By CAITLIN CROWLEY
A NEW tourism initiative will combine the much-loved Aussie road trip with the popularity of music festivals to bring international, Australian and emerging local talent to 16 country Queensland communities next year.
The Queensland Music Trails initiative will receive $20 million in state funding over the next three years, to showcase four different regions through a series of music events, coordinated by Queensland Music Festival (QMF).
QMF successfully trialled the ‘Outback Trail’ last year, which featured opera at historic Jimbour House, a chamber concert under the stars in Charleville and an immersive music experience called ‘Echoes in the Dust’ in Quilpie.
QMF CEO Joel Edmondson said Queensland Music Trails was a transformative initiative for the state, combining the music festival with the road trip.
“This is much more than artists on a stage, this is really about a movement to open the heart and soul of our communities to the world through music,” Edmondson said.
“Queensland Music Trails will become a globally unique and recognised destination experience for Queensland.
“But I’m most thrilled by the fact this is something that can demonstrably create social, economic and cultural value for the state.
“Each event along these trails will be curated to express something of the unique character and personality of the place that they’re in and for that reason, not only the construct as a whole but the events at the individual level will be something uniquely of Queensland and can’t be replicated anywhere else.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who made the announcement ahead of next week’s state budget, said people would be able to see some of the world’s biggest stars play at some of the most remote and picturesque destinations in the country.
“From country and western in Stanthorpe, to indie rock in the Whitsundays, classic rock in Townsville, opera in the outback or Indigenous artists at Yarrabah Music and Cultural Festival – these events will expose tourists to some of the best experiences Queensland has to offer.
“Importantly, this investment will support jobs and inject funds into our music industry and growing regional communities that were hit hard during COVID.”
QMF estimates the initiative will help employ around 800 people and will be a key step to building Queensland’s cultural events calendar to be ready to host the 2032 Olympic Games.
“We’re especially focused on creating performance opportunities for talented, emerging musicians in Queensland because on the road to 2032 they’re the people that we want to be iconic stars by the time we get there,” Joel Edmondson said.
Locations set to host a Queensland Music Trails event in 2023 include;