose different perspectives on issues important to the community.”
Evans’s novel highlights the socio-economic challenges of water allocation, the impact and responsibility of water rights’ license holders, and the role of politics and politicians in addressing these and other community issues.
The once Federal Member of Parliament during the 1990s Keating-Howard era, Evans said he brings “authentic insider knowledge to his writing.” and an “understanding of how the political system operates beyond the headlines.”
The novel is part of his ‘Referendum Series’, where each title explores modern issues “confounding the Australian public which are sent to referendum to amend the Australian Constitution.”
Evans’ books have explored parliamentary integrity, equity and inclusion, Aboriginal sovereignty, euthanasia, capital punishment, and the manipulation of election campaigns.
It is the first novel Evans has published since becoming a Whitsunday resident in September of this year.
In the future Evans has plans to complete a novel set in the region.
Author Richard Evans, a new Whitsunday resident and once Federal Member of Parliament, released his seventh crime novel in November
Anthony Fabian’s Mrs Harris Goes To Paris – based on Paul Gallico’s beloved 1958 novel – is a saccharine story in the best of senses. As maudlin (and occasionally pernicious) as it may be at times – especially in its assertions of capitalism’s ability to provide the poorer classes with happiness - audiences can’t help being drawn in on the whimsical journey.
In 1950’s London, Mrs Harris (played with exceptional facility and lovability by Lesley Manville), a widowed cleaning lady falls madly in love with a couture Dior dress. After working to raise the funds to pursue her consumerist dream, she embarks on an adventure to Paris that will “change not only her own outlook -- but the very future of the House of Dior.”
Fairy-tale escapism is the order of the day in the adapted film – which has potential sequel opportunity, considering its origins as part one of a four book series of the titular Ada Harris’s adventures. And there’s a chance for it: Lesley Mansville gives a luminous performance, one which audiences can’t help but smile at. In the hands of a lesser actor, the script could easily become sentimental drivel. But instead, Manville has us cheering along for her blue-collar performance, letting us in on how small dreams can sometimes mean an entire world.
A few unfortunate events are led by the frosty Claudine Colbert (Isabelle Huppert), who acts as a gatekeeper of taste who does her best to keep Mrs Harris at arm’s length from the posh upper crust.
Manville’s Cockney, chirpy cliché mounts challenge after challenge, undeterred by anything in her wake in this sugary film that is just what the doctor prescribes in a world of hardships.
Mrs Harris Goes To Paris is showing now at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.
Lesley Manville is a delight in Mrs Harris Goes To Paris
Please, take a seat.
A beautiful young couple, I must say. Quite exquisite. Our pleasure to feed you. Shall we start with a drink? I always recommend the Chianti, the house. Excellent vintage and pairs favourably with the hors d’ouevres; simply makes your mouth water, thinking of it.
Though, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the mains – they always are. The steak is to die for; it melts in your mouth; the marrow accoutrement, too. A prime grade. But, we do things somewhat differently here at Hawthorne Island, so I implore: listen closely to ‘The Menu’.
What has happened to high-end dining? Often, there’s nothing even close to an actual meal served. And that’s the question posited throughout director Mark Mylod’s ‘The Menu’, a black comedy thriller following a couple as they travel to a coastal island to eat at an exclusive restaurant where the chef has prepared a lavish course of meals, with some “shocking surprises.”
And you might be thinking: Ah, it’s about food, I get it. A bit of a ‘Most Dangerous Game’ situation, huh? We are actually the meals and all that. I see you, surprises. I know what you are – but no, you really don’t. The Menu sounds like a standard fair where self-inflated rich people get their comeuppance in a horrible, twisted way, and you’re partially right, but it’s not just that. There are several courses to writers Seth Reiss and Will Tracy’s film.
Unlike the meals served up by Ralph Fiennes – who is at his absolute Fienn-est (couldn’t help it) – as Chef Slowik, The Menu has actual substance. Driven by a constant satirising of the unbridled emptiness of fine dining, which has become more about status for decadent aristocrats than it has about actually feeling full, The Menu is a biting film that never disappoints.
You might even come back for seconds.
‘The Menu’ (R) is opening at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema on Friday, November 25.
Ralph Fiennes is brilliant in ‘The Menu’, a dark thriller that takes aim at the vapidity of upper echelon foodie culture
Every Wednesday, every Thursday, every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, settle in at locals’ favourite local for an evening of music in its purest form: The Airlie Beach Hotel’s Acoustic Sessions.
Local musicians will be plucking and strumming at their guitars at ‘The Pub’ throughout November and December – artists like Andy Mammers, Simon Briley, Matt Angell, Pluto Tango, and Lloyd Saunders, just to name a few.
Known for its big, bombastic, larger-than-life shows, The Airlie Beach Hotel is also a home for resident musos in the region, singers who bring out the best of the beachy vibe the coastal town offers.
They’re some of the best acts in town, from Mammers – an experienced stage maestro – to local legend Matt Angel, and relative newcomer Pluto Tango, a one-man looping sensation.
The acoustic boys have been hand-picked by the Airlie Beach Hotel for both their abilities on their instruments, as well as their crowd-pleasing attitudes. Singalongs are commonplace between artists and audience on evenings when the sunglow turns Airlie Bay shades of purple and orange.
On Friday and Saturday nights, Andy Mammers embodies that attitude.
He has become a crowd favourite at The Pub, with an “innate sense of guitar” where every strum sounds “just right.”
It is the casual simplicity that invites audiences in as Mammers changes any venue into a lounge room, making audiences instant friends, and seeing them delight in his ability to emerge from sensitive lyrics to an outrageous Kazoo solo – and making it work to boot.
Mammers has been playing Fridays and Saturdays at The Pub for roughly two years, and said the evenings were where the Acoustic Session’s artists “play for the crowd.”
“If it’s a young crowd, we play to them, if it’s an old crowd, we play to them. I spend my night taking requests and when the crowds are into it, it’s what gives us energy, 100 per cent,” he said.
“When they give you energy, you give it back, its reciprocal. The best parts of the night for me are that the bar staff are super interactive as well. A lot of those guys - Cooper, Thiago, Logan - they’ll dance along, singalong and we have a call and response with them, which goes to the crowd too.”
The Acoustic nights at the Airlie Beach Hotel have one goal: for the audience to have fun. “We as acoustic artists, as a venue, try to make it enjoyable; we want you to come back to Airlie Beach if you’re on holiday, we want you to take the enjoyment and want to feel it again,” Mammers said.
Head for The Pub to check out the Acoustic Sessions running every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening throughout November and December in Airlie Beach – you won’t be disappointed.
WHAT: The Pub Acoustic Sessions
WHEN: Every Wednesday from 6.30pm, and every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, from 7pm to 10pm
WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel
The Pub’s Acoustic Sessions are running across all of November and December, featuring resident artists like Andy Mammers who “plays to the crowd”
Other artists include Simon Briley, a popular performer who brings his own original style to a multitude of pub favourites
And there’s also famed Western Australian singer and guitarist Matt Angell amongst others at The Airlie Beach Hotel
Ben Lee’s catalogue of iconic Australian hits can be heard in Hollywood movies, hit sitcoms and indie surf flicks all over the world. Saturday night at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music brought thousands together to watch Ben’s return to Australian stages and Sam had a chat to him before he took to the big tent.
I want to go right back to your childhood band Noise Addict, how did that come about?
That was just, honestly, I wanted to form a band and I just looked around and saw that guy, ok, his older brother has a drum kit so he can be the drummer. That guy has a Zoom pedal that can make his guitar sound like a bass so he can be the bass player, and I’ll tell them what to play and that’s it, we’ll have a band.
How did that transition into your solo career?
It was really just because I was writing all these songs and I would record them on a boombox just acoustic but I always envisioned they would be songs we would then play with the band, but I gave them to the label. This guy, Steve Pav (Stephen Pavlovic), I would give him these tapes and they were just acoustic, and he was like, ‘I think you should record some of these like that,’ so that was that.
You hear Ben Lee songs on TV shows, on movies, what was that like to get that coverage?
It was good because I love the way songs interact with film. Sometimes it’s used almost as a band aid where a scene isn’t working so they’ll put a cool song in, but that’s the worst case. The best-case scenario is you’ve got a great film and the right song in it and suddenly everything gets heightened; the song gets better, the movie gets better. I had the song ‘How To Survive A Broken Heart’ that the Farrelly brothers used when Cameron Diaz first comes in on roller skates in ‘There’s Something About Mary’, and to me it was like, I love being part of that scene, that’s an iconic Hollywood comedic moment, and I feel like my song is a part of that history, so it’s great.
Is that your favourite scene that a song has been used in?
Yeah, that would be one of them. There was one in ‘How I Met Your Mother’ that was really good. They’re all good. The funny one was I was watching the Tegan and Sara; they have a show called ‘High School’ on Amazon and there’s a scene in it where one of them is going to make a mixtape and she’s like, ‘Get ready, it’s going to be all California punk bands and the dulcet tones of Ben Lee,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, man, I’m in there.’ It’s just being part of things, it’s cool.
My mind was blown when I saw Radnor and Lee pop up on the internet. How did your relationship with actor Josh Radnor come about?
It just happened through the show. The creators, I chatted to them, and they invited me down to the set after they’d used one of the songs and me and Josh met and just became friends.
What’s the creative back and forth like?
We had a few years where we were doing a lot. Josh was new to song writing and guitar playing and I have a side of me that really likes being in the support role, I just like helping people bring their vision to fruition, so it was a bit like that.
What’s it like being an Australian singer-songwriter living in America?
It’s good. It’s fun because I’m obviously most successful in Australia and Australia is a really good country to be successful in. If you had to pick one country that you have to go to a lot, it’s fun, you get to play festivals like this, on a beautiful beach. If you get successful in, like, Germany, you’re just touring playing beer festivals all summer. That’s really nice. I do love the creativity. I feel like, in Hollywood, people come with very big dreams, and I really get off on that. They all want to play in the big leagues and see how good they are, and I respect that ambition.
How do you think it’s affected your career trajectory?
I don’t know. For instance, me and my wife do a podcast, and we got offered, from Australian companies, to do it, who would only have Australian advertising, and I was just like, ‘I don’t ever want to make anything just for one place.’ I’ve never been like that. Now the world’s a bit different in that more artists are thinking internationally out of the box, but when I started, that was not that common. If you were an indie band in Sydney, you never thought you were going to get to go to America. For me, my world is big, and I like to keep it that way. Even if Australia’s my biggest fanbase, I like thinking globally.
When you think that way, where are you going?
I’ve always envisioned a career that peaks in my 70s. I really feel like I’m halfway through. I can really see more and more people getting it. It’s funny, I know that’s, in a way, statistically unlikely, but I’ve never been that interested in the normal to do things. I think, we’re actually living in a time where there’s less ageism than ever before and diversity in outlooks in more valued than ever before and I see, when I play, there’s teenagers and kids and older people and people in their 40s who have a babysitter for the night – I can play for everybody. I still view it like that.
What’s it like to be back in Australia and playing at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music?
Honestly, after the pandemic, I reprioritised, like, ‘What do I want out of gigs?’ so the show’s become much more of a spectacle. We’ve got a giant joint and props and the full band. I just realised, firstly, I think everyone got a sense of life is short, societal collapse is possibly on the way, lets try and create a good energy because, as an artist, I am not going to solve any of the problems that we are facing collectively, but I can contribute to creating a good atmosphere where maybe my audience can go and solve those problems.
Photo credit: Cherrie Hughes Photography
For the second year in a row the Whitsunday Regional Council is hosting their Christmas Lights Competition, inviting households from across the region to dress their gardens in festive lights and Christmas cheer.
Packing the kids in the car and cruising the streets to admire neighbourhood Christmas lights is a favourite tradition among many local families and this competition encourages everyone to embrace that festive spirit.
Last year 16 houses participated and Proserpine resident, Ron McCall who lives at 1 Atkinson Street, won the competition with his impressive display.
Ron has been decorating his home for 28 years and spends three weeks preparing his house for the intricate lighting display.
Having worked at the Proserpine Mill for 38 years, Ron has enjoyed bringing the community together at Christmas, hosting a street party each year with over 200 people in attendance.
To enter the Christmas Lights Competition simply head to Your Say Whitsundays and search Christmas Lights.
Here you will find a link to ‘nominate’ your house for the competition and also pin your Christmas Lights display on the interactive map so people can follow the Christmas lights trail.
This year, the lucky winner will receive a night’s accommodation for two adults and two children at Daydream Island Resort and Living Reef, with $500 spending money.
They will also win a family trip to Reefworld, for a Great Barrier Reef Adventure with Cruise Whitsundays.
Last years’ winners Ron McCall and his wife Wendy outside their house on Atkinson Street in Proserpine
The weekend music lovers have been waiting for is finally here and partygoers from around the country, state and region are settling in for a weekend of sweet tunes and rocking beats from some of the most talented musicians around.
Strap-in, sit-back and enjoy the ride – watch as the whole of Airlie Beach is transformed into a musical mecca where we all worship the Gods of Party and Paradise who unite to create a festival-goers utopia.
Headlining acts include The Animals, Loonaloop, Ben Lee, Eskimo Joe, Jon Stevens, Rogue Traders, The Badloves, and Mi-Sex who will each rock-out at the unique waterfront main-stage at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
Food vans, craft beer stalls and pop-up bars are located inside the vast big-top tent, creating a fun festival village with little need to leave the main venue.
When you do, however, you will notice the town of Airlie Beach is rocking out too – there are a total of 16 different venues across town that will be hosting a variety of performers – the sound of epic riffs and original music will be spilling out across the streets and the whole town will moving to the same beat for one wild weekend.
This years’ official festival venues include Anchor Bar, Bar LV, Beaches Bar and Grill, Boaty’s, Coral Sea Resort, Fish D’vine, Hog’s Breath Café, Hush Bar, KC’s Bar & Grill, Magnums, Paradiso, Paddy’s Shenanigans, Sorrento Restaurant and Bar, Red Plate Korean Restaurant, and Airlie Beach Treehouse.
After three full days of partying in paradise, the special 10-year official after party wraps up the event at Northerlies on Monday afternoon.
Kicking off at 1pm, acts will include Noah Robertson, Lash 78, Matty Rogers, Bill Chambers, Sam McCann, and Sarah McLeod.
Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer, Rick Hamilton, said all the ingredients for festivalgoers to enjoy a rockstar experience in paradise were now in place.
“The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is a true destination event in every sense, with the perfect mix of location, activities and of course music,” he said.
“It’s an event I urge everyone to experience at least once, and what better time to do that than now, at the culmination of an entire decade of bringing live music to the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.”
WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music
WHEN: This weekend! Friday, Saturday and Sunday – 4-6 November
WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club and 16 venues across town
TICKETS: $300 for the weekend or $140 per day
PURCHASE: airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au or from ticketing desk at the tent
Airlie Beach Festival of Music main-stage tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club overlooking the turquoise Coral Sea
Inside the tent – the party goes off!
