CMC Rocks QLD, the southern hemisphere's premiere country and roots music festival, once again delivered a second-to-none weekend of live music to a record-breaking audience of 20,000 passionate fans on the weekend, Friday 16, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March.
Show-casing some of the world’s best local and international country music stars, the event, now in its eleventh year, completely sold out in record time to an increased capacity of 20,000, up from 15,000 in previous years. What has become the most anticipated event on the country music calendar, CMC Rocks QLD is in a league of its own, providing the ultimate country music experience to music lovers from across the country and around the world.
Festival first-timer Darius Rucker (USA) lived up to the hype, laying down a sizzling set that kicked off with ‘This’ and throwing in a couple of Australian covers including Midnight Oil’s ‘Beds Are Burning’ and Men At Work’s ‘Overkill’ for good measure. With sold-out headline sets in Melbourne and Sydney this week, the former Hootie & The Blowfish frontman showed local audiences exactly why he’s one of the hottest stars in the Northern Hemisphere.
Much-loved festival alumni Kelsea Ballerini (USA), Dean Brody (CAN), Travis Collins (AUS)and Busby Marou (AUS) delivered multiple festival performances to capacity crowds across the weekend, showcasing the diversity of local and international country music. Local star Morgan Evans surprised fans on Saturday evening, joining his new wife Kelsea Ballerini on-stage during her headline set to perform ‘Dance With Me’, one of Evans’ as-yet unreleased tracks.
On Sunday evening, following a moving tribute to late CMC Rocks festival co-founder Rob Potts, who tragically passed at the end of 2017, two-time CMA Entertainer of the Year and country music megastar, Luke Bryan (USA), hit the stage to deliver the most anticipated performance of the weekend. The ultimate showman, Bryan set the stage alight with his signature dance moves and songs spanning his award-winning catalogue, from fan favourites ‘Huntin’, Fishin’ And Lovin’ Every Day’, ‘Country Girl’ and ‘Rain Is A Good Thing’ through to songs from his latest album What Makes You Country. A spectacular fireworks display created the perfect endnote to both Bryan’s set and what has been called the best CMC Rocks festival ever.
Surprise artist cameos came across the course of the weekend, like Brothers Osborne (USA)jumping up to jam with Randy Houser (USA) during his electrifying set, and in the process cementing themselves as a firm festival standout. With the return of the Songwriters Shows, which pairs artists in a stripped-back and intimate setting, and festival experiences like the Honky Tonk Bar’s mechanical bull, Sweetheart’s Saloon Speed Dating and the famous Bubbles Bar, CMC Rocks delivered a wild weekend of fun and then some!
Luke Combs (USA), Old Dominion (USA), Dan + Shay (USA), High Valley (CAN) and more made their Australian debuts to charged crowds, and with an extended artist program kicking offon Thursday afternoon at the Jack Daniel’s White Rabbit Saloon, exclusively for campers, CMC Rocks QLD 2018 was without doubt the biggest and best yet!
“Four days of perfect weather, incredible performances and good vibes from beginning to end; what more could you ask for?”, said festival Director, Jeremy Dylan. “Over the weekend, countless international stars said they were completely knocked out by the passion and love they felt from the CMC Rocks crowd. To bring the biggest stars in country music to the best festival crowd in Australia makes for a magical long weekend. We’re already hard at work to ensure that CMC Rocks 2019 is just as special”.
Promoter, Michael Chugg added “As a promoter, to be able to say I just went through a three-day festival without a single drama, without any stress, and with a three-day grin on my face sounds like total rubbish. But hey, it’s true!
“What an amazing weekend. We had sunshine, 20,000 happy people each day, and some of the best music in the world. International superstars were thanking us for asking them to play the festival, while Australian artists were blowing audiences away.
“Without a doubt, CMC Rocks QLD 2018 is the festival I will never forget. It’s a definite standout from the thousands of festivals I have promoted in my fifty-two years in the industry.”
With CMC Rocks QLD confirmed to remain at its current home at Willowbank for at least the next four years, music lovers can rest assured the event will continue to provide the hottest local and international music stars to Australian music fans for years to come.
For the eleventh year running, CMC will televise CMC Rocks festival highlights, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes action. Tune into all the action on Foxtel’s Country Music Channel on Wednesday 18th April at 8pm.
The Queensland Government is proud to support CMC Rocks QLD through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, showcasing Australia’s best live events in Australia’s best destinations.