Go roadtrippin’ in search of ripper live tunes with QMF’s Queensland Music Trails
Spectacular sandy vistas, storied country pubs and the freedom of the open road – when it comes to exploring our own backyard, there’s no better way than roadtripping. Of course, a cross-country trip is only made better with a great soundtrack to guide you through the long journey – but what if you swapped your aux cord for some live tunes instead? The concert-loving folks at QMF are here to help you out with that transition, launching a huge Queensland Music Trails that’s inviting some of our favourite homegrown acts into the Queensland outback. Don’t worry, you’re invited along for the ride too!
This winter, the very first Queensland Music Trails is inviting us city slickers out of our skyscrapers and into the beautiful sunburnt backyard that is the Queensland outback. This tune-filled trail is reinventing the typical festival format, delivering a line-up of must-see gigs in several bucket-list locations. The festival will kick off its June edition with The Outback Trail, a jam-packed roadtrip that traverses through the Western Downs, into the deep outback and towards the red desert. The Outback Trail cranks into action on Friday June 25, when a 2021 version of the iconic Opera at Jimbour event welcomes travellers to the historic Jimbour House for a series of dazzling opera and chamber music performances – with a treasure chest of wine and cheese to boot. Next up on the itinerary is the small town of Charleville, which will come to life when pop royalty Kate Miller-Heidke and acclaimed Kalkadunga artist William Barton deliver Music for Stargazing (June 29–30), a concert inspired by astrological arrangements, Aboriginal navigation and traditional stories of the township. This intimate concert series will feature the world-premiere of a new commission by William Barton, with live melodies supplied by Veronique Serret, Jessica Hitchcock, Keir Nuttall, Samuel Pankhurst and dreamtime opera diva Delmae Barton.
If you’re keen to keep following the trail, then you’re in for a treat. The next event, Echoes in the Dust (July 1–2), will take travellers to the remote town of Quilpie, where Brisbane-based composers Topology will fill the air with beats while large-scale prehistoric puppets from Dead Puppet Society will have concert-goers thinking they’ve stepped inside Jurassic Park. A series of outback performances from Karl S. Williams, Emily Wurramara and Hussy Hicks will let travellers enjoy some tunes with their tinnies for Oasis Afternoons (July 3–4) in Windorah’s Rabig Park, before the trail comes to a starry end in the Simpson Desert for Big Red Bash (July 6–8), where some of Australia’s most iconic voices – think Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, Thirsty Merc, Tim Finn, Shannon Noll and more – will congregate for three days of musical magic. This is just the beginning for this trailblazing festival, which has plans to drive through Far North Queensland, Southeast Queensland, East Coast (Mackay to Sunshine Coast) Cape Trail (Townsville to Bamaga), Gemfields (Emerald to Middlemount) and Coast to Coast (Yarrabah to Burketown). For more information on the Queensland Music Trails, make tracks over to the website.
This article was written in partnership with our friends at QMF.