The Animals will be headlining the 10th annual festival
Known as one of the Whitsunday’s most celebrated local events, the Airlie Beach Festival of Music (ABFoM) has travelled a long way to reach this pinnacle of success.
Marking its 10th year in 2022 and awarded Festival of the Year at the Queensland Music Awards, it seems there is no stopping this iconic local festival.
It’s been a big year and an incredible decade which all started when festival founder Gavin Butlin (known affectionately as ‘Butto’) had a conversation with local musician Kieran McCarthy.
Sharing his vision for the festival, Butto felt sure that Airlie Beach was the perfect destination for a music festival.
“I thought there was no better place for a festival,” he said.
“It’s based a bit on Tamworth which is spread all over the town and we wanted to do something similar.
“10 years down the track and it’s all happening – this is the only festival that brings the whole town together as one event.”
In the years before the first ABFoM, two other festivals had tried and failed to succeed, meaning that when Butto started out, there was a lot of scepticism.
Determined to prove them wrong, Butto knew that by choosing to hold the event at the Whitsunday Sailing Club people could be within walking distance to the town.
Deciding on the location was a pivotal moment for Butto.
“At first no-one wanted to be part of it,” he said.
“But thankfully they trusted me and here we are 10 years later!”
Over the years a core group of organisers and volunteers, known as the ‘Festival Family’, have been the cornerstone of the event.
“So many of them have been part of the festival for the whole 10 years,” said Butto.
“They live and breathe the festival – some of them even take a week off work to be here – it’s incredible, without them we wouldn’t have a festival!”
Over the past decade, ABFoM has evolved and developed to become a largescale operation regularly attracting thousands of people who enjoy the easy vibe and creature comforts of the event.
“Every year’s got better and better – we’ve be learning as we go – whatever goes wrong one year we fix for the next,” explains Butto.
From introducing a shuttle bus service to putting food vans inside the venue, every effort is made to make the festival as easy as possible for attendees.
Another key element that makes ABFoM stand apart from the rest is its ability to attract the big-name performers while offering a platform for emerging artists.
“Local bands never get a chance to play at a festival, so we try and support them,” said Butto.
“We like to give smaller bands a crack and have 10 local bands playing this year - 50 in total – it’s going to be amazing!”
Festival Founder Gavin ‘Butto’ Butlin (centre) with workmates just after the first tent was put up 10 years ago
Volunteers and organisers known as the Festival Family
Iconic UK band The Animals have been touring Australia for the last month or so, making a stop at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music before they head home. John Steele is the band’s drummer and only remaining original member and he can’t wait to get in the Whitsunday sun.
You’ve been touring Australia for the last few weeks; how have those shows been going?
They’ve been going very well actually. We seem to be doing pretty good business everywhere we go, standing ovations, which can’t be bad, we must be doing something right. We’re coming to the end of our tour. We’ve got two gigs in Western Australia and then we’re flying back to Queensland.
Growing up in the UK, what was your perception of Australia and what was it like to tour back in the day?
Actually, the original Animals, we never did get to Australia. When the original band broke up in 1966, Eric Burdon, the lead singer, formed a new band called Eric Burdon and the Animals and he did tour Australia but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do it.
Right, so what’s it like to finally get over here?
Lovely! Apart from the past two and a half years, obviously, but from the mid-90s, we’ve been here quite a few times and we really enjoy playing Australia, it’s a great country. Usually, we come over in either November, December or even January or February and it’s always been wonderful weather but this trip, it’s been awful.
It has been a bit all over the place. I can promise you it’s been nice and warm up here, so you’ll be able to get out in the sun.
We arrived in Perth last night and I think it’s the first time we’ve seen the sun since we came over. I’ve been keeping an eye on the weather forecast and it does look nice for the Airlie gig.
What does your role in the band as a drummer usually look like?
Pretty good actually, I’ve always had a bit of a jazz background which came in quite handy. Me and Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones) had very similar backgrounds musically, so we always had a swinging feel to our drumming and that made us different from the rest. I’ve always had a bit of a jazz influence in my playing.
What drummers were you looking up to when you first started playing drums?
When I first started playing drums, I was listening to jazz a lot. I was 16 when I first started drumming which was right in the middle of the 50s, so we were listening to Fats Domino, Little Richard, Elvis, Eddie Cochrane, Buddy Holly. All of those guys were influencing me and at the same time I was also listening to jazz with people like Art Blakey and Buddy Rich and all those great jazz drummers, a bit of a mixed bag, really.
How excited are you for Airlie Beach Festival of Music?
Before we left the UK, I had a look on the website and it looks really, really, really nice. Lots of people that have been over here told me to expect a really good gig. We’re looking forward to a good show.
What can crowds expect from the Animals?
We get to do the singles, obviously, we’ve got some great stuff to work with. Songs that really stand the test of the time - ‘House of the Rising Sun’, ‘We’ve Got to Get Out of This Place’, ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’, ‘It’s My Life’, ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’, ‘Bring It Home To Me’ – they’re great songs and they seem to hit the right spot for every generation. We get plenty of young people coming to the shows and they know all the words, they sing all the lyrics, its brilliant. Then we’ve got quite a bag of album tracks and B-sides, so we shuffle them about a bit to keep the sets fresh. We’ll always play the hit singles, but the rest of the set will be a mixture that we just pick and mix.
Released in July 1993, The Badloves’ debut album ‘Get On Board’ spent a massive 69 weeks in the charts. Going from strength to strength over the years, lead singer Michael Spiby had a chat about what keeps bringing him back to music.
So, you’re in the studio today?
Yeah, at the moment we’re cooking up a new record to go and record at the end of the month, live in the studio – live as in just performing and recording it. Because it’s a Badloves thing, I always try and get as much of it down live first because we’ve got a fabric, we knit a fabric together because we’ve been playing together so long, it’s crazy to record any other way.
Do you usually record live?
Live as in we learn the songs as we would play them live but then of course we haven’t played them live, we’re just going into the room to track them, and keep as much as we can. To be honest, over the years, we’ve actually tried replacing things that we’ve recorded, thinking, ‘I can do much better than that,’ and it just loses something in translation; yes, it’s more precise and technical, but it doesn’t have the spirit of the original. It doesn’t knit with the other instruments in the same way.
Being a band since the 90s, you’ve taken a few breaks over the years. What brings you back to music after those breaks?
There’s a bit of a joy that you get in relationships. When you get back together, it’s like a good catch up, and that then leads to more and more shows. You can try and simulate that in various ways and I’ve played with lots and lots of great players over the years. The current line-up, we’re about seven years in, and that’s a lot of crocheting. Over the years, we’ve pulled it together, even to the point where, if we haven’t played for several months, it takes us a couple of weeks to really hit our straps again. But, from the very first show, it surprises everybody how much is still there. The band is something very special, I’ve learnt over the years. It’s the ego, I think, that you think you can pull anything together with any players, but it doesn’t work that way. There’s certain music dialogue built from years and years of playing together and can’t be substituted. It’s amazing, always humbling.
There’s been a few changes to the line-up over the years, how do you go about finding new musicians to tour with?
We’ve been really lucky because there’s only been a few times where we’ve had to approach people cold. For example, seven or so years ago our drummer, Jeff Consi, I heard him play on some other people’s music and each time I heard it, I just went, ‘My god, that’s exactly what we need in the band’. With the Badloves, it’s always about songs first and style or instrumentation comes second. In his case, I knew he was the one, so I just had to go chase him. But quite often, we get great recommendations, like our Hammond (organ) player Sam Cope. Incredible, because there’s a whole generation of young Hammond players which totally shocked me, I thought it was a dying breed and over the past decade or two you could count good ones on one hand in the country. Now, it’s just fabulous, there’s incredible players, well-versed and with the real equipment, so that’s a very important thing for this project.
Do you notice a change in the crowds or the industry or even yourselves after a break?
I guess the most explicit one is the Covid thing, and I was quite shocked at the audiences and the musicians. I guess, we can be accused, quite rightly, of being self-centred as an industry, we get on with what we’re doing and please ourselves a fair bit. Coming out of the Covid thing and back on stage, we played an iconic venue called the Festival Hall in Melbourne, which was long deserted, it had the Beatles and Ray Charles back in the 60s. We jumped in there and did some live podcast things because we couldn’t have an audience and we realised how much we missed that joyous dialogue between players. When we took that on the road eventually, the audiences, I could see them re-immersing themselves in something they took for granted which was live music. Everything was different, the energy onstage was highly aware of the privilege of us being onstage and the audience, I think, were reinvigorated by the fact that something that had been taken away from them was actually important to them, and that was the live experience and the joy of intermingling between musicians and audience. That was a very humbling experience.
Speaking from experience, those first few gigs after a couple of years of no live music were some of the most memorable because you had that new level of appreciation.
Yeah, the senses were heightened by new experiences of not having it. That’s something that’s really informed a lot of our music, it creeps into the music making process as well because you realise the responsibility you have. It doesn’t mean you doctor the music according to what you think’s going to be successful, but you are definitely aware of doing something meaningful and not being flippant with your music. We realised that it was important to people and that’s something that I’ve always brushed off myself but now I’m really aware because people came back with stories to tell about what they’d missed and how deeply they relied on music while they were isolated. You realise, ‘Actually, I’ve got an important job, not just a self-indulgent, solo trip’.
Do you think the pandemic affected the themes of what you were writing about?
I guess it did. I tend not to be very good at being topical. The obvious example of somebody who did operate in that era of his was (Bob) Dylan. He was quite journalistic, actually, in his writing. I tend not to be like that. I seem to have to process things for a while and things come out a bit abstract. One example, I guess, where it did affect directly was, I had a recurring dream for one of the songs that we ended up recording. That was quite troubling and that was that I wouldn’t be able to feed my children because we were struggling, and it was very real and I woke up one morning and that was a song called ‘Tribal’. I just took dictation of the dreamscape that I’d come out of and that’s unusual for me, I never remember dreams. I just think everybody’s got a new awareness of that.
How excited are you for Airlie Beach Festival of Music?
We’re really excited about it because it means we escape the ridiculous weather down south, that’s me personal, selfish reason for coming up. But also, it’s a wonderful bill, and it looks like it’s been a pretty important festival up north, from what I can see, if it’s ten years in the making. If you go hunting, let’s face it, that’s what festivals are best out, if you go for a deep dive. There were 20 names I don’t know, it’s amazing, it’s like going into op shops looking for treasures. That’s what I find really exciting. Maybe it’s courtesy of the weather, but I find people are lot looser and happier to enjoy themselves.
What can crowds expect from the Badloves?
We’ll be doing a bunch of stuff from our earlier recordings. Just a mix, really, of old recordings and the new stuff that we’re putting down at the end of the month, and a couple of singles. It changes on the day, to be honest. I always draw a setlist up for the boys, and that’s a good indication of probably what we won’t play on the day. Depending on the audience is like, we chop and change. It’ll be great fun, both on and off stage.
An Airlie Beach local who is best known for her involvement in Young Buskers and Open Mic Nights at KC’s Bar and Grill, is introducing some of her own original music at Whisper Gin Bar and Restaurant over the festival weekend.
Peta Richards has been playing country music since she was eight years old and is an award-winning singer-songwriter who took home the Best Overall Prize with her girl group, Shiraz, at the Charters Towers Country Music Festival back in 2008.
Having performed country music for over 30 years, Peta will bring a mixture of cover songs and original music to her performance at Whisper Bar.
With a guitar in her hand and music in her soul, she is looking forward to bringing her music to a new venue.
“The crowd can expect a lot of good old classics from any genre – songs that everyone knows and loves,” said Peta.
“I will also be introducing some of my own music – I’ll try and keep it very low-key, get into the vibe of the festival - easy listening for everyone to enjoy.”
Located at Mirage Resort in Cannonvale, Whisper Gin Bar and Restaurant is open to day guests who would like to soak up the holiday ambience and stunning sea views while enjoying some live music.
If you are looking for a hidden gem, a place to chill out and some of the best daiquiris in town, then make sure you come to see Peta play.
Moment with a muso:
Favourite artist: Shania Twain
Least favourite music: Rap – I like to have a storyline
Last thing you listened to: Luke Combs
Peta Richards will perform at Whisper Gin Bar and Restaurant. Photo credit: Shutter Fox photography
Looping folk groove
With a Blue Mountain vibe through and through, artist Jason Daniels settled quickly into the Sunshine Coast musical landscape and its lifestyle, making a name as one of the most versatile and talented looping soloists in the scene.
Now, the young singer-songwriter - who spends much of his time gigging around the great southeast of Queensland – is heading to Airlie Beach Festival of Music, bringing his looping tracks, where he live records vocals and notes, then has them replay, merging and creating magic, to the coastal town.
“I think for me, looping music, you can jam to it. Building layers with loops, it becomes so much more engaging. I think that element of it is why I’m really drawn to it,” Daniels said.
“I’ve always wanted to play Airlie and I’m so excited.
“I think for me, from a young age, song was king, and that’s what I try to bring to my gigs.” The fact you can tell stories, get to know people, and connect to such an interesting side of humanity through song is why I was drawn to folk. You get to put your heart on your sleeve, which I love.”
Daniels will perform at The Rocks this Sunday from 10am.
Moment With A Muso:
Favourite band?: That’s like picking a favourite child! I’ll say Dayglow.
Genre you just can’t ‘groove’ with: I have respect for all music, but free jazz I have a lot of questions…
Last song you listened to?: Less or More by Wild Rivers
Powerhouse rockers, Salt and Steel will be carving up the stage at the Anchor Bar this weekend with their edgy, heavy, esoteric sounds that have the crowds begging for more.
Known for their high energy performance and crowd interaction, this two-piece act has a full-band sound which generates fun at every show.
With solid drums, driving guitar riffs and intoxicatingly, fierce vocals, these talented musicians fuse heavy rock with the earthy and grounded sounds of tribal, blues and roots music.
Elle and Briony, the dynamic duo who make up Salt and Steel first started playing music together when they were travelling around New Zealand in 2015.
When their van broke down, they decided to give busking a go, and soon discovered a musical magic.
When they returned to Australia, they performed at an open mic night which led to their first gig and they soon became full-time musicians playing in an industry they loved.
During their career, Salt and Steel have performed alongside big names such as Wolfmother, The Superjesus, You Am I, Ash Grunwald, Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon) and The Beautiful Girls.
Since COVID, however, the Brisbane-based pair have had to seek alternative employment.
They now spend their weeks playing music for people living with a disability, which they say has been a close second to performing live full-time.
This is the fourth time Salt and Steel have played at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music and they will be releasing a new single at the beginning of next year, with an album to soon follow.
