Everything You Need To Know

Festival checklist

Everything you need to know about the Airlie Beach Festival of Music

The Airlie Beach skyline is dominated by a giant big top tent and the main street is reverberating with sound checks. 

The seventh annual Airlie Beach Festival of Music is about to get underway and already the atmosphere is electric. 

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, says he hopes everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend, with several improvements adding to the experience. 

“This year we’ve moved the ticket office to the Whitsunday Sailing Club,” he explained. 

“It’s downstairs to the left of the main entrance, which will give patrons the convenience of having everything in one place.

“It’s open for sponsors from midday on Wednesday, and to the public from 9am-5pm Thursday, and 9am ‘til late Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

With Whitsunday Regional Council’s $6.3 million foreshore redevelopment complete, festival co-ordinator Ellie Hanlon says accessing the big top tent will be a breeze. 

“Festival fans can once again walk down the beach or through the new and improved foreshore area, which is part of what differentiates us from other festivals as Australia’s music capital in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.” 

Access to the festival from other parts of town has also been made easier thanks to Whitsunday Transit. 

“Anyone with an armband can hop on any Whitsunday Transit bus or the extra shuttle we’re running at the end of the night to get everyone home,” Mr Butlin said. 

“The timetable is in the program all ticket holders are given when they pick up their wristbands.” 

No-one at the main tent will go hungry or thirsty, with food stalls by the PCYC, Cannonvale State School P&C, Café One 3 and Fish D’Vine. 

Catering in the re-vamped VIP area, now known as ‘The Green Room’, is also courtesy of Fish D’Vine, along with a barbeque. 

Guests in the VIP area will be given a re-useable cup on a lanyard as part of the festival’s environmental strategy. 

“Ultimately, whether people are in the VIP area or not, we’d like everyone to either buy a cup or bottle or bring their own so we can eliminate single use plastic,” Ms Hanlon said. 

“We’ll have water stations in the main arena, and our aluminium cans are going to Eco Barge Clean Seas, as part of a containers for change program.”

The festival is part of the ‘Straw No More’ campaign, with a ban on straws in the main tent and a request to the 17 external venues to follow suit.  

Venues outside the Whitsunday Sailing Club include Anchor Bar, Beaches, Boaty’s, The Airlie Beach Bowls Club, Breeze Bar, Café One 3, Fish D’Vine, KC’s Bar and Grill, Magnums, Mika, Mirage, Port of Airlie Fish Bar and La Marina, Shed Bar, Sorrento Restaurant and Bar, The Pub and Treehouse. 

Ticket holders can access festival venues free of charge but for non-ticket holders a cover charge applies and some venues, such as Fish D’Vine, are exclusive to pass holders only. 

Live music kicks off in the additional venues from 10.15am each day, pausing when the main tent opens, and resuming in some venues at the end of the night. 

The full schedule can be found in the printed program or by clicking on a particular artist on the festival website. 

Festival merchandise including canvas eco bags, hats and a range of T-shirts by Shirtfront Solutions will be on sale throughout the weekend at the main tent. 

Special features this year include a digital light projection on the ceiling of the main tent on Friday and Saturday night, in partnership with the Central Queensland Regional Arts Services Network (CQ-RASN) and Kipara Rainforest Retreat. 

Speed painter Bob Gammage will be creating works of art for auction throughout the weekend, with a wood carving by Glenn Wiremu Taiapa also up for grabs, and pink guitars, signed by headline acts, available via raffle and auction through the Pink Ribbon team. 

The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is an 18-plus event, with the exception of one under 18’s show on the morning of Saturday, November 9. 

Tickets are on sale via OzTix, BigTix, Whitsunday Tickets, The MECC, Tourism Whitsundays, and direct from www.airliebeachfestivalofmusic.com.au

For more information, follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.