‘Better than’ ever!

Airlie Beach Festival of Music announces more headline acts

Whatcould be “better than” John Butler performing at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music from November 8-10?

For some fans seeing this blues and roots legend will be the highlight of the festival’s seven years to date.

John Butler

For the man himself, ‘JB’ is looking forward to “going with the flow”.

“I’ve been lucky to play a lot of great places over the years and I lookforward to seeing what the vibe is like(in Airlie Beach),” he said. 

“For me the most important thing is connection with the audience. I remember that more than anything else to be honest, so I hope the audience wanna bring their ‘A-game’like I do”.

Known for his ‘Sounds of the Reef’ project with its environmental focus on the Great Barrier Reef, Butler says he appreciates all that the Whitsunday community has done to protect and preserve the natural treasures on its doorstep.

“It’s nice to play to family who hold the same core values–feels like sometimes you can drop deeper more quickly,” he said. 

John Butler

“But I really enjoy playing to all types. I’m playing solo so it’s different but essentially the energy is the same (and) you can expect me to be having fun at the very least.”

Joining him on the festival’s third line-up announcement for 2019 is Mama Kin Spender, consisting of Butler’s wife Danielle Caruana and long-time friend Tommy Spender. 

Daughter to an icon, Mahalia Barnes will also grace the idyllic waterfront main stage setting at the Whitsunday Sailing Club. 

Mahalia Barnes

Meanwhile AC/DC fans are in for a treat,with ‘Bon But Not Forgotten’ described as the closest anyone can get to the real thing.

Featuring a knock-out line-up, including past members of AC/DC and Aussie rock icons The Angels, Rose Tattoo and Wolfmother, this band knows how to electrify a crowd with its explosive repertoire of AC/DC’s greatest hits.

Bon But Not Forgotten

From his tour bus in the United States, Simon Wright, who joined AC/DC after the departure of Phil Rudd in 1983, said he couldn’t wait to play a setting as beautiful as tropical Airlie Beach. 

“I’m very much looking forward to coming back to Australia again and performing with Bon But Not Forgotten to celebrate the legend that is Bon Scott,” he said. 

Also known as the Japanese Blues Cowboy and the Tsugaru shamisen player, George and Noriko wowed thousands across the nation on Australia’s Got Talent

George and Noriko

Along with them and completing the line-up announcement are festival favourites The Pierce Brothers, alternative roots and folk artist James Bennett, and Newcastle Rockabilly trio Bad Luck Kitty. 

The Pierce Brothers

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, said along with the artists already announced, the 2019 line-up was possibly the strongest yet. 

“To be bringing John Butler to Airlie Beach is massive, not to mention the fact we’ve got Smokie coming from the UK, a true blue icon in John Williamson, the big names in the Australian Rock Collective, Australia’s most recognised Indigenous band Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project, and also the Superjesus,” he said.  

Bad Luck Kitty

Tourism Whitsundays CEO, Tash Wheeler, commended Mr Butlin on creating a line-up with such wide appeal.  

“Through not just the calibre of headline acts but also its national Passport to Airlie competition, the Airlie Beach Festival of Music continues to put the Whitsundays on every music lover’s and an increasing number of travellers’ maps; 2019 is set to be a huge event, congratulations to the team on cementing such an outstanding line-up,” she said.  

James Bennett

Tickets are now on sale via OzTix, BigTix, Whitsunday Tickets, The MECC and direct from Airlie Beach Festival of Music at the last round of early bird prices only until Saturday, August 31. 

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