Elle and Briony from Salt and Steel
Australian Roots Rock
Their music “sounds like Janis Joplin and Angus Young had a baby and baptised it in Bourbon”, according to Rolling Stone magazine, and if that doesn’t tell you what Dallas Frasca are about, then God knows what will.
Frontwoman Dallas Frasca, who is the award-winning Australian rock outfit’s namesake, encapsulates everything rock ‘n’ roll: power, rawness, energy.
She oozes with the essence of it, and now, she’s heading to the Airlie Beach Festival of Music for its tenth-year celebrations.
“It’s been on our bucket list for years to perform at the festival. It’s a mix of some of the best heritage bands of our country and the local upcoming bands,” Dallas said.
“It’s such a great chance for punters to discover new acts; we’re certainly looking forward to it.”
Dallas said the last three years had been spent on revitalising the band with a brand-new line-up – and “it’s a turbocharged version of what we used to be”.
“Your girls upgraded her guitar skills and the musicians I’m playing with are incredible. That old rule of playing with people who are better than you, in terms of guitar, rings true – I’ve improved so much. I’m confident in my voice, but your girl is on lead guitar now,” Dallas said.
“I recently bought an SG Classic Gibson, which is calling my name even now. It’s going to be interesting! When you get a new toy it’s full of inspiration and as you get better on an instrument you want to try more and dig a little deeper and surprise.”
And that’s what this show is all about for the rockstar: surprises.
“There’ll be a few sneaky new songs in the set list. Some new things like doing a bunch of live vocal looping as we go through the set. It’s this rock and roll band, female vocal guitar mixed with this synth lord music that comes from our new band members,” she said.
“It’s going to be parts of that new album, parts of that old repertoire, and parts of magic. We cannot wait to be heading up that way, especially to get out of this Melbourne weather!”
Dallas Frasca is playing at Magnums Airlie Beach at 3pm this Saturday.
Moment With A Muso:
Favourite band?: It changes daily! This morning I was listening to Dame Joan Sutherland, then I’m just about to listen to ZZ Top lists.
Least favourite?: I’m always interested in bands doing something different and interesting.
Last song you listened to?: Bellinian Archeous Phrase Live Dame Joan Sutherland
Dallas Frasca, the Australian rock queen, is playing at Magnums Airlie Beach for the Festival of Music
Performing at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music for the fourth time, Andrew Cousins is bringing a new addition with him this year – his young baby!
Uniting a music tour with a family trip, Andy will be accompanied by his wife and child, a proud moment for the man who loves telling stories about growing up, family and love through the lyrics of his music.
Having won the Airlie Beach Festival of Music Song Writing Competition with his song Islands of Love, Andy says he is looking forward to returning to a festival that has always supported him.
Andy now works as a renderer due to an injury that has prevented him from continuing to play music full time.
Travelling up the coast from Port Macquarie, he is looking forward to dropping the tools and picking up the guitar for a Party in Paradise and says he is excited to be part of the 10th annual event.
“Airlie Beach is such a family friendly place,” he said.
“Everyone goes there not to have problems but to have a good time.”
Andy first started playing music as a teenager because he found it to be a relaxing tool that allowed him to unwind.
Music was an outlet in which he could express emotions and transform a stranger to a friend.
Spending many years busking around the country and performing gigs, he has an incredible gift.
You can catch Andy playing at Sorrento’s on Saturday at 3pm.
Moment with a muso:
Favourite artists of all time: Pat Stevens
Least Favourite: New age pop because it has no feeling
Last song you listened to: 2PAC
Andrew Cousins plays acoustic folk
“Ooh-ooh-hoo, no, Baby, please don't go”: The words lingering on the lips of locals once Australian pop royal, Jeff Duff, finishes his set at The Pub this weekend.
The famed musician, who was compared with “Sinatra, Presley, Jagger, Popeye” by Andy Warhol, will be the curtain closer for the Airlie Beach Hotel’s Live Music Weekender – a chock-full music extravaganza with four bands playing across four days.
‘Duffo’ – “One of the greatest entertainers Australia has produced,” says Molly Meldrum – has returned home with his ‘Spinning Wheel’ tour after decades of success across the globe as a solo artist and a tribute show. He’ll play the songs of two of the greatest bands on the planet in one unforgettable show this weekend at locals’ favourite local.
Rock audiences from all over the world have been blown away by the sheer power of both horn-driven bands for decades, and now ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’ and ‘Chicago’ are arriving in the coastal town courtesy of Jeff Duff and his troupe of world-class musicians.
If you know rock, you’ll know Blood, Sweat & Tears, whose songs range from favourites like ‘Spinning Wheel’, to ‘You Made Me So Very Happy’, ‘When I Die’, ‘Hi De Ho’, ‘More and More’ and more, more, more.
And Chicago, with their progressive fusion of rock and blues, have a songbook filled with hits: ‘If You Leave Me Now’, ‘Make Me Smile’, ‘Saturday In The Park’, ‘25 or 6 To 4’, ‘Does Anybody Know What Time It Is’, and ‘Beginnings’.
A legend in his own right, Duffo will take on a vocal challenge that spans the decades and alongside the hottest musicians in Australia as his backing-band.
With 27 albums under his belt, including a recent album with members of legendary British rock band Deep Purple, Duffo will perform from his extensive repertoire, including from the back catalogue of his illustrious career as the front man of ‘Kush’ and his time singing out the best of David Bowie.
It’s set to a truly unforgettable Sunday afternoon, featuring some of the most incredible rock music played by Australia’s finest. And to end the afternoon is a special guest performance by The Official Blues Brothers Revue, endorsed by Judith Belushi and Dan Akroyd. You can’t get any closer to the real deal than that.
Jeff Duff will perform his Spinning Wheel show as part of the Airlie Beach Hotel’s Live Music Weekender on Sunday, November 6 from 2pm - 5.30pm. Completely, and entirely free – make sure you’ve booked your table for this epic show.
WHAT: The Music of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago in Spinning Wheel featuring Jeff Duff
WHEN: 2pm to 5.30pm on Sunday, November 6
WHERE: Airlie Beach Hotel
“One of the greatest entertainers Australia has produced” is coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel this weekend
Jeff Duff will perform the songs of Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago in a free show at The Pub
The renowned performer will bring his own voice to the music of some of the greatest bands of all time, as well as his own repertoire
We are living in a world where almost every piece of popular culture is intellectual property adjacent.
Let me explain: Movies and television, for example, are being filmed, shot, and produced that don’t just wear their influences on their sleeves, but have them broadly tattooed on their foreheads. I’ll give you the most salient example: Netflix’s Stranger Things series, something so close to Stephen King without being Stephen King that you can almost taste it. We are in an era of remakes, adaptations, and reboots. The idea that there is nothing new under the sun is being taken to the nth degree.
But is it such a bad thing that Hollywood is tickling that little bit of your brain that likes to say: “Hey, I know this. I’ve been here before.” That tasty bit of nostalgia that we all eat up - nom, nom, nom. Is it disingenuous or manipulative?
I haven’t made up my mind yet, but in the case of director Tom George’s ‘See How They Run’, influenced extensively by famed mystery author Agatha Christie – the most-celebrated writer of whodunnit novels ever (essentially creating the genre), from Murder on the Orient Express to Death on the Nile – it’s not a bad thing.
George and screenplay writer Mark Chappell have certainly dipped into the Christie soup for their film – centering their story of “murder most foul” around Christie’s own play, The Mousetrap, for good measure - but they’ve also dipped into another, more contemporary broth: Wes Anderson’s (director of the recent The French Dispatch, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and more).
Mark and George have mixed the two visionaries together. Anderson’s auteur style of directing and Christie’s exceptional ability to weave a mystery together with larger-than-life characters and intrigue but making it silly.
Here, we find ourselves in the 1950s London, where plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play are halted after a pivotal member of the crew (Adrien Brody) is murdered. World-weary Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) take on the case, finding themselves thrown into a cast of characters who could all have committed the crime.
The film doesn’t pose as high art, and you’ll recognise things within it as references and nods (and even real people), and that’s where the fun is – the performers are likeably silly, relentlessly camp, and the comedy lands almost every time.
See How They Run (M) is showing from next week at the Bowen Summergarden cinema.
Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan in See How They run
Bowen State School commemorated their student’s excellent fundraising efforts over the month of October with a colour run last Friday.
Students raised over $6,600 dollars towards the construction of a cricket pitch at the local school.
The event is part of an Australian fundraising body known as ‘The School Fun Run’, which contributes part of the funds raised to the locally relevant Parent and Citizens (P&C) associations.
The Fun Run allows students to gain rewards by raising more money for their cause, including items from as small as a golden handball all the way to a GoPro HERO9 video camera.
Administration officer at Bowen State School Olivia Gordon said the goal was initially $5,000, which would act as part contribution towards the total cost of the project at $30,000.
“We’re hoping a little bit here and there, as well as some in-kind donations from businesses will let us achieve that goal,” Ms Gordon said.
“The Fun Run is annual and has helped us raise money for chilled water bubblers and marquees with our school emblems in previous years. It’s also something to look forward to for the kids each year.
Ms Gordon said there were variations to choose from in the Fun Run format, but Colour Runs were always the most popular choice for the local school.
“The kids really enjoy it and when we announce it, they’re so excited every time,” she said.
“It’s also a way for us to reinforce our positive behaviour for learning and four key values: being responsible, respectful, safe, and a learner. If you’re doing those things throughout the year, you’ll be rewarded with being able to attend the colour run. It’s also a great way to end a Friday!”
Students at Bowen State School enjoyed a vibrant end to their Friday lessons with a school-wide colour fun run
Images: Declan Durrant
hosted by Bowen Neighbourhood Centre and Bowen PCYC
Images: Declan Durrant
What do you get when you combine sweet and sassy vocals, trombone, toy piano, guitar and half a drum kit?
Lily and King is what; a self-proclaimed “carni-junkyard”.
Lily and King are making the trek from Melbourne to Airlie Beach next weekend for their third Airlie Beach Festival of Music and their first major festival since the pandemic.
“I’m so looking forward to walking around town in shorts and thongs and a singlet,” laughed Tony King, who plays guitar and half a drum kit with his feet.
Lily and King formed 15 years ago, almost by accident, when Lisa “Lily” Baird asked then workmate Tony to play guitar on some original songs she had written.
A double bass player in a jazz group at the time, Tony agreed and, 15 years later, Lily and King have crafted a unique sound and infectious performance.
“It was a fairly quirky kind of thing, we gradually added instruments to what we were doing,” said Tony.
Starting as a guitar/vocals duo, more and more instruments entered the mix over the years, giving Lily’s trombone and toy piano talents an opportunity to shine.
“It’s basically a little junkyard play by two people,” Tony said.
A Lily and King set is made up of entirely original songs written about unusual themes, drawing on elements of folk, blues and jazz.
“It can go from really quiet ballads to full-on folk punk, in your face stuff for dancing and everything in between,” Tony said.
“As soon as Lily gets on that trombone, pretty much everybody’s listening.
“She’s a very demanding player and it’s a fairly dominating instrument.
“The act varies a fair bit depending on where we are and the environment.
“We rarely work with a setlist, we normally change things to suit.
“We’ve got so many songs now that we’re pretty adaptable.”
Tony says audiences can expect something out of the ordinary from Lily and King.
“It’s as much something for the eye as it is for the ear, just watching how the sounds piece together,” he said.
“We guarantee it’ll be quite unlike anything they’ve seen before.”
Having played on the festival circuit for the last decade, Tony says he can’t wait to get to Airlie Beach and see friends new and old.
He’s excited to check out all of the other bands playing the festival, namely The Animals.
“I remember when I was first learning how to play guitar, the first song I always wanted to learn was House of the Rising Sun and I couldn’t bloody play the thing and decades later I’m on the same bill as the Animals, which is exciting.”
“We love the festival vibe and the fact that you can be in one setting and not have to get in your car or take public transport, you can just walk around from one place to the next and eat, drink and see great music.
“That’s the beautiful thing about a festival.
“I think that infects the performers; we go about things with a different mindset.
“We’re pretty keen on getting there, that’s for sure.”
Favourite band of all time: Led Zeppelin - “That changes from week to week.”
Least favourite song: “I can’t even think of one … I’ve always been careful not to bag anything. There’s things that I really don’t like for one reason or another but that might be someone else’s cup of tea.”
Favourite song to play: “The Mermaid’s Last Chord. It’s a really slow ballad but it ends up being different every single time we play it.”
Last song you listened to: Rue The Day by Ed Kuepper
It’s funny to think that, in the latter days of the superhero genre, where audiences are becoming more and more fatigued after greater than a decade’s worth of Marvel and DC Comics films, a Black Adam movie has finally made it to screen.
For those not in the know, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been attached to a Black Adam-type project since 2005, with the movie stuck in this will-they-wont-they, development hell. Amongst a large contingent of the movie media – press and commentators, mostly – it became a running joke. The film was never going to be made.
When an actor is attached to a role for the better part of a decade and a half, the project is almost always destined to fall apart. Yet, somehow, Black Adam managed to stay together and Johnson has his day in the sun as the DC Comics anti-hero.
It's been a strange ride, considering at the time of casting, Johnson was better known as The Rock – one of the world’s biggest wrestlers – and now he’s quite literally the world’s biggest movie star.
Johnson is Black Adam, a character who’s been bestowed with almighty powers of the gods before being imprisoned for 5,000 years and is brought back into the modern day, finding himself as a violent anti-hero fighting for justice.
Seemingly born to be a superhero with his imposing bulk, Johnson has stepped in front of the greenscreen as Black Adam, decked out in Spandex that reminds us of his WWE wrestling ring days. The character he portrays has had an enduring history at DC, and there’s not too much of that here; instead, Black Adam’s imposing, draconian personality is replaced by the Rock’s movie-star charisma – potentially to the detriment of the fuller DC Universe.
In an age of the anti-hero for comic-book movies, Black Adam is a serviceable showing that has a major draw: The Rock and smashing things.
Black Adam (M) is showing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema now.
Dwayne Johnson is Black Adam
We’ve seen a lot of great rock bands come out of WA, what was the scene like as you were coming through and how have you seen it change?
It’s ebbed and flowed in lots of different ways. Perth’s always been one of those places that felt so isolated, we’re really just surrounded by deserts and ocean over here and if you want to go anywhere you’ve got to get on a plane. Perth’s always had that, so this “do-it-yourself” attitude has always come out of the bands and the scene.
We had decided, once we put out our first record, that we were going to be a “Perth band”, which wasn’t really a thing back in those days. Generally, if you got any fame, you’d move out of Perth because it was just too expensive to fly back and forth, but we decided to stay there. By the time it got to about 2004, we had a cool little jam room, and we had the only recording set up in town so all of our friends’ bands were hanging out and, as these bands were doing demos in our back shed, they were getting signed, bands like End of Fashion, Sleepy Jackson, Little Birdy. All of these bands evolved out of that and that was a really awesome solidifying of the Perth scene for the first time since we first came along. The mid-2000s were an exciting time that bands didn’t have to leave Perth. Then, in that time, bands like John Butler came up and fast forward to the 2010s, bands like Tame Impala and San Cisco came up and all started to call Fremantle and Perth home.
