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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Gympie Muster: Humble Beginnings Lead to a National Iconic Event

Cutting the Muster for the Optus Gympie Music Muster 30th celebration!

 They say Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was the now iconic Optus Gympie Music Muster. With 2011 marking its 30th birthday, the event has had almost three decades to develop, grow, learn and evolve into what it is today.

Starting from a small celebration hosted by three local brothers as a basic fundraiser, word of it spread until it outgrew its original home to now welcoming over 60,000 ticket holders each year over its six days of music and celebration. It is from these most humble beginnings of a brother musical act coupled with passionate friends that the Optus Gympie Music Muster began and evolved into a 'must-do' on Australia's yearly event calendar!

It all started in 1982 after Gympie based country music trio 'The Webb Brothers', picked up a Golden Guitar for "Who Put The Roo In The Stew?" at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and decided a celebration was called for!

Enlisting the help of the local Apex Club of Gympie, famous for loving a good party, a celebratory fund-raiser was planned and held on the Webb's 100-year old property at Thornside. A ball and dinner on the Saturday night was followed by a selection of acts on the Sunday.

This was essentially the first ever Muster and had all you would expect from a one off concert event that was designed as a trophy win celebration. A Main Stage built out of bush timber and borrowed Queensland Rail tarpaulins, showers were jam tins with holes punched into them and drop-hole toilets sufficed. Drinking water was trucked to the site and patrons could buy a season pass for just $20. All up $9,600 was spent on entertainment (about two-percent of today's budget); a couple of thousand people attended and the club generated a surplus of around $12,000 for charity. The first Muster was deemed a roaring success and so began its journey.

After years of successful deliveries, the event had grown exponentially and the Gympie APEX Club decided that another site was essential along with permanent facilities to be established to ensure the ongoing growth of the event. The site chosen was an area of land owned by the Queensland Forestry Department. It was in 1985 that the Muster was first held at Amamoor Creek State Forest Park.

Fast forward to 2011 and the years since its inception have welcomed international superstars, increased patron attendance, new venues, talent searches, major sponsors, its own fundraising merchandise range, national and international media attention and a legion of Muster fans that return year after year alongside first timers that once initiated become hooked.

An experience and a musical feast of varied style and genres, the event now proudly boasts the biggest stars on its stages and continues to exceed expectation with its three decades of growth that has seen the Optus Gympie Music Muster make rising stars household names and elevated established major acts. Its 30th event will pay tribute to its history and heritage whilst returning to its country roots, its entertainment line-up guaranteeing fans will flock for six days to the site for what will be the biggest line-up the Optus Gympie Music Muster has ever offered. Even the original Muster Ball that started the event in 1982 has been reinstated for its 30th Birthday as a way to honour the history of the event.

MONTGOMERY GENTRY (USA), DOC WALKER (CAN), KASEY CHAMBERS, LEE KERNAGHAN, ADAM BRAND, ASH GRUNWALD, BECCY COLE, NICK BARKER, JACE EVERETT, ADAM HARVEY, GRAEME CONNORS, JAMES BLUNDELL, SHANE NICHOLSON, THE SUNNY COWGIRLS, EZRA LEE, DOUG BRUCE, JAMES REYNE, HARMONY JAMES, ROSS WILSON, JASMINE RAE, ALVIN YOUNGBLOOD HART (USA), BRYAN WHITE (USA),  THE BACKSLIDERS, McALISTER KEMP, PETER McWHIRTER, ROB BLACK, ERIC BOGLE, KIRSTY AKERS, JAYNE DENHAM, EUGENE HIDEAWAY BRIDGES (USA), ALEYCE SIMMONDS, BLUE SHADDY, BONDI CIGARS, MORGAN EVANS, THE WILSON PICKERS, LOWRIDER, TRAVIS COLLINS, STEVE FORDE and THE ULTIMATE ROCK 'N' ROLL SESSION are the first inclusions confirmed for the 2011 Optus Gympie Music Muster.

