Party Like a Rockstar in Paradise

How to make the most from the 2022 Airlie Beach Festival of Music

If you’ve ever wanted to party like a rockstar in paradise, now is your chance.

Festivalgoers at this weekend’s Airlie Beach Festival of Music will be able to rub shoulders with Australian rock royalty and experience a town coming alive to the sound of music in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Setting the agenda on how to make the most of the event from November 4-6 will be its 2022 ambassador and Australian singer-songwriter Sarah McLeod.

“I’ll be spending my days exploring the stunning Whitsunday islands and my nights rocking out to some of the best bands in the business,” she said.

SeaLink Whitsundays

“As far as festivals go, this one has it all – a stunning location, world-class tourism experiences, a stellar line-up of headline artists, and the chance to discover emerging acts.”

Unearthing those acts is exactly how the Superjesus frontwoman will begin her festival experience.

Together with country music legend Bill Chambers, McLeod will be part of a celebrity judging panel for the national Passport to Airlie talent search.

Officially Australia’s largest live original music showcase and presented by Brick Lane, the grand final of the 2022 Passport to Airlie will be held in the festival’s main tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on Thursday, November 3.

Starting from 6pm, eight of the nation’s best new acts will be battling it out for the overall Passport to Airlie title and national 2022 crown.

Mardi Wilson 2020 Passport to Airlie Winner will be performing Main Stage this year

In the running are The Neo (Darwin), Abi Muir (Cairns), Weathered (Mackay), Perry Street Park (Brisbane), Owls of Neptune (Sunshine Coast), Sunday Lemonade (Byron Bay), Dande & The Lion (Newcastle), and Karly Jewell (Melbourne).

The night will conclude with a set by Sarah McLeod featuring an array of songs from her solo albums as well as “a Superjesus song or two”.

Entry is free for three-day festival pass holders, or $10 on the gate.

In the hopes of inspiring the next generation of musical prodigies, the night is open to all ages, with free entry for under 18’s accompanied by an adult.

Fast-forward across the following three days, when Airlie Beach becomes the beating heart of live music Australia-wide.

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, said with the array of genres spread across 16 venues as well as the main tent, there would be something to satisfy every musical taste.

“We’re proud to be presenting an incredibly diverse line-up for our 10th anniversary year, featuring everything from UK Beatles-era band The Animals, to the troubadours of modern electronica, Loonaloop,” he said.

The Animals

“Pairing this with the variety our venue partners offer means musical experiences in settings from a boutique beach bar all the way to the electric atmosphere of the main tent.”

Official festival venues include the Anchor Bar, Bar LV, Beaches, Boaty’s, Coral Sea Resort, Fish D’Vine, Hog’s Breath Café, Hush Bar, KC’s Bar & Grill, Magnums, Paradiso, Paddy’s Shenanigans, Sorrento Restaurant and Bar, The Red Plate and Treehouse.

Entry to all is free for festival wristband holders or $10 per ticketed venue for those without.

In addition to The Animals and Loonaloop, acts playing the festival’s iconic waterfront main stage include Ben Lee, Eskimo Joe, Jon Stevens, Rogue Traders, The Badloves, and Mi-Sex.

Celebrating the close of the 10th anniversary event will be an official After Party, hosted by Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill on Monday, November 7.

Kicking off at 1pm, acts will include Noah Robertson, Lash 78, Matty Rogers, Bill Chambers, Sam McCann, and Sarah McLeod.

Entry is $20 or free for three-day festival pass-holders, with transport to and from the venue available via Northerlies’ courtesy bus.

Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer, Rick Hamilton, said all the ingredients for festivalgoers to enjoy a rockstar experience in paradise were now in place.

“The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is a true destination event in every sense, with the perfect mix of location, activities and of course music,” he said. 

“It’s an event I urge everyone to experience at least once, and what better time to do that than now, at the culmination of an entire decade of bringing live music to the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.”

Three day passes cost $300, with day tickets now available for $140.

The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is supported by SeaLink Whitsundays and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), as well as being featured on the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar.

It is currently the 2022 Queensland Music Awards ‘People’s Choice Award Festival of the Year’.