How has your approach to writing a song changed over time?
The fundamentals always apply. You go into a room, you try and create a song to the best of your abilities, but it’s really not until you get to the workshopping of that song. You write the vague verse and chorus, but the workshopping is where those things change. In Esky’s, through those periods of ‘A Song Is a City’ and ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’, it was really literally me on an acoustic guitar, writing most of the song, and then we’d turn that into an Eskimo Joe song. The way that it works now and the nature of how people want to be satisfied creatively, we tend to leave a little bit more open before we get into a room together, so we’ll have ideas, but we won’t have fully formed ideas. Now it’s generally myself and Joel (Quartermain) sitting down in a room, starting a song from scratch and that’s how the last couple of Esky songs we put out were written.
‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ has become almost an anthem, what was it like to see so many people take to the song like that?
It was pretty magical. When we first wrote that song, I had the initial idea and I called up Joel and by the end of that day we had the first demo of that song. You kind of know when you discover a new idea and there was something to that song. It felt really effortless, but it also signalled this new sound that we hadn’t gone down before. We, at that point in time, were feeling pretty ambitious. We ambitiously wanted to make a record that was unashamedly, widescreen Australiana. We went into that with the ambition of making a record that was going to be a huge album. By the time we recorded that song, we knew it was going to do as well as it was going to do.
Has it ever become a song that you get tired of playing or hearing about?
With songs like ‘From the Sea’ and ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’, I think they’re good songs and I enjoy playing them still. I don’t ever get sick of them. The energy that we get back off the crowd every time we play them, everyone will sing the first line of the song back at you, that never gets old, that is an amazing feeling. We appreciate every moment of it.
How excited are you to come over to Airlie Beach for the Festival of Music?
It’s going to be awesome. There’s a bunch of other bands we’re looking forward to seeing, as well. Its just such a pleasure to go out and play live music again because we’ve not had it for the last couple of years, so to go out there, reconnect with the fanbase and crowds who have desperately wanted to see some proper music again is just so much fun wherever that may be, but Airlie Beach is such a beautiful location that it’s going to be a huge pleasure. It’s also where I started to write the beginnings of the song ‘London Bombs’, so I have a bit of a mental attachment to Airlie Beach.
Photo credit: Jarrad Seng
One of the lucky few musicians who has been able perform professionally his whole life, Lloyd Spiegel usually visits 15 countries a year spreading his unique and modern take on Blues to audiences around the world.
For the past few years, however, this Melbourne-based artist has been largely stuck at home waiting for pandemic restrictions to ease so that he can continue doing what he loves.
“I’ll never take being able to play live music for granted again!” he said.
“This has been the longest I’ve stayed in Melbourne for the past 20 years and now it’s great to be back connecting with audiences and doing what I love.”
Having just returned from the Netherlands and booked for a gig in Canada in January, Lloyd managed to squeeze Airlie Beach Festival of Music (ABFoM) into his busy calendar this year.
“I’ve been booked [for ABFoM] three times but this is the first time I’ve been able play!” he laughs.
“I’ve gigged in Airlie several times over the years, but this will be the first time I’ve been back in about 15 years.”
Returning with his drummer and trombonist, Lloyd says music is in his blood and he likes to transcend what people would normally expect from a Blues gig.
“My father was the founder of the Melbourne Blues Appreciation Society, and I didn’t know there was any other option than to get into music myself!”
“My music is all about subverting the cliches of Blues music and trying to change and modernise it.”
Favourite artist: Tom Waits
Favourite song: Guilty by Randy Newman
Song you love to play: Murder for Breakfast
Last song you listened to: The Quaker City Night Hawks
Blues artist Lloyd Spiegel has been playing gigs since he was 10
The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is just around the corner, with over a hundred talented musicians from all over the country (some from all over the world!) arriving in the Whitsundays in the coming days.
This Thursday the central ticket office at the Whitsunday Sailing Club mainstage tent will open, offering festival attendees a place to purchase tickets and collect their pre-paid wristbands.
It is open from 10am but if you come down from 6pm that evening you will also be able to watch the Passport to Airlie Grand Final which will feature eight talented musical acts from all across Australia.
These eight finalists have been hand-selected from dedicated competitions, winning their heats to receive a place in the grand finale.
They will all play on the mainstage on Thursday evening and the winner will be in the line-up to play on the mainstage next year.
After the eight acts there will be a special performance by event ambassador, Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus.
Get ready for a party like no other in tropical paradise – with jaw-dropping sea views this is the festival where live music meets the Great Barrier Reef.
The mainstage, located inside the striking big-top tent, is an intimate festival village which hosts craft beer stalls and pop-up bars, food vans and of course a huge stage with high-tech lighting and sound.
Three day passes cost $300 and full-day passes are $140.
Tickets can be purchased online at airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au or from the dedicated ticketing office outside the main stage.
WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music
WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club
WHEN: 4-6 November
Get ready for a party in paradise next weekend!
Sixth time Airlie Beach Festival of Music veteran, Matty Rogers is back by popular demand and ready to carve up the main stage – this year marking the first time he is bringing his band along too!
Based in Burringbar in the Northern Rivers of NSW, this blues, soul and country singer says he likes to “weave a path in between genres” and that each song is more about “meaning” than it is conforming to a certain style.
“I don’t like to get stuck in a box,” said Matty.
“I play loads of different genres and they all come from emotion and connection – the challenges we might face personally and also as a global society.”
Matty began playing music with his father when he was a child and by high school he was playing with friends, starting his first band ‘Ramjet’ when he was 17.
Writing his own lyrics and playing original music whenever he could, Matty soon began carving a name out for himself.
“I was lucky that the first gig where I played all originals went really well,” he explained.
“I owe everything to that gig – it gave me the confidence to keep writing and forging a career playing originals when everyone else played covers.”
Matty spent 10 years playing gigs part time and earning an extra income in the construction trade as a labourer and landscaper.
For the past eight years, however, he has been playing gigs full-time, sharing music with audiences throughout the Northern Rivers and Gold Coast.
He has a wife called Cedar and a young boy called Riley.
Next weekend Matty will be playing on the main stage at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music and also some of the venues across town.
He brings with him a drummer, bass player and organ player to complete the band.
Favourite band of all time: Eagles
Least favourite song: Happy Birthday
Favourite song to play: Tennessee Whisky as a cover and Walk to the Water as an original
Last song you listened to: Something by Lauren Kate
Matty Rogers and his band are appearing live at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music next weekend
After months of anticipation, the Young Whitsundays Got Talent Grand Final took place on Sunday and young songstress, 18-year-old Mackay local Tiffany Grace, took the crown.
Event organiser, Paula Hovey, said that every performer shone on the day, but it was Tiffany’s delivery, stage presence and confidence that really made her stand out from the rest.
“There was really not much between them,” she said.
“It was more confidence and stage experience with Tiffany – she had the overall package; she played the guitar and she sung an original track.”
This is the first time in 11 years of performing live that Tiffany has taken home an accolade and the modest teenager said that she didn’t expect to win.
“I like to play whenever I can, I love getting experience and sharing my music with people,” she said.
“I’m always very nervous but when I step onto the stage it feels like I flick a switch.”
Tiffany was born and raised in Mackay and says that she does not come from a musical family although her mum likes to sing but not in public.
She took her first singing lesson at six and has since discovered a passion for sharing her music with others.
Tiffany played ‘Lover’ by Taylor Swift on the day and also her original track ‘Perfectly Imperfect’.
“The song is based on past experiences where people would judge me for small things,” said Tiffany.
“It would really affect me but then I realised those are all the things that make me who I am, and they all need to work on being the best versions of themselves.”
For winning first place, Tiffany will receive a full make-over with hair and make-up followed by a photo shoot.
She will also get to experience backstage at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music.
All the finalists will perform live on the Fish Jam stage at the festival as well.
“I would like to say thank you to the organisers for the opportunity and also to the other contestants, they were amazing and they should keep it up!” said Tiffany.
Close runners up on the day were band MYNVY, followed by soloist Dominik, who is also the lead singer of MYNVY.
Tiffany Grace, winner of Young Whitsundays Got Talent standing with the judges
Second place band MYNVY.
Photo credit: Kelly-Anne Koolstra
Tropical shirt? Tick. Pina colada? Double tick. The Race That Stops The Nation? Triple tick, tick, tick!
The Melbourne Cup is galloping ever closer and Airlie Beach is set to be the starting line for locals with The Pub celebrating the iconic event in style with a ‘Tropical Party’ for the ages.
The Airlie Beach Hotel will host one of the Whitsundays’ biggest ever Melbourne Cup events, built around the iconic day’s racing action, loud and live on the big screen at The Pub’s sports bar, flanked by food, betting, good vibes, music, and raffles.
The country’s biggest and most famous annual thoroughbred race is a sight to behold in itself, but the celebrations at the far end of Airlie Esplanade are looking to top the spectacle with the Airlie Beach Hotel’s Melbourne Cup Tropical Party on Tuesday, November 1.
Indulgence has a name: a three-hour drinks package, a mouth-watering, all-you-can-eat Seafood Buffet with an impressive range of seafood, smoked and BBQ meats, salads and dessert, and an after-party of live entertainment courtesy of GEED Up.
There’s everything punters and fashionistas could wish for: Fashions on the Field, Sweeps, TAB betting facilities, and a business card draw and raffle, both chock full of prizes like two-person Jetski tours, tandem skydiving, family photoshoots and flight and rafting packages, as well as Champagne Magnums.
Put on your Tuesday best – a duck tail tux, perhaps? – or dress-down with a vibrant Hawaiian shirt and get ready for surprises in the form of party games.
The excitement starts with the TAB opening at 8am before the Melbourne Cup Courtesy Buses bring in the crowds starting at 9 – an earlier time than normal. The 18 plus event kicks its drink package into gear from 10am to 1pm – and it’s recommended to arrive at 9.30am.
And then, after all the excitement of the thoroughbred racing comes to an end, the after-party will kick into gear with GEED Up – fan favourites of the locals’ favourite local that are an act like no other.
With their vocal versatility, Khan, Steve, and Mat can cater to any crowd with their show-stopping dance moves which are guaranteed to get everyone up, about and dancing. Hailing from the Gold Coast GEED UP are a regular feature at venues like Eat Street and Miami Marketta and have toured both nationally and internationally.
GEED UP are known for their polished three-piece harmonies, the blend of their unique vocal styles, and they’ll begin their incredible show straight after the cup telecast.
WHAT: Melbourne Cup Tropical Party
WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Tuesday, November 1 from 9.30am
TICKETS: Online at www.whitsundaytickets.com.au
The Airlie Beach Hotel are bringing back their annual Melbourne Cup Tropical Party!
Locals’ favourite local is turning The Race That Stops The Nation into a Whitsunday-themed day of entertainment, drinks, and good eatin’
Catch the races, the raffles, and the entertainment courtesy of fan-favourites GEED Up on November 1
Photo credit: Leandra Mollica
There’s plenty in store for The Race That Stops The Nation this week, with events popping up all over the Whitsundays – especially in the coastal town of Airlie Beach.
You could glam up or keep it casual at any of the smorgasbord line-up of events across the region, just bring yourself, enjoy the Cup atmosphere, and these venues will bring the fun, drinks, and the excitement on November 1.
If you’re wanting to catch all the race-day action from Flemington, there’s no better place to do it than by spending Melbourne Cup with the Reef Gateway Hotel.
For punters, the TAB opens bright and early from 9am, flanked by race-day themed specials on drinks and meals – including a full A-la-cart menu to look forward to at 12pm to 2pm.
And, for those looking for a fashion on the field equivalent, the Reef Gateway will dish out fancy dress prizes alongside the race-day fun.
There’s plenty more set for the festivities at the local hotel, so make sure to book your spot for the Melbourne Cup at The Reef Gateway.
But, where can I frock up, enjoy a good day out and try my luck at picking the winning horses? Well, there’s a place with Airlie Beach’s finest Italian food just for that.
Catch all the race action while feasting on some inspired cuisine which will have their full a la carte menu on offer – with no fixed pricing.
Set up right on Airlie Esplanade, enjoy a fine drop of wine while soaking up the atmosphere, and even get together with some friends for a seat at Nona’s Long Table.
If you’re wanting to celebrate The Race That Stops The Nation in style, head to La Tabella Trattoria for their Melbourne Cup Day Lunch.
Whisper Gin Bar
When you’re watching the Melbourne Cup, you’re not usually being treated to a world-class view across the Coral Sea, unless, of course, your pick is Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar.
Tucked away in the glamorous luxury hotel of Mirage Whitsundays, this restaurant is ensconced in beautiful architecture, fringed by palm trees, and boasts an outdoor pool where locals will be spending a luxurious, mimosa-filled Melbourne Cup.
Live and loud on two screens and flanked by the stunning ocean view, watching the Melbourne Cup is a breeze at the Whisper Restaurant and Gin Bar.
The free entry event will host delicious meals, cocktails, an incredible view, and plenty of fun.
Opening early for buffet breakfast from 6.30am to 9.30am, the full Melbourne Cup kicks into gear from 10am onwards.
And it’s simple to sign up: call or email to secure your table or simply show up and enjoy.
The Grand View Hotel
Dress to impress in your boldest and brightest as The Race That Stops The Nation hits the Grand View Hotel, Bowen.
Indulge in great food and drinks, take part in the sweepstakes, place a bet, and catch the Grand View’s very own fashion parade sponsored by local boutique, MMOKA. There will be prizes for best dressed in bold and bright, and best of all you can tune into every second of the race day action live on the Grand View’s screens.
Bold and bright colours are strongly encouraged, and a little tip for the would-be winner: frocks for Cup Day should be colourful and perhaps a little bit daring!
There’s plenty of action around Whitsunday venues this week as they prepare for the Melbourne Cup – where will you spend the day?
Former employees of the Proserpine Sugar Mill are invited to attend the 24th annual staff reunion, which is due to take place on Friday, November 4.
This is an opportunity for everyone who has spent time working at the local mill to come together, share stories, reconnect, make new friends and reminisce about the good ol’ days.
Everyone is welcome - whether you have simply moved on to other employment, been retired for a year or a decade – every past employee is encouraged to come along.
84-year-old Ron Read started the event 24 years ago on the first year he retired after 46 and a half years of service.
He said that often they have around 50 people attending the reunion and that it is a good laugh with like-minded people.
The reunion takes place at the Mill Social club on Mill Street Proserpine, starting at 11.30am.
