Queensland Music Trails Has Announced the First Batch of 2023 Acts Worth Hitting the Sunshine State For
If you can’t decide between spending your free time at a music festival or enjoying a Sunshine State break, then Queensland Music Trails probably became your favorite event when it first trialled in 2021. This statewide festival is taking the road to live music in a massive road trip, with different legs spread across different parts of the state – and it will be back in 2023.
The festival’s big return this year was already announced in 2022, which was already excellent news. Now event organizers get to the even better stuff, also known as lineup details. Among the first contingent: Lime Cordiale, CW Stoneking & His Primitive Horn Orchestra, Hatchie, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks and Sycco.
Queensland Music Trails’ account so far covers routes in the Outback, Scenic Rim and southern Queensland, including stops everywhere from St George and Charleville to Canungra and Jimbour. Although the full details for each leg have not yet been released, each route varies in length – the outdoor route runs for nine days from Thursday 13 April to Friday 21 April; Scenic Rim’s for three days over Friday, April 28–Sunday, April 30; and the southern leg for three days from Friday 5 May to Sunday 7 May.
Would you like to go to western Queensland? Then you can choose between Hussy Hicks, Karl S Williams and Jem Cassar-Daley at Oasis Afternoon in St George — or Emma Donavan & the Putbacks and Alice Skye at the Outback River Lights Festival in Cunnamulla. There’s also CW Stoneking & His Primitive Horn Orchestra, All NOW! and The Pacific Belles at The Big Base Party in Charleville; Harry James Angus and The Barleyshakes Duo at The Sundowner in Tambo; and a whole on-the-road series of gigs with The Barleyshakes Duo too.
So far, the Scenic Rim route will welcome back The Long Sunset for a second year, hitting Canungra on Saturday April 29 with Lime Cordiale, Hatchie, Sycco and Tia Gostelow – and more to be announced.
And on the southern route there is the also returning Opera at Jimbour for three days, with talent from Opera Queensland, Ensemble Q and the Griffith University Conservatorium of Music Orchestra.
Still on opera, an entire festival dedicated to it – the Festival of Outback Opera, in fact – returns from Tuesday 16 May to Monday 22 May. Currently it offers a long lunch and dark sky serenade in Winton, plus an evening of song and an opera ball in Longreach. This festival within the festival is not set into a specific route, but travel to Winton and Longreach (and between them) works as its own route.
More details, acts and events are yet to be announced, as part of a festival initially planned to cover major music acts and festivals held at 25 venues across Queensland – also heading to Quilpie, Toowoomba, Roma and Blackall, Longreach and Winton.
Further down the road, with no further details so far, routes in the far north, along the Reef, in Brisbane, and through both the Gold and Sunshine Coasts are now expected. If 2022 plans hold, the first will span Paronella Park, Yarrabah, Cairns, Barron Gorge, Kuranda and Mossman/Port Douglas, while the second will hit Mackay, Proserpine, Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island, Bowen and Townsville. And of course the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast routes are self-explanatory.
An initiative of QMF (Queensland Music Festival), Queensland Music Trails returns thanks to a $20-million investment by the Queensland Government over the first three years.
“The Queensland Music Trails are a key step in building Queensland’s cultural opportunities so we are ready to host the world in 2032 for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said. .
“It’s exciting to see QMF working with key Queensland artists and arts organizations to collaborate on signature cultural events that will be integrated into Qld Music Trails, including a visual arts tour with Flying Arts Alliance funded by Arts Queensland and the Festival of Outback Opera and Opera at Jimbour with Opera Queensland which is also supported by the arts portfolio,” added Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch.
Queensland Music Trails returns for 2023 from April – visit the event website for more information.
Images: Katrina Lehmann / Mitch Lowe.