The double "Main Stage" with an almost deserted "Snake Pit" below it.
"The Theatre" is a large marquee complete with breakfast bar, the
Bush Poets open the day here with a breakfast show at 8am
A very small section of the camping area, this is the only formal
part of the campground, the rest is scattered around the natural
bush setting and is much more attractive.
I liked the play on words here, not sure "The Dixie Chicks" would?
There is always a few shy retiring types around isn't there?
Vicki and Rex just kicking back on a lovely day.
While the sun was out the day was all about hats.
And more hats.
By mid afternoon any shady spot had become very popular.
As had a cat-nap to prepare for a big night.
The sun has gone down and "The Hill" is just starting to come alive.
The big screens are just starting to show up as it gets darker
25th Anniversary of The Gympie Muster 2006.
Well the Muster is over for another year, as usual it was an
excellent festival, also as usual it was bigger and better
attended than ever before, and again as usual the artists we
saw on Saturday were all top class acts.
Because daughter Vicki has some health issues we decided
on making a day of it on Saturday rather than both Sat and
Sun as we had contemplated.
This turned out to be a perfectly acceptable plan, the acts
that we most wanted to see perform were on at some time
over the 12 hour period we were there, the weather was
perfect and the huge crowd gave us all the atmosphere we
could soak up.
I touched on the way this festival is laid out and run a few
days back but it bears a little further coverage to explain
why this is rated as the best country music festival in
in the world.
First the concept of a service club running it as their major
fund raised for the year, this has enabled the vast majority
of the staff to be volunteers and enabled well over $10
million to be raised for local charities and causes.
Next the location that has been home to the Muster for 21
years now, the first 4 Musters were run on the private
property of four brothers who still perform regularly to
This site located in a State conservation park contains the
natural elements that make it work so well, a natural
amphitheatre for the main stage, an area of natural bush
land for the many campsites and large cleared areas for
Planning and experience have provided the rest of the
attributes that go to make it so successful, a fenced
entertainment area containing no less than 13
separate venues, these are all located within easy
walking distance of one another and cater for everything
needed to make the site tick.
There are venues for; country music, blues music, line
dancing, clogging, talent search, and bush poetry, these
range in size from small intimate wine bars with a stage
area, through to very large marquees, and of course the
main stage located centrally in the amphitheatre.
This has two adjoining stages with a large flat area in front
of it known as “The Snake Pit” for the true enthusiasts to
gather to sing along and dance in, the land slopes gently up
“The Hill” where the bulk of the very large crowd gathers,
estimated to cater for up to 20,000 patrons all of whom get
a good view of the stage area.
This is helped along by two large screens that carry the
pictures of the act on stage to anyone who wants to see the
action from closer up, these come into play after the sun sets.
Lining the top of the hill are dozens of food outlets all of
which are run by local schools and clubs and provide their
main revenue raisers for the year, there are also dozens of
stores set up around the perimeter selling everything from
souvenirs to country styled clothing, Cds and the like.
Once you pay your entrance fee there are no further charges
levied for the entertainment, the range of foods is excellent
quality and value, there are bars and wine areas as well as
plenty of soft drink stalls to keep everyone well hydrated.
There are family concessions available and a large part of the
crowd is made up of families, all enjoying the fun of the
festival, to help make this safer there is a total ban on glass
within the entertainment area, likewise no alcohol may be
brought in, but as stated there is a ready supply for anyone
of age and not intoxicated.
If you are starting to get the impression that I am a fan of
both the music and this festival you are dead right, to the
organizers, promoters, sponsors, entertainers, patrons and
most of all the volunteers who staff everything from the car
park attendants, the ticket sellers, the staff of the many stalls
that are run by schools and clubs, the bus drivers who run a
constant shuttle service between the car park and the
entertainment site, (a distance of about two miles)
a resounding well done.