A meal is provided courtesy of Wilmar and you simply need to purchase what you want to drink.
Register your attendance directly with Ron by calling 0429 443 295 or emailing email@example.com.
WHAT: Proserpine Sugar Mill Reunion
WHERE: Mill Social club on Mill Street, Proserpine
WHEN: Friday, November 4 at 11.30am
Former workers share a beer at last years’ mill reunion
The Proserpine Sugar Mill
For its tenth year of delivering the nostalgic, the boutique, the rock, and the roll, Airlie Beach Festival of Music (ABFoM) has upped the ante, capitalising on its status as QMA 2022 Festival of the Year to bring an all-star selection of acts to the coastal town it calls home.
In a decade of performances at the festival, there have been few set lists as stacked full of talent. There’s too many to choose from, but these are the must-see performers at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music 2022:
Travelling direct from The House Of The Rising Sun, The Animals – the British band and Rock Hall Of Famers who topped the American charts in the ‘60s – are the premier performers at this year’s ABFoM.
Featuring original members John Steel and Mickey Gallagher alongside Danny Handley and Bobby Ruiz, The Animals are set to deliver a performance worthy of a festival celebrating a decade of bringing live music to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
Playing their greatest hits including House Of The Rising Sun, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, and more, they’re the ones to watch at this year’s celebration of music.
Representing Australian rock royalty at ABFoM will be Eskimo Joe, 35-time ARIA nominated band who have only been surpassed in the metric by Silverchair, Powderfinger, John Farnham and Kylie Minogue – they’re in good company.
Eskimo Joe’s juggernaut song Black Fingernails, Red Wine spent a monster 62 weeks in the ARIA Top 50 Chart, and their single, Foreign Land, brought home two APRA Awards for Most Played Rock Song on Australian Radio and Best Rock Song Of 2010.
Musician Jon Stevens – with his new album Starlight, and a brand-new single titled ‘Hold On’ – will bring the rock back to Airlie Beach.
Stevens is recognised as one of the most talented rock musicians to emerge from Australia in recent memory. The once lead singer of major rock acts Noiseworks, INXS, and Dead Daisies has had a career that’s only gone from strength-to-strength.
In the western tradition, forests are an “imagination exerciser” where danger can lurk in every hollow, every shadow.
For his fifth fiction novel ‘The Tilt’, best-selling Australian author Chris Hammer – who recently visited the Whitsundays whilst touring with his novel up the coast - followed in the footsteps of fairy tales, setting his story of familial intrigue, history, and murder in a famed Australian woodland.
In the Barmah Millewa Forest, which stretches across the state line of New South Wales and Victoria, becoming a swamp when the Murray River swells to its fullest, the crime writer plants a multi-layered story where bodies and secrets are unearthed.
“It’s a forest nine months of the year and a wetland for three when the river spills out, running up the myriad creek,” Hammer said.
“The water managers have put little dams on all of the mouths of these, regulating the water. That’s the setting and it’s a good setting for a crime book – in forests they tell you to not go off the path.
“In this book, it’s not just one storyline but three – one in the second world war, another in the ‘70s, and in modern day.”
At three Whitsunday libraries – Cannonvale, Proserpine, and Bowen – Hammer was interviewed on his latest book by local journalists for ‘In Conversation’ events, including Whitsunday Life writer and journalist Declan Durrant.
Locals attended the intimate events to ask their own questions to Hammer, an ex-journalist of 30 years, have their books signed, and listen.
Hammer has established himself as one of the country’s premier writers in the Australian noir genre – which often sees small-town life thrown into disarray when a dark and chilling crime takes place.
“I think I’m very fortunate to be a full-time author, and that’s thanks to all of you,” he said.
Chris Hammer’s novel The Tilt is available at each of the Whitsunday libraries, as well as online for purchase at Booktopia.
Author Chris Hammer and Whitsunday Life journalist Declan Durrant at Cannonvale Library during an ‘In Conversation’ Event hosted by Whitsunday Regional Council
It’s one thing to imitate and another to embody.
Since 2005, Dan Aykroyd, and the John Belushi Estate have been a driving force behind The Official Blues Brothers Revue – a show coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel for free in early November.
Officially sanctioned and endorsed by the family – including the late John Belushi’s wife, Judith – as well as Dan Aykroyd himself, this show direct from the US is as close as it comes to the real deal.
It’s been a long time since the Blues Brothers and their hit 1980s musical, comedy film about a not-quite-real and not-quite-fake musical duo became legendary – and two performers with the blessing of the Blues are carrying on their legacy.
They’ll croon onto the Bar Top Stage at locals’ favourite local on November 5 for more than a tribute show: It’s “the concert version of The Blues Brothers” according to Judith Belushi.
The North American duo of Wayne Catania and Keiron Lafferty as Jake and Elwood Blues will don the official hat and sunglasses to walk in the legendary footsteps of the boys in a rollicking performance at The Pub.
There’s good reason the pair have been given not just the go ahead to perform as Elwood and Jake, but have been officially sanctioned.
They capture the infectious humour and unbridled spirit of the Blues Brothers like no one since John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd themselves would walk the stage. Backed by a hard-hitting, powerhouse band, Jake and Elwood give audiences a show to remember, packed with their classic hits from the Blues Brothers’ catalogue.
From Soul Man to Rubber Biscuit, Sweet Home Chicago to Gimme Some Lovin’, Rawhide, and more. It’s a night of laughter and foot-stompin’ fun that will have Airlie Beach audiences on their feet.
Wayne and Kieron, aka Jake and Elwood, have been on a mission to deliver the most dynamic and authentic Blues Brothers show ever to hit the US – and undoubtedly succeeded.
Now on an Australian tour, they’ll cruise into The Pub to combine the comedy, music and mayhem from the original movie, as well as songs from the five popular albums put out by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.
It is a more than faithful recreation of the characters, and a spectacular tribute to Chicago’s rich history of blues, R&B and traditional soul music, played with the same conviction of the original Blues Brothers Band.
The entirely Free Show will go down in history as one of the Airlie Beach Hotel’s highest tier performances, and comprises just one part of The Pub’s miniature festival: The Airlie Beach Hotel’s Music Weekender, which kicks off on Thursday, November 3 and runs all the way through to November 6.
WHAT: The Official Blues Brothers Revue
WHEN: Saturday, November 5 from 2.30pm to 5.00pm
WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel
The Official Blues Brothers Revue is coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel in early November as part of a massive line-up across three days of performances
The boys, Wayne Catania and Keiron Lafferty as Jake and Elwood Blues, will sing out the band’s famous hits in a nostalgia filled show
The Revue is officially endorsed by Dan Aykroyd and the John Belushi Estate – they’re almost the real deal
The country’s box office records were broken by a (frankly) absurd candidate in the year 2000 – one that few would have suspected, although looking back it was an absurd time - when ‘The Wog Boy’ became one of the highest-grossing Australian films of all time.
It might not have ever set critics alight, but the film, which starred and was written by Nick Giannopoulos, managed to find itself as part of the pantheon of iconic Australian cinema.
It was in some good company, too - The Castle and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert among them – and it even spawned a sequel which arrived onscreen in 2010, ‘Wog Boy 2: Kings of Mykonos’.
Now, another decade on, a third instalment, again with Giannopoulos at the helm as a writer and star, has arrived in the form of ‘Wog Boys Forever’.
It still follows Steve ‘The Wog Boy’ Karamitsis (Giannopoulos), who, despite his best efforts, remains single and still works as a taxi driver. An unexpected guest in his cab sets in motion a chain of events for the character – alongside Vince Colosimo reprising his role as Steve’s best mate Frank - to once again show the world that “Where there’s a Wog, there’s always a Way!”.
It’s been twelve years since we last saw Steve, and things haven’t turned out the way he thought they would. He’s not dancing the Zorba anymore or doing ouzo shots. We find him all alone in an upside-down world.
It’s a rite-of-passage story for Steve, although he might be enduring a mid-life crisis, he’s still trying to find his way.
Let’s see if he can get back “that wog boy mojo he once had.”
Wog Boys Forever (MA) is showing at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema now.
Vince Colosimo and Nick Giannopoulos in Wog Boys Forever (2022)
Grizzly ghouls from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom, uniting for all hallows eve to transform the Whitsunday PCYC into a “House Of Horror.”
In a week’s time, when a gibbous moon creeps in the sky, bathing the Whitsundays in eerie light, the local community centre will change, becoming spook central for kids and parents to enjoy on October 29.
For the first time ever, the PCYC will be celebrating Halloween in special, spectral fashion: opening its doors as a House of Horror for all to enjoy (if they dare).
PCYC Branch Manager and Police Sergeant, as well as chief ghoul wrangler, Billy Li said his team at the PCYC have been hard at work creating a creepy castle atmosphere, transmuting the back rooms of the building into spider-webbed catacombs.
“In the haunted house maze, travel from room to room in PCYC and experience horror,” Sergeant Li, who will be dressed in a surprise costume on the day, said.
There will be two sessions of the Haunted House: the spooky session at 4.00pm to 5.30pm for all ages, and the scream session from 6.30pm to 8.30pm for those who dare.
“The second session will be catered for adolescents to adults where we will level-up our scares. Expect people popping up from strange places and being chased,” Sergeant Li said.
The event will function as a fundraiser for the not-for-profit organisation to upgrade its youth space. Supplies have been donated by Cannonvale Big W, Woolworths Airlie Beach, Bunnings, and Whitsunday Plaza.
Entry is $5 for one-time entry or $10 for three times.
Sergeant Li thanked all his staff for “getting behind the spooky day.”
WHAT: House of Horror
WHEN: October 29, 4.00pm to 8.30pm
WHERE: Whitsunday PCYC
PCYC Whitsundays will turn into a spooktacular Haunted House on October 29
For the first time in 12 years, Proserpine State School students will take to the stage for the first of two drama performances tonight.
Over 55 local students from grades four, five, and six have starring roles in ‘A Tale Of Two Kitties A Catty Musical’ – an original production written by Proserpine State High School teachers 15 years ago.
The story is a classic set-up: A country cat with big dreams heads to the big city to become a popstar, entering a talent show called ‘The Meow’ – a singing competition like The Voice.
There, she meets the evil city cat who becomes a fierce rival and the two kitties face off in a chase for their dreams of fame and fortune with an ensemble cast to back them up.
Proserpine State School teacher Karen Jordan said they pulled the old script out of the drawer and revamped it for their first musical in over a decade.
“We hadn’t done a production in so long that a group of us teachers came together and reworked this older one, adding modern songs and a few extra things,” she said.
“We had a new music teacher come into the school and the time just seemed right, so we said: ‘Let’s bring back the musical!’”
Ms Jordan said the students had impressed in auditions with their singing capabilities, especially the youngster who will take on the role of ‘Catty Purry’ – a pun on the name of American singer-songwriter Katy Perry.
The production has been in the works for almost a year, and Ms Jordan said the nerves were high for the performance which takes place at Proserpine State High School’s Performing Arts Complex.
“I told them though that there’s nothing like the feeling of being a part of a musical on opening night,” she said.
Tickets can only be purchased online at the link below.
WHAT: A Tale Of Two Kitties A Catty Musical
WHEN: Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15 starting 6.30pm
WHERE: Proserpine State High School Performing Arts Complex
Proserpine State School students will perform A Tale Of Two Kitties A Catty Musical tonight and Saturday night
The Proserpine Entertainment Centre will transform into the final frontier when local years one to six students make a crash landing on planet Kapzastra.
St. Catherine’s Catholic College Proserpine will beam its Junior Drama Club performers onto the stage tonight for a performance of playwright Patti Veconi’s ‘Catch The Waves’.
The 50-minute performance at Proserpine Entertainment Centre will see kids portray a team of space explorers on a mission to save Earth.
But they break down and are forced into a landing on the planet Kapzastra where they meet the local inhabitants who share their resources and unique skills to help the travellers complete their mission.
With the help of a Greek chorus of Ancients speaking in cryptic verse and the Earthlings Terra and Firma making regular appearances in hologram, every actor in this far out space adventure is a star.
The school’s Junior Drama Club students have been working hard all year on their performance in preparation for tonight’s opening according to St. Catherine’s Catholic College schoolteacher Melissa Stagg.
“The school are very excited to host the event and to give our students the opportunity to shine up on stage,” Ms Stagg said.
“They’ve been working really hard after school learning their lines and we’ve even had students from the Senior College come and help out, so it’s a whole college effort.”
This will be the first time the College has utilised the revamped Proserpine Entertainment Centre for a performance.
“They’re a little nervous because of that, but it’s all very low-key and we’re just cutting our teeth getting back into our primary school performing,” Ms Stagg said.
The Drama Club comprised roughly 50 students, each of whom are coordinating to run the production.
The show doors open from 3.30pm for a 4.00pm start, with tickets costing a gold coin donation.
WHAT: Catch The Waves performed by St Catherine’s Catholic College Junior Drama Club
WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre
WHEN: Tonight, Friday, October 14. Doors open 3.30pm for a 4.00pm start
TICKETS: Gold coin donation
Eight emerging musical acts from across the country have been selected to play on the main stage at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music this November.
As winners of the country-wide Passport to Airlie competition, these impressive musicians are the best of their home regions and will now be performing in a special show ahead of the main festival weekend.
This year's list of finalists include The Neo (Darwin), Abi Muir (Cairns), Weathered (Mackay), Perry Street Park (Brisbane), Karly Jewell (Melbourne), Dande & The Lion (Newcastle), Sunday Lemonade (Byron Bay) and Owls of Neptune (Sunshine Coast).
Festival ambassador and celebrity judge The Superjesus front-woman Sarah McLeod said that playing on the main stage of a large venue is very different to playing in bars.
"Playing on a big stage with a big PA is a game changer," she said.
"Most artists are used to hearing very little on stage in pubs - to play on a stage with a big PA and have all the instruments heard and the vocal loud through the wedges is something that’ll blow their minds if they're not used to it!"
Excitement is already building with the winning acts who are thrilled to be on their way to Airlie Beach.
Perry Street Park's front-man Benny said the opportunity to play at Airlie is huge.
“Not only the chance to be in this competition up against acts from all over Australia, but just to be a part of Queensland’s festival of the year,” he said.
“For an up and coming band to be a part of a festival this size is a huge opportunity to get exposure and build the chops for a career in the industry."
Nicholas from Dande & The Lion said his band are beyond excited.
"We are absolutely stoked!” he said.
“It looks like a really good setup that the organisers have worked hard to put in place, and we're looking forward to getting amongst the Airlie Beach vibes, seeing some amazing musicians, and of course playing."
The Passport to Airlie grand finals will be held on the main stage at the Whitsunday Sailing Club and kicks off on 6pm on November 3.
Entry will be free for all 3-day ticket holders for the festival and $10 (on door only) to all other spectators, the event will also be all ages.