Past acts that have shared the spotlight of the Optus Gympie Muster include SLIM DUSTY, TRISHA YEARWOOD, JIMMY BARNES, LEE KERNAGHAN, KASEY CHAMBERS, JOHN WILLIAMSON, TROY-CASSAR-DALEY, GINA JEFFREYS, SHANNON NOLL, MARCIA HINES, ADAM BRAND and BECCY COLE just to name a small selection of the thousands that have made the bill over the past three decades.

Whilst music makes up and takes up the days of the Optus Gympie Music Muster, it is a passion for fundraising and giving that has kept the event unique and inspiring. As Australia's longest running not for profit music festival, The Optus Gympie Music Muster has risen over $14million for charities and community groups across Australia. The Muster's 'Rural Aid' appeal continues with the profits from the dedicated merchandise range including a compilation album created each year increasing the more than $100,000 already raised.

The OPTUS GYMPIE MUSIC MUSTER will be held at Amamoor State Forest, 40km southwest of Gympie from Tuesday 23rd August to Sunday 28th August.  Encompassing ten stages and over one hundred and forty artists, the muster experience is an Australian adventure not to be missed.

Tickets can be purchased online at the OPTUS Gympie Music Muster website www.muster.com.au or www.ticketek.com.au

ABOUT THE 2011 OPTUS GYMPIE MUSIC MUSTER:
 

·         The 2011 Optus Gympie Music Muster will be presented from Tuesday 23rd to Sunday 28th August 2011.
·         2011 marks the 30th birthday of the OPTUS Gympie Music Muster.
·         The Optus Gympie Music Muster attracts over 60,000 fans to its Queensland site each year.
·         Presented over 6 days, the event is set in one of Queensland's most beautiful National State Parks, Amamoor Creek State Park.
·         The site is an easy and picturesque 40km drive from the city of Gympie.
·         Over the past 29 years the Muster has raised over $14m for Charity.  The Optus Gympie Music Muster's major beneficiary for 2011 is the Starlight Children's Foundation.
·         The economic benefit for the Gympie Community is estimated at $4.66m.
·         The economic benefit to the State of QLD is estimated at $6.25m.
·         Over 50 local Community groups are involved in the Muster and work with the Muster's management team and the APEX Club of Gympie in event critical roles.
·         Camping is available on site with a range of style and budget options available.
·         The Optus Gympie Music Muster works to honour the true spirit of Country Australia and the strength and resilience of regional communities.
·         A smorgasbord of diverse programs rich with our country's finest musicians, the event each year showcases award winning international and national artists. With a focus on the country music genre, this is complimented by artists of other genre's that are selected to add to the experiences on offer.
·         The event is family friendly and focused on continuing to provide the event experience as a safe and non-threatening event. With companionable patrons all set to simply enjoy themselves, "there are no strangers at the Muster, only friends you haven't met yet".
·         In 2011, a new children focused program will be introduced called The Kidz Klub (a special area just for kids)
·         In 2011, the following precincts within the event site will be ran: the Main stage (open from the Thursday), Blues Bar (open from the Tuesday), Muster Club (open from the Tuesday), , The Crowbar, The Wine Bar (the place to go to relax, catch up with friends and enjoy a meal, glass of wine or a coffee), Mustadance, The Talent Search, The Kidz Klub area (a special area just for kids – no adults allowed!), The Bundy area and The XXXX Retreat.
·         Whilst contained in a State Park, the event offers its patrons every luxury. Bars, Food Stalls, Barista's and five star camping; there is no need to skimp on quality when patrons make their way to the Amamoor State Park.
·         Artists include international award winners MONTGOMERY GENTRY and DOC WALKER alongside major domestic stars KASEY CHAMBERS, LEE KERNAGHAN, ASH GRUNWALD, JAMES REYNE and BECCY COLE to name but a few.
·         The event invites confirmed or potential 2011 event visitors to question themselves, "Can you Cut the Muster?" with so much on offer, the event is setting the challenge.

·         Tickets on sale now: www.muster.com.au or www.ticketek.com.au or phone: (07) 5482 2099.

 

 

 

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