Festival Line-Up Has X-Factor!

Rogue Traders, Mi-Sex, Ben Lee, Badloves, to play 10th anniversary Airlie Beach Festival of Music.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte is about to be transported from Australia’s television screens to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Together with her band ‘Rogue Traders’, the singer, actress and household name, will be bringing the house down at the 10th anniversary Airlie Beach Festival of Music from November 4-6.

Having last visited the Whitsundays “way too long ago”, Bassingthwaighte cannot wait.

“We’ve been talking about it forever, and we’ll be bringing the kids, so lots of family outdoor fun,” she said.

“It’s been such a strange time for everyone these past few years but being able to finally get back on stage with the Rogues will be electric.

“It’s been two years since we’ve performed together so we’ll be bursting out of our seams to give the best show ever – we’ll play all the hits so get prepared to sing and dance the whole way through!”

Another act promising a performance worthy of a festival celebrating a decade of live music in paradise is Mi-Sex.

Famous for their landmark 1979 performance at the Sydney Opera House, dubbed the “concert of the decade”, vocalist Steve Balbi said it was fitting to have the band now performing in another quintessentially Australian location.

“That’s what makes these sorts of festivals really attractive to us and to audiences – we all just want to be in that special part of the world,” he said.

“We’ve been on the Airlie Beach line-up for about four years now, but for one reason or another it hasn’t happened yet, so that’s four years of pent-up entertainment ready to be unleashed.”

Describing Mi-Sex as a seriously well-oiled festival entertaining band, Balbi predicts “people will really dig it”.

“We’ve had eight Top 40 hits so there’s a lot of familiarity,” he said.

“You might think, “Oh, I know ‘Computer Games’, and I know ‘But You Don’t Care’, but honestly, if you’re in our demographic you’ll know pretty much the whole set – it’s all in your Australian rock ‘n’ roll DNA.”

Like Rogue Traders and Mi-Sex, singer-songwriter Ben Lee was initially booked to play the festival in 2021, but prevented from travelling due to border restrictions brought on by Covid-19.

Although philosophically describing this as “just one of those things that was the reality of touring in 2021”, Lee is now grateful to be joining the line-up in 2022.

“For me the live element of sharing music is what it’s all about,” he said.

“You can survive without it, but life is infinitely more dull – it adds a colour to life when you’re able to get to a space with people and share.”

Renowned for his double-platinum, ARIA-winning hit ‘Catch My Disease’ and the enduring ‘We’re All In This Together’, Lee’s performance is set to surprise.

“I guess my strong suit is I show up and I’m present in that moment,” he said.

“For me the fun of the live concert is it’s really vulnerable – it’s always just about being human – and I try to be a good party host.”

Completing the first line-up announcement for 2022 are ‘90’s legends The Badloves, whose debut album ‘Get On Board’ spent a massive 69 weeks in the charts, country king Bill Chambers, soul-fire music afficionado Matty Rogers, and festival favourites, The Hillbilly Goats.

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, said he was proud to be kicking off the 10th anniversary line-up announcements with such a diverse mix of artists, whose music spanned not just genres but also decades of fandom, from the 1970’s to today.

“The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is renowned for having something for everyone across its three-day line-up and we are determined to make the 10th year exceptional so keep watching this space,” he said.

Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer, Rick Hamilton, said having just won a Queensland Music Award for ‘Festival of the Year’, 2022 was shaping up to be the Airlie Beach Festival of Music’s best.

“I would encourage music lovers from far and wide to start booking their tickets, accommodation and tours, because this year’s Airlie Beach Festival of Music has all the makings of a sell-out event,” he said.

“Word is definitely spreading that this is the place to be to enjoy live music in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.”

Tickets cost $300 for a three-day festival pass and provide access to all days and events, including the Passport to Airlie finals in the main tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on Thursday, November 3, and the After-Party hosted by Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill on Monday, November 7.

Both additional events will be headlined by Superjesus frontwoman and 2022 Airlie Beach Festival of Music Ambassador, Sarah Mcleod.