News December 2, 2021

Autumn 2022 festival slate biggest since COVID-19 hit Australian shores

Autumn 2022 festival slate biggest since COVID-19 hit Australian shores
Blues On Broadbeach

Music festivals next Autumn will pump millions of dollars into state and local economies.

Blues On Broadbeach returns May 19 to 22 on the Gold Coast.

The free festival has always been a tourism and economic draw, and recently took bronze at the Queensland Tourism Awards in the Major Festivals and Events category.

Pre-COVID, it was drawing 50,000 a day and pumping $25 million into the economy.

The 2022 edition is among the first with international acts.

US guitarist Robben Ford and hill country blues exponent R.L. Boyce are in its first artist announce, alongside jazz trumpeter James Morrison and blues guitarist Dom Turner.

After a no-show for two years, Canberra’s National Folk Festival stages on April 15 to 18 with new artistic director Katie Noonan.

Its economic impact dollars are not public but it is significant. Of the 50,000 people it draws, 38% are from NSW, 37% from the ACT, 15% from Victoria and 10% from the other states.

Managing director Lynne O’Brien is expecting a bumper crowd with early bird tickets “selling in six hours what we normally sell in 17 days”.

The 41-event Canberra International Music Festival, running from April 16 to May 8, is another tourism draw: 35% of its 7,000 attendees this year were from outside the ACT.

As reported in TMN, Groovin’ The Moo 2022 is only playing three cities after going dark for two years. Previously its six cities drew a total of 110,000 festival-goers.

Of the three surviving, Maitland, Bendigo and Canberra drew 20,000 each in 2019, with The University of Canberra estimating the Canberra show yielded $3 million in economic return.

Chugg Music and Lime Cordiale’s third instalment of The Squeeze festival series in April and May is the largest to date. There are 12 stops with names like Thelma Plum, Client Liaison and THE VANNS with three extra A Day On The Green winery shows with Roundhouse Entertainment.

Promoter Michael Chugg forecast to TMN the run would shift 75,000 tickets. Limes will also do postponed major cities midweek in between The Squeeze dates.

Pictured: Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne

Also set for increased numbers is the second season of the Victorian government’s Live at the Bowl series at Sidney Myer Music Bowl in Melbourne, from mid-summer to April 24, to further kickstart the state’s live scene.

The first season drew almost 100,000 people to see 1,300 performers when the crowd had to be separated into rings for social distancing.

This time, the Bowl is back to 100% capacity, with some events set to attract up to 12,000.

Autumn shows include Kings of Leon, BENEE, Ultra Australia, Flight Facilities, Hoodoo Gurus, Piknic Électronik, The Push and Lime Cordiale.

Meadow 2022 returns from March 25 to 27 at Bambra Bowl in Victoria, with 1,400 per day capacity and headliners Hiatus Kaiyote, Methyl Ethel and Tropical Fuck Storm.

TEG Live and Empire Touring’s Sunset Sounds lands on two wineries, Rochford Wines Yarra Valley and Roche Estate Hunter Valley, in April.

The lineup includes Xavier Rudd, Pete Murray, The Whitlams, Josh Pyke, Tex Perkins & The Fat Rubber Band, The Beautiful Girls, Busby Marou and Ash Grunwald.

After a two year hiatus, Pitch Music & Arts, March 11 to 15, brings back its camping format in The Grampians in Victoria with Maceo Plex and Jayda G confirmed as the first acts.

Tasmania’s artist-run The Great Escape reappears in its second year to the Derwent Valley from March 4 to 6, its 24-strong bill headed by Jack River and Slowly Slowly.

Tickets are selling fast for what is now the only camping festival left in Tasmania.

New to the autumn festival slate is As The Cocky Flies, a regional blues and roots travelling circus over two weekends in March complete with circus theatrics.

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