- Tuesday 04 October 2016
Record crowds, stellar performances and a truly unique vibe marked the 10th anniversary of the Caloundra Music Festival.
Over four days a record crowd rocked out to more 80 local, national and international bands.
Festival Director Richie Eyles said this year’s event surpassed all expectations and that the festival, which contributes around $10 million annually to the local economy and benefits several local community groups, had truly come of age.
“We know we’ve hit a record attendance figure, surpassing the 31,800 from last year, but it will take us a couple of days to finalise an official number on just how many people came through the gates over the four days,” Mr Eyles said.
“It’s been another amazing festival with overwhelming positive feedback from our artists and crowd alike.
“We’ve grown from a local community festival to an internationally recognised event where artists are keen to come back to play year after year.
“It’s gratifying to hear that the likes of (international artist) Michael Franti consider the festival to be on par with the likes of Byron Bay Bluesfest and that the level of organisation is just ‘next level’.
“The relaxed yet energetic vibe of CMF is a big drawcard for the bands. What other festival can you perform then go for a quick dip in the ocean?”
Mr Eyles said the high quality and eclectic line up was a key factor of the festival’s success.
“We delivered our best ever line up of local, national and international artists, which appealed to our colourful, diverse and all ages crowd,” he said.
“Michael Franti & Spearhead headed up our international line up alongside bands and musicians from both the United Kingdom and United States, including British acid jazz band Incognito, blues and folk legend Harry Manx, San Francisco R&B legends Tower of Power and New Orleans native Erica Falls.
“Joining the party was some of Australia’s best known acts including Guy Sebastian, The Cat Empire, Icehouse, Thirsty Merc, Kate Miller-Heidke, Paul Dempsey, Daryl Braithwaite, The Beautiful Girls, Blue King Brown, Busby Marou, The Black Seeds, Asta, and Montaigne.
“Rounding out the line-up was a truly impressive list of up and coming local bands who have now attracted a whole new legion of fans.
“It’s particularly amazing to see these young local bands mix it up with the headline international bands.”
Aussie favourite Skunkhour, who played to a full stage on Saturday night, said the festival was a highlight gig for the band.
“CMF has been a highlight for us to play over the last two years and of the many festivals we play, we love the vibe, professionalism and casual nature of the festival,” band manager Jason Parker said.
Long-term festival goer, volunteer and MC “Mic Dog” has witnessed the festival grow over the past few years.
“The festival has kept the best bits over the years and improved on what it had to – now it is the perfect festival,” he said.
Key highlights of this year’s festival also included the new food precincts, the one festival site, the Funky Forest and various green initiatives.
Festival organiser Sharna Taylor said festival goers were particularly impressed with the BYO bottle and reusable cup initiatives.
“The BYO refillable bottle was again a smash – and we sold out of reusable plastic cups – our crowds love these initiatives and we’re proud to lead the way in these types of initiatives,” Ms Taylor said.