The main event starts the following day with headlining acts including Rogue Traders, Ben Lee, The Animals, Eskimo Joe, Mi-Sex, Jon Stevens and many, many more incredible acts.
WHAT: Passport To Airlie Grand Finals
WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club, festival main stage
WHEN: Thursday, November 3
The winning acts from eight different regions across the country
The creative culinary masterminds behind some of Airlie Beach’s biggest and best hospitality experiences are embarking on a new and exciting expansion just in time for Christmas.
Whisper Catering sees the union of two passionate event gurus.
Geoff Small (Smally) from KC’s bar & grill, Whisper Restaurant & Gin bar and Whitsunday Food Garden has just announced a new Executive Chef, Zibby Deca, who created menus for many high-quality restaurants and has extensive experience in high volume catering operations.
Utilising the multiple venues, equipment and staff from across Smally’s business venues, the pair are perfectly placed to organise special events for up to 1000 people, offer provisioning for white boats or create an unforgettable experience for smaller groups.
From Christmas parties to wedding receptions, corporate functions to milestone birthdays – Whisper Catering can tailor any style of event including sit-down a la carte, finger-food canapes, gourmet buffets and banquets.
Book your Christmas party at Whisper Gin Bar, book a food van for your backyard session, hire out the showgrounds for a community event or indulge in a private dinner with a small group of your favourite people – the choice is yours!
Whisper Catering can arrange a dining experience at almost any venue, with any type of cuisine, styling and live entertainment to suit your event.
“We have a modern approach to catering, and we are really flexible,” said Zibby.
“There is nothing too small and nothing too big!” said Smally.
Whisper Catering are now taking bookings for Christmas parties and any other event your heart desires.
Tucked away in the quiet tropical garden setting in the centre of Airlie Beach is the unique open air food court that locals love – could you be the next popular vendor to join the team at the ever-growing Whitsunday Food Garden eat street experience?
Did someone say one more Smally Special?!
Geoff Small (Smally) from KC’s Bar & Grill (right) with his new Executive Chef, Zibby Deca (left). Photo credit: Rachael Smith
We also have the walk for a kinder world event kicking off this month. Funds raised will go towards providing kindness and wellbeing resources to our local schools. WSPN partners with the b kinder foundation (flyhighbillie.org) to deliver wellbeing programs to schools in the Whitsundays.
Walk for a kinder world is about walking with a purpose. You could go for a walk and leave a letter in someone’s letter box, give a compliment to a stranger, help an elderly person go for a walk, walk someone’s dog, or pick up litter along your walk.
“The world could certainly use a little more kindness so the walk for a kinder world is all about connecting, being inclusive and being kind,” said Danny Mayson-Kinder from the b kinder foundation.
“One small act of kindness could change someone's life so we are encouraging everyone to participate, to think of others and connect with families, friends and their community.”
WHAT: Walk For A Kinder World
WHERE: You decide where and how far you walk
WHEN: October 13 to November 13
This month Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network (WSPN) is excited to announce that they will be re-launching their community breathing sessions by partnering with Ashley and Matt Lade from Evoprime Fitness to facilitate the classes.
Matt and Ashley said they are excited to be collaborating with WSPN to facilitate the Breathing Sessions as it is one of the many things they incorporate into their own daily health habits for mental resilience and well-being.
“It is such a powerful and simple strategy that anyone can use anytime and we can’t wait to teach these skills in a way that everyone can enjoy, not only at the sessions but anytime and anywhere,” they said.
“Somewhere along our lives we all experience mental health issues whether ourselves personally, a friend, or family member.
“Having a tough time dealing with daily stressors in life isn’t uncommon.
“Knowing when and how to incorporate breathing patterns for preventative health as well as reducing stress, supporting immune systems, recovering physically and mentally, supporting our nervous systems, sleep, and the list goes on, is priceless.”
WHAT: Free Weekly Breathing Sessions
WHERE: Evoprime Fitness 1A/11 Shute Harbour Road Cannonvale
WHEN: Weekly starting Monday, October 10 from 6pm
COST: FREE (donations welcome)
To kick off November head to The Pub for a Live Music Weekender with four unique acts performing across six shows in a back-to-back showing for the ages.
The Airlie Beach Hotel is bringing back three fan favourites and a new band to the Bar Top Stage in its November 4 to 6 live music spectacular.
The Live Music Weekender is brimming with fanfare as some of The Pubs’ fan favourite acts return.
Geed Up will put the festivities in gear on Thursday and Friday, followed by the sultry sounds of soulstress Lisa Hunt on Friday and Saturday nights. There’ll be the bombastic Official Blues Brothers Revue for Saturday afternoon, and finally Jeff Duff and The Great Southern Band with the music of Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears for the Sunday climax.
Geed Up will set the tone for the Weekender in their Thursday night shows from 7pm to 10pm. They’re an act like no other – they’ve rocked out at the Airlie Beach Hotel to blissful applause time and again – and they’ll be doing it twice this time! On Friday arvo, they’ll get the crowd pumping from 2pm to 5.30pm.
Then it’s all the headliner: Lisa Hunt and her show Forever Soul – a Motown mashup of soul, funk, disco, and R&B in the evening.
Last time the beautiful and bodacious performer graced the Bar Top Stage, she tore down the roof.
Her undoubted stage presence has lured enormous crowds to the Hotel on numerous occasions – and this time it will be no different. The now Byron Bay-based singer will be returning to treat the seaside town again with her powerful voice born from the great African American tradition of gospel music.
A storied career with countless compilations around the globe, both as singer and songwriter, Hunt has sold more than a million records.
She’s an ‘80s soul sensation who’s kept the music pumping all that time, sharing the stage with music greats like Eric Clapton, James Brown, and even Andrea Bocelli, and now she’s back at the locals’ favourite local, and the crowds are going to be loving it.
She’ll bring down the house on Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm to 10pm, but, before her, the Official Blues Brothers – endorsed by Dan Akroyd himself, as well as the late legend John Belushi’s wife, Judith – will bring the jazz.
The upper echelon show brings the boys to the Airlie Beach Hotel on Saturday, 2pm to 5.30pm before the headlining Hunt’s pitch-perfect performance on Saturday night.
And on Sunday, for the massive weekend’s crescendo, The Music of Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears will be played to perfection by musical journeyman Jeff Duff and The Great Southern Band.
One of Australia’s finest vocalists with seven of the hottest vocalists in the land, Jeff Duff brings some of the best of America’s horn-bands alive in this incredible new show – and, adding to the mix, Duff treats audiences to a little of his David Bowie covers to boot.
Don’t miss this massive weekend at the Airlie Beach Hotel.
WHAT: Live Music Weekender
WHEN: Various times across November 4 to 6
WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel
Four separate acts – massive bands, big shows, and loud music – at the Airlie Beach Hotel in November
Songstress Lisa Hunt headlines The Pub’s Live Music Weekender event in a much-anticipated return to Airlie Beach
27 album veteran and Australian tenor Jeff Duff will end the weekend’s festivities with an incredible new show
North Queensland’s hottest DJ will be blazing out the Balearica vibes this week on the beachfront dancefloor at the Whitsunday Sailing Club.
The expansive front lawn will once again be transformed from a yacht club into a chilled-out music mecca where attentive wait-staff will offer table service beverage and dining to the white sun loungers, chilled table settings and deck chairs.
Enjoy it your way at Balearica - dance on the sand as the sun sets beyond the horizon, get the party started right with your crew or lounge on soft seating and soak up the ambience.
DJ Madison is making a big name for herself right across the state and she will be backed by event founder Jamie Porteous who has just released a new single to great acclaim.
Picked up by Triple J and already snagged by Tuborg beer to feature as a commercial soundtrack, his song ‘Shut-Up Boi’ will play over the weekend.
Also new this time around is the popular Prosecco Archway, an Instagram opportunity with stunning ocean backdrop.
This hand-crafted Greek inspired arch is the picture-perfect way to enter the event along with a glass of Prosecco upon arrival.
Whatever you are doing this weekend, make sure you set aside time to soak up the cool beachside vibes of this Ibiza-inspired music-fuelled weekend.
WHAT: Balearica Beach Club
WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club
WHEN: Saturday 15 - Sunday 16 October, 11am-9pm
Chilled out beach vibes at Balearica
DJ Madison will be playing all weekend
One of Australia’s rising popstar songwriters is working her way down the east coast of Oz, set to arrive in November for a fast-selling gig in Airlie Beach.
Brisbane-born pop-star Grace Shaw, better known by her stage name Mallrat, is touring from Darwin to Hobart with a stop off at Magnums Airlie Beach on November 17.
Shaw has toured extensively both in Australia and internationally, selling out headline shows from London to New York and Sydney, and is now back on home soil for her new album tour.
Butterfly Blue, her latest album, sees the artist put her prized pop song writing talent on show, embodying the spirit of the album’s titular creature – but “without the delicacy that keeps you at a distance.”
Over a dozen clever and open-hearted tracks, Mallrat draws her audience in close and shows you her world through wide, hopeful eyes.
In an Airlie Beach show at Magnums, the intimacy will be dialled up to 11.
The show is another arrow in the quiver for Magnums, who in the last year have shown an extraordinary resilience to bounce back from the Covid pandemic – both in recording increased traffic from backpackers staying in its hostel, and in the live music scene.
It will be the second time a major show has arrived in the coastal town courtesy of the famed pub – the last being international superstars the Australian hip-hop group Bliss N Eso.
Mallrat has received over 300 million streams online for her music, with a regular 1.8m monthly listeners on Spotify, as well as a lucrative touring career at only the age of 24.
WHEN: Thursday, November 17 at 7.00pm
WHERE: Magnums Airlie Beach
Pop star and singer-songwriter Mallrat will play at Magnums Airlie Beach in November
If nothing else, director David O. Russell has assembled an ensemble cast for the ages in Amsterdam, his 1933, New York set film that mashes genres together like a fruit salad comprised of satire, comedy, romance, crime, and politics.
The epic film is absurdly stacked: a single scene has the potential (and it literally does at one point) to contain a who’s who of modern megastars.
Its troupe of secondary actors includes Remi Malek, Anya Taylor-Joy, Robert De Niro, Chris Rock, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Matthias Schoenaerts, Timothy Olyphant, Zoe Saldaña, Alessandro Nivola, and more.
But, we mostly follow our main trio: long-time regiment buddies Burt (Christian Bale) and Harold (John David Washington) who become drawn into a murder investigation of their former commanding officers and now US Senator, Bill Meekins. Their sleuthing brings them back into the orbit of Valerie (Margot Robbie), a nurse who helped them back to health during WWI – a classic two-guys-and-a-girl setup.
At times freewheeling, Amsterdam’s idealistic outlook can become bogged down in the murderous plot that blows up to something bigger – an elaborate political coup - come the films second act. At times farcical, it’s the performers that can bring much of the joy to a story that loses itself in the surfeit threads of the messy tapestry it tries to weave.
Production, too, is what brings the film to life; a perfect recreation of ‘30s New York – in part thanks to costuming and cinematography – help to make the film feel ‘lived-in’ and worth the trip.
Amsterdam (MA15+) is showing now at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.
David O. Russell’s Amsterdam features a star-studded cast including Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington
Local culture queen, Karen Jocobsen has once again risen to the top and this time she casts her eye on equality, looking to change the narrative of exclusion by promoting inclusion across gender, race and ability.
Using Julia Gillard’s impassioned ‘Misogyny Speech’ from 2012, Karen delivers a politically-charged, heart-filled opus that brings together 70 inspiring individuals from right around the world to mime lyrics alongside her own beautiful voice.
Three of those inspiring people are local faces; Councillor Jan Clifford, Photographer Debbie Savvy and founder of the Just Saying Project, Fallon Drewett.
Karen recounts the moment she first thought of the idea when watching a show on the ABC entitled Ms Represented which discusses the history of women in Australian politics and was narrated by Annabel Crabb.
“I ran straight to my computer and searched for the transcript of the speech,” she said.
“I took it to my piano and started to compose – I was so compelled – I spent four hours on that occasion before bringing my head up for air!”
As soon as she did rise for air, Karen realised that this project was much bigger than she first thought.
She asked a few fellow creatives about copyright laws and eventually went directly to Julia Gillard’s media team who gave her the go-ahead to use the words as lyrics.
This gave permission for Karen to embark on a project that would take her over a year, pulling together 70 hand-selected individuals from all across the world, dividing the script into 14 and allocating each participant with their set words.
The result is a masterpiece of meaningful and spirited compassion that demands attention in a soft and invigorating way.
“It was important to have a representative and inclusive music video,” said Karen.
“There are different cultures, ages and levels of ability – it’s a really diverse mix.”
From Hollywood producer Lucy Arnaz to Channel Seven news reader Kim McGrath and Queensland’s first quadriplegic medical doctor Dinesh Palipana, the video features many celebrities and influential people from around the globe.
“My intention is to spark a conversation and empower all of us to act and talk in a way that is in line with humanity and equality,” said Karen.
“So many of our devastating societal issues are the result of one group thinking they are superior than the other – it’s so denigrating.”
“On a personal note, being female, I have been on the receiving end of it my whole life.
“It is in the micro-agendas, in the language and in the systems – so much can be done to stop it by bringing awareness.”
Karen’s song ‘Better Standard Than This’ was released last week and has so far been watched by over 20,000 people on YouTube.
The Misogyny Opus full pop-orchestral work will be performed live with Karen at the MECC this February.
Break out quote
"Misogyny Opus that marks a decade of the speech that rocked the world"
International songwriter and professional speaker Karen Jacobsen uses famous speech for Misogyny Opus. Photo supplied
Next Friday at the outdoor movie theatre on the Airlie Beach Foreshore there will be back to back cinema magic with a showing of Nanny McPhee followed by The Man From Snowy River.
It’s time to grab your picnic blanket and invite your family and friends for a night under the stars in front of the 5.5 by 3 metre LED cinema screen.
Spring is the perfect time of year to enjoy the cool evenings and the expansive lawn on the foreshore offers a relaxing environment for all to gather.
There will be a host food vans on site and the children can also enjoy playing on the beach or at the play park before the movie starts, enabling you to make a night of it.
A heart-warming family classic, this movie tells the story of a widower called Cedric Brown (played by Colin Firth) who hires Nanny McPhee (played by Emma Thompson) to care for his seven rebellious children.
Having chased away all previous nannies, the children do their best to get rid of Nanny McPhee too but are surprised when she uses mystical powers to instil discipline and eventually wins them over.
When the children's great-aunt and benefactor, Lady Adelaide Stitch (Angela Lansbury), threatens to separate the kids, the family pulls together under the guidance of Nanny McPhee.
The Man From Snowy River
An age-old classic featuring a combination of feel-good romance and heroic antics, The Man From Snowy River was released in 1982 and will be back for an exclusive screening at the Airlie Foreshore next week.
