Festival fever hits Airlie Beach

“Real music fans” are what US chart toppers Smash Mouth remember most about Australia and what they’re especially looking forward to about performing in Airlie Beach.

The four-piece act, whose signature song “All Star” became the global anthem to the movie ‘Shrek’, will be bringing the house down at the finale of the 2018 Airlie Beach Festival of Music this Sunday, November 11.

Front man Steve Harwell is promising just as much passion on stage as the band brought to their performances in 1999.

“We feel and take energy from the crowd; we do drum solos, we bring fans on stage – it’s a big party,” he said.

Festival founder Gavin Butlin said Smash Mouth were one of his top picks on the 2018 line-up.

To have a band of that calibre coming to a small town like Airlie Beach is unheard of. But every band on the whole line-up is amazing; it’s one of our strongest yet and to have three or four big headline names each night is massive.”

Gavin Butlin

Among those headline names are the Ted Mulry Gang, Kasey Chambers, Ash Grunwald and The Church (playing Friday, November 9), Marcia Hines, the Melbourne Ska Orchestra and Killing Heidi (playing Saturday, November 10) and Dave Dobbyn, Frankie J Holden and Wilbur Wilde (joining Smash Mouth on Sunday, November 11).

And this is only a fraction of the full 74-act line-up, spread across 18 venues over three days and featuring everything from established musicians to undiscovered talent.

Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said the mix was a proven hit, with the town already pumping in what used to be one of the quietest times of the year.

“If we go back five years and look at where we were in terms of visitation on this weekend in the calendar compared to now it’s an amazing achievement and a great testament to the teamwork of the festival organisers, the sponsors and the businesses and individuals that get behind the event,” she said.

When we think about events that make you want to come back it’s the atmosphere that does it and this event has that in spades.

Tash Wheeler Tourism Whitsundays

“It’s in a unique and beautiful location, next to azure blue waters and spread throughout some fantastic venues in close proximity from one end of Airlie Beach to the other.”