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Upstart festival returns, with a country legend leading the way


Following its postponement in 2020, the third instalment of young country music festival Bush to Bay aims to bring thousands of country music fans to the Fraser Coast with veteran Lee Kernaghan and Rockhampton folk-rock duo Busby Marou announced as headliners.

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Bush to Bay, the country music festival still in its infancy, will return to Hervey Bay this year after a rocky start. The festival kicked open its doors in 2018 to celebrate the nation’s best country music in the coastal village of Pialba, squeezing in crowds of around 3,000 country fans to the Bay Central Tavern.

Though a young festival, Bush to Bay manages to snag huge headliners with 2019’s concert headlined by Adam Brand and this year’s festival lead by 37 time Golden Guitar winner Lee Kernaghan, who will play songs from his 15th studio album, Backroad Nation.

Kernaghan said the album, produced by Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter Lindsay Rimes, was a celebration of everything the Australian country has to offer.

“Backroad Nation is about feeling that good vibration when you get off the beaten track and the country wraps itself around you,” he said.

“A lot of miles and a lot of living has gone into every song. I’ve travelled from Alice Springs to the Deni Ute Muster, from the mighty Pilbara to the backroads of Queensland and everywhere in between turning those experiences into songs.

“It’s awesome getting to play live across Australia and I’ll be forever grateful to every person who comes out each night to see the show. They’re the reason I sing my songs, that’s where the music comes from.”

Joining Kernaghan will be folk-rock two piece Busby Marou, one of the hardest working bands in Australia, who are fast becoming national treasures.

APRA winning folk-rock duo Busby Marou (Image: Supplied)

Known for their voracious touring and energetic live sets, Busby Marou will bring their unique sound generated from a decades-long friendship which originated in a pub in Rockhampton.

The Bay Central Tavern will also see two time Golden Guitar winner Andrew Swift, an up-and-coming country music star whose third studio album The Art of Letting Go, is due for release on June 11, just a few weeks before he hits the stage at Bush to Bay.

A country music fan favourite, Swift’s debut album Call Out For The Cavalry debuted at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Charts.

Newcastle’s own Hurricane Fall will bring their eclectic mix of country, rock, blues and pop. Darlinghurst and Then Jolene will also make appearances alongside local artists, with more acts to be announced.

The event runs all day on 3 July with food trucks and entertainment provided within the outdoor entertainment precinct.

For more information and tickets, visit Oztix’s website.

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