Cuddle up with a loved one and enjoy the nostalgia hit of this classic western.
The movie is about a proud young man called Jim Craig (played by Tom Burlinson) who sets out to become his own man following the death of his father.
He takes a job with a horse rancher (played by Kirk Douglas) and is treated poorly by the more experienced cowboys, but wins the heart of the rancher's daughter, Jessica (Sigrid Thornton), when he helps her break a high-strung colt and later saves her life.
When he's unfairly blamed for the loss of an expensive horse, Craig fights to restore his honour and prove that he's worthy of Jessica's hand.
WHAT: Movies Under The Stars
WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore
WHEN: Friday, October 14
Image 1: Nanny McPhee is a family pleaser
Image 2: The Man From Snowy River is a classic western
Craft Show This Weekend
A celebration of clever creations, the upcoming craft show at the Proserpine Museum will exhibit the intricate and expressive needlework and sewing from a host of local ladies’ groups.
From delightful doilies to quintessential quilts and natty needlework, all will be on display at the event which promises to both honour and celebrate our local skills and heritage.
For just $5 you will receive entry into the craft fair, and broader museum if you choose, plus tea, coffee and scone.
Correction: the wrong date was published last week, please note the correct date is Sunday, October 9
WHAT: Craft Show
WHERE: Proserpine Museum
WHEN: Sunday, October 9 from 1.30pm to 4.00pm
ADMISSION: $5 includes Devonshire Tea
It’s Bowen Turf Club’s biggest race of the season this Saturday: the famed “Race That Stops The Whitsundays”.
The Bowen Cup, which has regularly hosted more than three thousand attendees annually, will gallop its way to Ben Bolt Park on Saturday, October 8.
One of the region’s biggest social events of the year will host five local races, complete with TAB and on-track bookmakers, a licenced bar, food vendors, and everyone’s favourite: Fashion on the Field.
Ladies (and gentlemen) will be out in their Saturday best for a race-day that’s promising to be one of the club’s finest.
Fashion on the Field will this year be run by Filby’s Motors, where there’s already been a great deal of interest from local ladies.
For those looking for a way to and from the races, The Grand View Hotel will run their free, authorised local courtesy bus, dropping off and picking up patrons at the main gate every half an hour.
From 11:00am at the Grand View Hotel, two buses will be leaving regularly, as well as taking patrons from the main gate back to town to continue the celebrations at the Grand View at the official afterparty.
Live music, courtesy of The Feels 4-piece band, begins at 8.00pm, in a perfect way to spend your race day evening.
The Feels will delve into their repertoire of feel-good songs, ranging from pub classics, soul and funk, and reggae all night long.
For annual Queensland Mental Health Week (QMHW), a local organisation will bring together art and mindfulness in workshops across the region.
Stella Life Care will run ‘The Art of Wellbeing’ workshops in both Bowen and Collinsville to connect people and communities whilst “reflecting on the important factors that help people maintain positive mental health and wellbeing.”
The free painting workshops aim to teach the art of expression through painting, all with a mental health backing.
Participants can create their own masterpiece to take home while a credentialed mental health nurse discusses this year’s QMHW themes: awareness, belonging, and connection.
The free workshops are open to both adults and children and will be led by Counsellor Su Willmott.
Linked to National Mental Health Week and World Mental Health Day, held on 10 October every year, the workshops are in sync with QMHW’s yearly, week-long campaign.
The week of October 8 to 16 event hopes to have everyone think about their mental health and wellbeing, regardless of whether they have a lived experience of mental illness or not, and encourages help seeking behaviours, when needed.
Stella Life Care has been fortunate to receive support from the Queensland Mental Health Week Community Events Grant Program to partially fund the workshops.
Places are limited with bookings essential at the link below.
WHAT: The Art Of Wellbeing Workshops
WHERE: 39 Herbert Street, Bowen, and the Basketball Courts, Collinsville State School, Devlin St, Collinsville
WHEN: Bowen - Tuesday 11 October from 10am to 12pm, and Collinsville - Thursday, October 13 from 2.45pm to 4.45pm.
It’s a big week for the Airlie Beach Festival of Music and the countdown to the 10th annual event has begun with day passes on sale now and the much-anticipated mainstage line-up announced.
Event organiser, Margie Murphy said that if budget and time allows, they recommend you purchase a weekend pass, however, if you can only spare a day, these new tickets will offer the flexibility to suit your needs.
“I know lots of people have been waiting for them,” she said.
“We’ve got some awesome acts spread out over the three days, so come for the whole experience if you can!
“You really don’t want to miss the first day with a stellar line-up to kick-off the festival.”
With jaw-dropping sea views from the main tent, the festival is a party like no other in a tropical paradise.
Experience Airlie Beach coming alive to the sound of music - with the entertainment being spread throughout multiple venues, the atmosphere is electric.
The Airlie Beach Festival of Music takes place at the Whitsunday Sailing Club from November 4-6, weekend passes are $300 and day passes are $140.
For more information head to: www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au
WHAT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music
WHERE: Whitsunday Sailing Club
WHEN: 4-6 November
Friday 5th Nov
Niksta with Bill Chambers
Saturday 6th Nov
Matty Rogers Band
Sunday 7th Nov
Matt Angell and the Gold Diggers
Masters of Pop
Image: An incredible atmosphere awaits at this years’ 10th annual Airlie Beach Festival of Music
Olivia Wilde keeps things interesting in her first career foray into the director’s chair.
There’s been more real-world drama surrounding the release of Don’t Worry Darling than there is around some things that matter. It could have acted as a detractor for its cast, but it seems to have worked the other way around for some.
It wouldn’t be a Hollywood star’s debut directing gig if they didn’t give themselves an acting role, but it’s not Wilde’s on-screen chops that elevates Don’t Worry Darling.
It’s her protagonists.
Alice (Florence Pugh) has married Jack (Harry Styles), and the pair are living in the idealized community of Victory, an experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families.
Pugh is who really carries the film. She delivers such a roaring main performance that her fellow cast-mates pale in comparison. In a story where 1950's societal optimism is the rug under which misogyny is swept, Pugh elevates what can often be a predictable script.
She carries large chunks of the film more or less single-handedly.
While the husbands spend every day inside the Victory Project Headquarters, working on the "development of progressive materials," their wives get to spend their time enjoying the beauty, luxury, and debauchery of their community. It becomes a feminist parable – one which could easily have lost itself up its own bum if not for Pugh’s anchoring.
Life is perfect, with every resident's needs met by the company. All they ask in return is discretion and unquestioning commitment to the Victory cause. But when cracks in Alice’s idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive façade, she can't help questioning exactly what they're doing in Victory, and why.
Just how much is Alice willing to lose to expose what's really going on in this paradise?
Don’t Worry Darling (M) is opening at Bowen Summergarden Cinema on Friday, October 7 at 6.45pm.
Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about? A Billy Joel Tribute show is coming to The Airlie Beach Hotel - You can’t be serious?
Wait – it’s not just Billy Joel – it’s the Rocket Man, too! This will be huge: two tributes on the same day with duelling pianos for the Elton and Billy Experience Concert, Face to Face coming to The Pub in mid-October.
The internationally acclaimed Greg Andrew is bringing his Elton John Experience show, teaming up with Anthony Mara and his world-class Billy Joel Celebration for a spectacular afternoon of Crocodile Rock crossed with Uptown Girl.
It’s a musical journey of more than half a century where two of the world’s greatest singer-songwriters of all time mash-up in duets and duels.
Andrew and Mara recreate the moments of the real duo’s famous Face To Face world tour, where both artists perform together, sing each other’s songs and culminate onstage for the final encore.
In this premium show coming to the coastal town of Airlie Beach entirely free, the world-class production showcases the showmanship of the virtuoso piano players.
Every song will be Your Song with the crowd engagement turned up to 11 – it’s the level you expect from two of times’ most iconic performers. Not only do Andrew and Mara revive the experience of the Face To Face tour, they do it flanked by six other masterful musicians, all on the Bar Top Stage.
Mara’s world class band celebrate the musical journey of a remarkable career from Piano Man, New York State Of Mind, Honesty, It’s Still Rock’n’roll To Me, and the favourites: Uptown Girl and We Didn’t Start The Fire.
The full live band consists of the finest musicians around, plus state-of-the-art sound and lighting, in a powerful show that has mesmerised audiences across the country.
And standing next to Mara is one of the best in the world at his craft: Andrew brings hit after hit from Elton’s back catalogue to electrifying life in perfect sound. He’s like a young Elton!
With tracks I’m Still Standing, Saturday Nights Alright For Fightin’, Candle In The Wind, Daniel, Honky Cat, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Hold Me Closer, plus many more, you’ll be taken back to the MCG like it’s 1998!
Sail on a River of Dreams down the The Road To El Dorado (Airlie Beach Esplanade) to listen to The Captain And The Kid – but who’s who? Find out when these titans of pop meet at the Airlie Beach Hotel on Saturday, October 22.
WHAT: The Elton John and Billy Joel Experience
WHERE: The Airlie Beach Hotel
WHEN: Saturday, October 22 from 2.00pm to 5.30pm
Image 1: Elton John and Billy Joel are being brought to The Pub in a tribute show of epic proportions in mid-October
Image 2: The Elton and Billy Experience Concert recaptures the spirit and performance from the pair’s famous Face To Face tours
Image 3: Don’t miss the internationally renowned artists performing some of pops greatest songs when it comes to the Airlie Beach Hotel
Two creatives from Far North Queensland are bringing their part theatre show, part 80s rock concert and aerobics dance class - with a smidgen of time travel thrown in for good measure - to the Whitsundays this month.
Renowned Cairns artists Roz Pappalardo and Rachel Terry are telling the story of one woman's epic midlife crisis in their show ‘All Fired Up’ which arrives at the Proserpine Entertainment Centre on October 22.
After a sold-out season at Brisbane Powerhouse in March and a return season at South Bank Piazza for Brisbane Festival, the pair of regional writers and performers are set to present their uplifting epic adventure to regional audiences.
Pappalardo, known for her long music and performing arts career, and Rachel Terry, NIDA trained actor and writer, have led a team of 10, strong and uniquely skilled regional creatives to present the brand-new work across the state.
And this time, the pair are working with a range of Whitsunday-based community dancers to integrate them into the final, high impact moments of the show.
“The show includes integral community engagement dance elements whereby local women are invited to engage in an open dance workshop and then are integrated into two moments of the actual professional performance,” Pappalardo said.
“All Fired Up was inspired by 80s superstar artists like Pat Benatar belting out Hit Me With Your Best Shot and Cyndi Lauper shrieking with passion to her parents that Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
The 70-minute, jampacked show features Terry and her real-life daughter, Scarlett Terry, who time travel to tell the story of the power of the arts solving life's problems, and Roz Pappalardo as “everyone’s favourite radio DJ” ‘Neon’, who acts as singer of approximately 20 hit songs of the decade.
All Fired Up will fill you with joy, inspire and excite you, and will literally have you singing and dancing on your seats.
Tickets can be purchased via the Proserpine Entertainment Centre website: https://bit.ly/3RrYfJG
WHAT: All Fired Up An 80’s Mixed Tape Musical
WHEN: Saturday, October 22 at 7.00pm
WHERE: Proserpine Entertainment Centre
A full house greeted the ambitious youngsters who sung their hearts out at the second heat of Young Whitsundays Got Talent competition which was held at the Grandview Hotel in Bowen on Sunday.
A total of 12 contestants and four bands performed in front of over 150 guests who all threw their support behind these young and emerging artists.
Event organiser Paula Hovey said it was a fantastic day.
“There was phenomenal talent, and it was a full house!” she said.
Airlie Beach Festival of Music (ABFoM) founder, Gavin Butlin (Butto), said that the future of music is in safe hands which is testament to the quality of artist that performed on the day.
The event is now in its fourth year and is a gateway for young musicians to perform live on stage and, if selected, progress to the finals which are due to be held at Northerlies on October 23.
The winner and runner-up of the competition will be permitted backstage at the upcoming ABFoM for a ‘live’ experience where they can meet some industry legends and discover what it is like to be a superstar.
The Bowen heat guest judges included Councillor Jan Clifford, Bonnie Nicole from ABFoM and radio presenter Tony Fossey.
Five-piece girl band ‘My Envy’ rocked out to Oasis’ Wonderwall and shot through to the grand final with their rendition of this 90’s classic.
Also heading to Northerlies next month is 18-year-old solo performer Tiffany Grace who is a “well-acclaimed young artist with amazing talent” and performed an original song with her guitar on the day.
Solo artist Sienna Baxwell also got herself a place in the finals for the second year in a row.
This confident young lady with incredible stage presence is hoping to take the top spot this year.
While seven-year-old, Echo, did not make it to the finals, she did receive an encouragement award and will be performing on the day.
The Grand Finals will see the culmination of the all the talent perform in one event, bringing together winners from both the Proserpine and Bowen heats.
Winners from past years will also hit the stage and include Noah Robertson and Ivanna Laggos.
WHAT: Young Whitsundays Got Talent Grand Finals
WHEN: Sunday, October 23
Cast your mind back to 2009: Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States in January, Kesha’s Tik Tok topped the charts most of the year, Chrysler went bankrupt in May, the King Of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away in June. And a little, independent film (ha ha) called ‘Avatar’ hit cinemas on December 18, changing the cinema landscape, namely the modern blockbuster, forever.
The epic adventure famously inspired by Pocahontas is returning to theatres this year to give audiences a nostalgia hit; letting them revisit a film, now in glorious 4k and with impeccable high-dynamic range, that was an absolute world-beater when it arrived in a far different entertainment atmosphere than now (it was pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe, for goodness sake).
But it also serves as an opportunity to introduce people who have never seen it before to the world of the Na’vi – a world both beautiful and terrifying - that stretched the limits of computer generation imagery, simulation, and motion capture technology.
And it’s perfectly timed to get people ready for the sequel, Avatar: The Way of Water, before it hits theatres this December.
Looking at Avatar from afar – having been through (and still going through) global warming, a worldwide pandemic, the potential cusp of World War III - it’s hard to understand, or even remember, the pandemonium it caused.
I saw Avatar three times in cinemas – and I wasn’t the only one. Still to this day, it’s the highest grossing film of all time (thanks to a re-release in China it reclaimed the top spot). It was an absolute phenomenon in every sense of the word, in part thanks to three factors: its story is simple, its visuals were revolutionary, and it encapsulated the essence of cinema; passion, spectacle, and heart.
To see Avatar on the big screen was extraordinary – and now we can do it all over again.
Revisit Avatar, or experience it for the first time, at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema on September 30.
Review by Declan Durrant.
The King Of The Mountain is about to become the King Of The Coast when an all-star tribute to some of Australia’s top rock bands arrives at the Airlie Beach Hotel in October.
