After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, thousands of country music lovers flocked to Broadbeach on the Gold Coast and were blessed with blue skies and a golden lineup of country stars in the long-awaited return of Groundwater Country Music Festival (CMF).
One of four festivals proudly produced by Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC), Groundwater CMF brought country back to the coast with a vengeance over three unforgettable days. With an overload of creative energy, more than 45 home-grown Aussie artists wowed festival-goers and filled the streets, parks and venues of Broadbeach with their infectious charm and country music virtuosity.
Broadbeach is famed for its iconic beachside location perfect for holding major events. With a large vicinity of flat open spaces and parks featuring plenty of shade, all within walking distance from some of the Gold Coast’s most-hyped bars, restaurants and a large variety of accommodation operators, Broadbeach is the perfect destination for hosting large events that require multiple areas to be activated.
Take a look at the Groundwater CMF festival map to see how MEGC utilised the Broadbeach precinct.
Over the past year, our team along with event organisers all over the world have experienced the many challenges of staging an event in the ever-changing COVID-19 environment, and Groundwater CMF has been no exception. Border restrictions in place at the time of the festival significantly impacted programming and restricted visitation from New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria, a large portion of our interstate market.
However, our commitment to bring country music back to the coast to provide positive economic benefits for the City of Gold Coast rang true and was the reason we were able to forge ahead to deliver a COVID safe environment for Groundwater fans, artists, volunteers, our team and wider community.
The return of Groundwater CMF involved extensive planning to ensure measures were put in place to allow us to deliver the festival in 2021 in a variety of different covid scenarios. These measures included:
- Preparing a number of contingency plans months prior to the festival, ready to be enacted should any last-minute covid-related border closures or restrictions impact performers, attendees or suppliers. This included looking to have a high percentage of performers and suppliers sourced locally in Queensland.
- All festival-goers were encouraged to check-in to the Check In Qld mobile app each day of the event. We relied heavily on our Groundwater CMF volunteers and team leaders to manage this process. A detailed communication plan was rolled out in the lead into the festival with an emphasis on the new process, so it wasn’t a surprise to attendees.
- A reimagined festival layout was created to improve the flow of attendees and create enough space as they moved throughout the festival. The previous main stage in Surf Parade was altered to provide theatre-style seating to help maintain crowd numbers. The previously covered stage in Kurrawa Park was changed to an open air performance area to allow for more attendees to fit in a covid safe manner. MEGC relied on a number of venue partners to host country entertainment to assist in managing numbers.
MEGC proudly produce and support a diverse portfolio of events, such as Groundwater CMF to help drive visitation and stimulate the Gold Coast economy providing a significant economic injection to local businesses.
Lincoln Testa, owner of Madison’s Café in Broadbeach said the weekend felt like the good old pre-covid days.
“It was such a great feeling to have our staff run off their feet for the three days. We were not quite sure what to expect but believe we’ll be close to reaching 2019 numbers which is fantastic. Hopefully this is a pre cursor to Christmas when borders open back up,” he said.
We are thrilled to have delivered a successful festival during such challenging times, supporting musicians, those within the live music industry and our local city stakeholders who have been doing it tough over the last two years.
We look forward to delivering another successful Groundwater CMF, 28-30 October 2022.
Learn more about Groundwater CMF here.