Everyone’s A Winner

What do Elton John, the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, Heart Hotel Whitsundays and a national bookstore have in common?

Collectively they’ve put together an incredible prize.

When Bec Sams lived in the Whitsundays 11 years ago, the Airlie Beach Festival of Music didn’t exist.

It was only since moving to the Gold Coast she’d heard from friends about the boutique live music event that had sprung up in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Out of the blue came a chance to tick this event off her bucket list, thanks to her local bookstore.

By pre-ordering a copy of Elton John’s autobiography ‘Me’ with QBD Books, Bec threw her hat in the ring in a national competition.

The winner would receive two VIP festival passes, three nights’ luxury accommodation at Heart Hotel Whitsundays, return luxury limousine transfers between the Whitsunday Coast Airport and Airlie Beach, and a $200 Flight Centre travel voucher.

The total prize value was $3,365 so Bec was beyond excited to discover she had won.

“I’m so pumped,” she said.

“My memories of living in Airlie Beach are about having a lot of fun, so to be able to come back for this and bring one of my really good childhood girlfriends with me is incredible.”

Head of Marketing for QBD Books, Margaret Milton, said the idea for the competition came from looking at the range of people who shopped with the store and identifying a passion for music.

“Our music genre is one of our most successful, particularly at this time of year, so I thought ‘why not promote this festival too’,” she said.

“It was a good fit with Elton John, who is a big supporter of regional Australia, and from a timing perspective we knew there would be a lot of media around the book in the lead-up to the festival, and that its audience would be people who would enjoy the event.” 

Ms Milton said when she spoke to Bec and heard her excitement, “I knew we were talking to the right people”.

“And hopefully we’ve opened lots of other people’s eyes to something that’s really fantastic in the Whitsundays,” she said.

General Manager of the atHotel Group, Jeff Aquilina, said he had always been a staunch supporter of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music and was proud to have been a contributing partner in the competition.

“Every year we donate rooms to the festival and last year Marcia Hines stayed with us at Heart Hotel Whitsundays, so I hope Bec knows she’s in good company,” he said.

“The festival weekend is such a great time to visit Airlie Beach, and with our range of hotels we’ve got something to offer any guest.”

Festival founder Gavin Butlin said the promotion with QBD Books had not only harnessed the star power of Elton John but helped the festival reach a national audience.

“Information about our event and this package went out to over one million people through QBD Books’ mail-outs alone and was featured in 77 stores around Australia,” he said.

“It’s also a privilege to have helped promote Elton John’s book – now we’ve got to try and get him to come here and play!”