15 June, 2022

Record crowds rock to the tune of yesteryear

Record crowds shaked, rattled and rolled through Coolangatta for this year’s Cooly Rocks On, cementing its position as Australia’s number one nostalgia festival.

There was no shortage of car fans, rockabilly tattoos, fabulous frocks and slicked back hair on the streets of the beachside location, for the festival that celebrates the motors, music and lifestyle of yesteryear.

Over 900 vehicles of all shapes, sizes, models and eras were on display at this year’s Show ‘N’ Shine for car enthusiasts to admire. On stage, over 23 rockabilly, rock’n’roll and swing acts, as well as some of Australia’s best tribute artists wowed the crowds across the five-day festival.

Indonesian rockabilly band, The Hydrant, performed in Australia for the first time and had festival goers roaring with their unique Bali style. The four-piece band proving a festival favourite for the fans. 

Australia has a very close affinity with Bali and this festival has all of that and everything that we are about – rockabilly, good times and fun.

The Hydrant

Festival Director Mark Duckworth said Cooly Rocks On had record crowds and a record number of cars at this year’s festival.

We've had unbelievable crowds, sold out shows and an incredible lineup of musical talent this year. The cavalcade of vehicles on display was one of our biggest and best yet and to see the owners comparing notes, catching up with old friends and making new ones while enjoying the music and their pride and joys, is always something really special.

Mark Duckworth, Festival Director

A highlight of the event for many festival goers is the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, and this year’s lineup certainly didn’t disappoint the many fans
who had travelled from all sides of the country to swoon to some of their favourite tunes.

17 entrants representing all eras of the King of Rock competed for the coveted title and the chance to represent Cooly Rocks On, and Australia, at Elvis Week in Memphis, USA. The winner of the $5,000 cheque and entry into the global Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest was Frank Pesely, with Che Orton finishing second and Anthony Petrucci third. 

It wasn’t all about Elvis though, Saturday night was a moving tribute to The Wild One, Johnny O’Keefe by his daughter Vicky. Playing to a sold out crowd, Vicky performed all of her father’s hits, and there was barely a dry eye in the house when Vicky shared the stage with Johnny on video for their special duet, I’m Counting On You.

For the first time, this year’s Pin-Up Pageant blended the classic and rockabilly styles into one pageant and included a fully inclusive entry component. 12 entrants took to the stage to compete for the Miss Cooly Rocks On title including an international contingent from New Zealand and the USA. The winner of this year’s Pin-Up Pageant was Miss Maizie May from Toowoomba.

It is my first time entering the Cooly Rocks On pageant and to come away with the win is a dream come true.

Miss Maizie May, Pin-up Pageant winner

Produced by Major Events Gold Coast, Cooly Rocks On wraps after an incredibly successful 2022 with thanks to our Sponsor Family this year – City of Gold Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland, Indian Motorcycle, Celebrity Ink™ Coolangatta and The Strand.

Cooly Rocks On is supported by the Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, and is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

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