In the “ultimate Saturday Session rock out”, three legendary Aussie bands will star in one epic afternoon show. The Angels, Divinyls, and Midnight Oil Tribute Show will rock out to the sound of Oz anthems of the eighties at The Pub.
Three of the most energetic and dynamic rock bands ever to grace the live stage will be mashed together in this free show of hits galore.
From ‘Beds are Burning’ to ‘Blue Sky Mine’ and everything else in between, you can expect the Oils’ full repertoire of Australian classics.
Then, get ready to ‘Touch Yourself’ and rage with the ‘Boys in Town’ for a little trip into the world of ‘Science Fiction’ with Chrissy and the Divinyls.
But there’s no chance to take a break because the day will wrap up with a nonstop trip into Aussie rock history with the incredible Angels.
Everything from ‘Take a Long Line’, ‘Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again’, and ‘Marseilles’, to ‘Coming Down’, ‘We Gotta Get Outta This Place’ and much, much more.
It’ll be like being transported to Blue Sky Mine, or back to when you grew up in the greatest era of Oz Rock. If you’ve wished you could travel back in time to see a band that wanted to knock your head off with great music, this is the show for you.
Airlie Beach audiences will be floored by the dynamic and expressive moves of this tribute that recaptures the prime performances of Garrett and the Oils, or the giant slabs of Aussie rock legends that are Doc Neesen and The Angels, and the incredible star power of Chrissy Amphlett fronting the Divinyls.
Each will take the bar-top stage in full costume (paired with theatrical performances) at The Pub for a weekend show that’ll have you singing along to the sounds of Australia’s rock roots.
It’s three legendary Oz bands for free at The Pub – what’s not to love? Don’t miss The Angels, Divinyls, and Midnight Oil Tribute Show when it rocks and rolls into Airlie Beach on October 15.
What: The Angels, Divinyls, and Midnight Oil Tribute Show
When: 2.00pm until 5.30pm on Saturday, October 15
Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel
Bob Eden is on a mission to eradicate suicide.
The Whitsunday-based fitter-turner turned folk singer and author is set to release his first book ‘The Gift of Depression, My Little Scrap Book’ with one mission in mind: sharing his story to save even just one life.
“Every 40 seconds, someone dies because of depression, and they do not have to. I am living proof of that,” Bob said.
“I believe that by sharing our stories, we can help to heal each other.”
Born in England, Bob had a turbulent childhood with an absent father and a violent mother. It left him with untrue lessons about his life which led him to an eventual battle with depression and anxiety.
“In 1984, three o’clock in the morning, I had my first panic attack. I went to the doctor and was put into the western medical model and I was in that for 20 years. Different antidepressants, psychiatrists, psychologists,” Bob said.
“That was my dance with depression. I could not understand it; but I do now”
Far from England and having lived in the Whitsundays for almost two decades, Bob is ready to lay out the lessons of his life in written word, sharing them with the people who need them most.
His scrap book is the story of a life that vastly changed direction. From a fitter-turner to a “depression recovery specialist and men’s wellbeing advocate”, managing ships and sailing to authoring books and managing festivals, like Wintermoon – Bob Eden has done it all and come out the other side with the scars to show for it.
“It took 20 years for me to realise that I could not think my way out, I had to listen to my body, and I did,” Bob said.
“I am master and commander of my life and I take full responsibility for this life that I create. Every event that happens in my life holds a lesson for me, I just must find and learnt it.
“My book just tells my story of my journey from trauma and despair to contentment, it describes the tools I found and used to completely recover from depression.”
Bob will launch The Gift Of Depression, My Little Scrap Book at Cannonvale Library in an event emceed by Councillor Jan Clifford on November 28 at 10am.
A host of talented artist were celebrated as part of the Whitsundays Arts Festival, with their work on public exhibition during the festivities and several of them picked to win lucrative art awards for their contribution.
The major prize was won by Justin Telfer from Mullumbimby in New South Wales, for his work ‘Nullabor Crossing.’
Justin was awarded the $5,000 major prize, and his work will be acquired into the Whitsundays Regional Council Art Collection.
Winner of the Local Artist Award went to Cannonvale resident Jacqui Henderson for her piece ‘Summer Holiday’.
She received $1000 in prize money.
Other categories included Young Artist Award which was won by Cameron Letta (Leonay) for ‘Red Gum’ and the 3D Sculpture Award was won by Bowen resident Barry Smith for ‘Security’.
The 2D Works on Paper Award went to Tanya Coventry from Bowen for ‘February’ and the R&K Kenyon Award went to Java Small for ‘Meerkat’.
Only its second year, the Whitsundays Art Prize is a vibrant visual arts award, incorporating painting and sculpture and this year, the exhibition included 70 works from 63 Australian artists.
The event was held at the Elbow Room at Coral Sea Marina Resort from 23-30 September with the winners announced on the opening night.
Exhibition Coordinator Glenda Brown said she was honoured to be bringing art to the heart of Airlie Beach.
“Supporting these incredible artists and showcasing works from around Australia in our beautiful region, the Whitsundays Arts Festival exists to highlight art and arts practice,” she said.
The prize winners were selected by guest judge Tracy Cooper-Lavery, Director, Gallery and Visual Arts at HOTA Home of the Arts Gold Coast.
It might not break the rom-com mould, but the Whitsunday-filmed Ticket To Paradise is a charming flick with one major drawcard: Julia Roberts and George Clooney.
It’s hard sometimes for reviewers to remember that not every film needs be a Citizen Cane. Movies can be fun. And that’s certainly what audiences are in for when they watch Ol Parker’s fourth directorial outing.
The star-studded film shot across Queensland last year brings Clooney and Roberts back together again. This time, they pair up as a divorced couple travelling to Bali, attempting to stop their daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) from making the same “mistake” they made 25 years before.
That mistake being rushing into a marriage which, unceremoniously, ended down the line.
And certainly, from reading the premise, I think we all know where this is going. But like I said, that’s not the appeal, it’s the Academy Award Winning actors that make this movie. Clooney and Roberts have always had an exceptional chemistry – a real life friendship never hurts that – and Ticket To Paradise is no different.
The world they inhabit in the film is one of the old-style romantic comedies. There’s an earnest nostalgia to it that reminds us of late ‘90s or early ‘00s darlings of the genre like 10 Things I Hate About You, or – most especially – 50 First Dates.
Most of the movie magic from Ticket To Paradise is born from our own sense that we miss films just like it. When do we get to see genuine movie stars – and bless me, there are very of those left – together on screen? And certainly, when do you see a movie like this in theatres anymore? The streaming age has relegated the rom-com and its cheesiness to the back-pages.
Shot in real locations – including The Whitsundays itself – and brimming with absolute, unadulterated fun; chemistry and star power have certainly made me buy a Ticket To Paradise. Will you?
Ticket To Paradise is showing now at the Bowen Summergarden Cinema.
Director Ol Parker, Julia Roberts, and George Clooney filmed parts of the absolute treat that is Ticket to Paradise on Hamilton Island
Review By Declan Durrant
Coral Sea Marina’s second annual Big Aussie BBQ raised $4400 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) this year.
Over the month of September, the local marina has been gathering funds and raising awareness for research into the cancer which threatens the lives of one in five Australian men.
For their biggest fundraising effort of the month, the marina lawns transformed into a backyard barbie, where locals could grab a snag and a drink and listen to some live music in the name of a good cause.
Head of Marketing at Coral Sea Marina, Joscelyn O’Keefe said it’s been excellent to give “people an informal setting where they can start the conversation” about prostate cancer.
“Thank you to all the local businesses and community who came out to support us,” she said.
The Marina has now raised over $10,000 dollars for cancer research.
You can continue to donate to Coral Sea Marina until the end of September at their fundraising page here: https://www.bigaussiebarbie.com.au/.../CoralSeaMarina.../bab
One of the most popular and best-selling Australian musical artists of all time will be honoured with the highest form of flattery in two unique tribute shows coming to the Airlie Beach Hotel in October.
Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of his famed Soul Deep album, the ‘Soul Chisel’ Ultimate Jimmy Barnes tribute band will bring one of the most faithful encapsulations of Jimmy’s solo career to The Pub, creating two afternoons to remember.
The Working Class Man is the heart and soul of Aussie rock music – he conjures up the sound of ear-splitting volume, the tune of soul standards given a unique voice and reading – and Soul Chisel bring all that magic of Barnsey with them in their recreation coming to the coastal town of Airlie Beach.
In the first of two shows, Soul Chisel will celebrate the legacy of Barnesy on Saturday afternoon in an unforgettable performance that focuses on his fifth album. They will get the Good Times flowing.
Through the lens of Soul Deep – a collection of soul covers and duets with John Farnham – Soul Chisel encapsulate what makes Barnesy the very best there is.
Through a Rock N’ Rolling tour of Jimmy’s soul covers and onto his biggest Cold Chisel hits, Soul Chisel create an electric atmosphere.
That atmosphere is thanks to their ability to not only recreate the sound but also the look of Barnesy, with front man Steve Callanan a scarily close look alike with one of Australia’s biggest selling artists.
Callanan leads the show and has the vocal power to match his almost uncanny resemblance to Barnesy. He’s even made appearances on The Voice Australia, where he performed in front of the likes of Delta Goodrum and Guy Sebastian and had them convinced by his vocals!
On Sunday, they’ll back up their performance with a unique blend of two songs in a row from The best of Barnes and Chisel, as well as your favourite Aussie bands and much, much more.
Don’t miss Soul Chisel when they bring (Simply) The Best Cold Chisel tribute show to the local’s favourite local for two afternoons of Barnesy at The Airlie Beach Hotel.
What: Soul Chisel Tribute Show
When: 2.00pm to 5.30pm on Saturday, October 8, and Sunday, October 9
Where: The Airlie Beach Hotel
Students in Cannonvale took to the streets on foot, bike and scooter last week in the first of what is hoped to be many ‘Walk Or Ride To School Day’.
A student-led initiative, the event came about when Miss Hanson’s grade 4 class were discussing how to reduce their carbon footprint.
While many thought about small projects, this particular cohort felt inspired to create an event the whole school could enjoy.
Writing a note to the principal to ask permission, making a speech in assembly, and then putting posters on walls were all ways the class took the lead in promoting the event.
Their efforts were rewarded when over 70 students participated.
Lollipop lady, Lesley, said that she noticed a massive increase in the amount of foot traffic that day and was pleased to see people enjoying the outdoors.
A grade 1 student said that he walked for the first time today and that his parents had parked the car at Coral Sea Marina, walking along the bicentennial boardwalk to school.
Health teacher Erin Moore said that she was thrilled to see so many eager participants.
“It was really rewarding to see so many kids taking it so seriously,” she said.
“We hope the event will get bigger each time and maybe after today more people will be encouraged to walk to school.”
Image: Principal Kelly with some of the students that walked to school last Thursday
Film and Arts Mackay are teaming up with Whitsunday Arts Festival this September to bring two exciting films to the big screen at the brand-new Proserpine Entertainment Centre over the weekend of September 24 and 25.
In back-to-back days, Whitsunday Arts Festival will be showing back-to-back screenings of two hand-picked films: Celeste and Parallel Mothers.
Filmed entirely at Paronella Park, Celeste is the first of the double featurette, with the story of a once-celebrated opera diva who prepares for her final performance. You can catch the temptress’ final show when it screens on Saturday, September 24 at 7.30pm.
Special guest for Celeste’s screening will be Paronella Park Marketing Manager Bridget Evans. She’ll share anecdotes from when Paronella turned into a film set!
Then, on Sunday, September 25, viewers will be taken to the other side of the world with Parallel Mothers, the story of two single women who form a strong bond with one another as they both confront motherhood.
Helmed by the renowned Spanish Director, Pedro Almodovar, Parellel Mothers has his trademark finesse in a story of motherhood and hope.
The award-winning director draws again on his favourite subject of Motherhood to create a story that elegantly balances drama and comedy, moving through the tale of two unlikely friends from vastly different walks of life.
One is surefooted and complex, the other emotionally raw and energised. Together they create a film bent by hardship and pierced by tragedy, which eventually winds itself into something beautiful: hope.
What: Two films: Celeste and Parallel Mothers
When: 7.30pm on Saturday, September 24, and 1.30pm on Sunday, September 25
Where: Proserpine Entertainment Centre
Hundreds of students came to school dressed as their favourite character from a story book last Wednesday, marking the final ‘Book Week’ celebration across all schools in the Whitsunday region.
School assembly was a colourful display of creations, dozens of superheros, a group of Oompa Loompas, a masterfully home-made bright yellow digger, Where’s Wally and of course many princesses were all in attendance.
As is tradition, the ‘Book Week’ parade saw the teachers, followed by every year group, strut their stuff down the centre aisle, exhibiting their dance moves and outfits to the beat.
Image: Principal Angie Kelly (centre) with students and staff dressed up for Book Week
Children from across the region are invited to participate in the inaugural Kids Arts Workshops at the Whitsunday Arts Festival this weekend, with a wide range of dedicated family-friendly activities offering a full program of events on Sunday from 9.00am to 4.00pm.
A specially allocated marquee will host the workshops with some that you can simply drop-in to attend and some that do require registration on www.whitundaysartsfestival.org.
All the featured events are free for children to enjoy.
These artist-led workshops are the creation of children’s book writer and illustrator Sofia Fortunato and Townsville artist Lisa Ashcroft who was last year’s winner of the inaugural Whitsundays Art Prize.
In addition to the marquee activities, there are a range of other events which children will enjoy over the course of the day.
These interactive activities including African drumming with Festival favourites Baala Baajo at 12:30pm, mandala making with stones on the beach with artist Mary Ann Santin at 9.00am, aboriginal storytelling with Harry Bowen from 9am-4pm, and many opportunities with over 50 stalls at the handmade markets demonstrating pottery throwing and lead light creations among many happenings.
WHAT: Kids Arts Workshops
WHEN: Sunday, September 25
WHERE: Airlie Beach Foreshore, Kids Workshop Tent
Making Sea Creatures
Craft your favourite sea creature from paper clay and felt texters - sea turtles, stingrays, and jelly fish to surfboarders and boats, join Lisa and use paper clay to create your sculpture.
Registration Required - 9am – 10am and 1pm – 2pm
Memorable Illustrated Portrait
In this workshop with Sofia, kids will create a self-portrait using only three colours for the background and a sharpie for the face.
Drop in and create - 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm
The Memory Tree
In this workshop with Sofia, kids will learn to illustrate a tree with a collage paper technique, using scissors, glue, and lots of colourful paper.
Drop in and create - 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm
Abstract Painting: Our Memories
Participate in a group abstract painting with Lisa on a large canvas with the theme ‘memories.’ Use bright fluoro and all sorts of brushes, palette knives, willow sticks, scrunched up bits of paper, drips.
Drop in and paint - 9am – 4pm