New festival partnership a win for combating waste

More than 70% percent of all waste generated at this year’s Blues on Broadbeach on the Gold Coast was diverted from landfill thanks to a successful new partnership with waste management provider Clean Vibes.

Just over 37m3 of rubbish was diverted from landfill for recycling and reuse purposes, which equated to 71% of all waste generated from the festival. On top of this, more than 17,000 cans and bottles were recycled through the Containers for Change refund scheme.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick said the results were very encouraging.

“To be able to divert from landfill more than 70% of the waste generated during our Blues on Broadbeach festival is a great win for the environment and we’re confident we can keep on improving our waste management practices across all MEGC’s festivals,” said Ms McCormick.

In March, Clean Vibes become the Official Cleaning and Waste Management Services Provider for all four of MEGC’s festivals in 2023, including Blues on Broadbeach, Cooly Rocks On and the upcoming SPRINGTIME and Groundwater Country Music Festival.

Some of the initiatives that have been introduced at MEGC’s festivals are waste sorting onsite and implementing the can and bottle return scheme. Clean Vibes also use waste stream bin covers to promote and educate festival patrons about waste separation, and the recent results show festival fans are getting on board to help do their bit to reduce waste.

There was so much organic waste collected and sorted onsite that the crew had to take over general waste bins for organic waste.

Clean Vibes National Operations Manager Nick Viner said the Blues on Broadbeach results were a great outcome for an unfenced free music festival layout.

“Blues on Broadbeach for 2023 was a huge success on the sustainability front with Clean Vibes working very closely with all stakeholders onsite to ensure that we could get the best results possible!” said Mr Viner. “With all vendors and bars onsite implementing compostable packaging, our team on ground could guarantee that all compostable products onsite were verified and approved for disposal through our onsite organic waste streams.”

Implementing the Containers for Change recycling scheme at the festival proved to be another win.

“Just over 17,000 eligible cans and bottles were processed for the Containers for Change program on top of our 71% of recycled or repurposed material,” Mr Viner said.

Due to this year’s Blues on Broadbeach results, next year Clean Vibes will look to order a 25m skip bin for organic waste, something that has never been done at one of MEGC’s festivals before.

The waste results were equally promising from MEGC’s Cooly Rocks On festival held in Coolangatta in June. The Clean Vibes report showed over 20% more waste was diverted from landfill in 2023 compared to 2022.

“As our festivals grow in popularity, we are faced with additional waste challenges,” said Ms McCormick. “We want to make sure we continue to give our fans the best possible festival experience and that means ensuring we are continually improving our practices when it comes to sustainable waste management. We also want to make sure our festivals don’t have a negative environmental impact on the beautiful locations we deliver them in.”

Bustling crowds enjoy the best of rhythm and blues under blue skies

Blues lovers from around the globe can hang up their fedoras and relish in the music and memories made during the 22nd annual Blues on Broadbeach.

Record numbers of fans, new and old, made the pilgrimage to the Gold Coast for the much-loved festival. Across four epic days, tens of thousands weaved their way through sunny Broadbeach daily to indulge in the diversity and quality of the live authentic rhythm and blues music.

Blues on Broadbeach 2023 featured over 70 artists across 16 stages, showcasing legendary names from the Australian and international blues world – as well as emerging artists. Fans and artists from all walks of life came together, a testimony to the power of rhythm and soul.

World-renowned guitarist Tommy Emmanuel headlined the festival on Friday night, with anticipated record crowds attending – proving good things are worth the wait, following the postponement of the artist’s show in 2019 due to the pandemic. Saturday night’s performance took crowds on a journey to Memphis and back with the smooth vocals of Marcus Scott sharing the stage with some true blues legends, The Bo-Keys.

The festival had an international feel this year with performances, guests and musical styles from around the globe,” said Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festival and Events Mark Duckworth.

One transnational act returning to the Broadbeach stage was The Turner Brown Band, the collaboration of Australian ‘Backsliders’ guitarist Dom Turner, and vocalist/ sacred-steel-slide guitar extraordinaire Nikki D Brown (Ohio, USA).

Blues on Broadbeach was the festival that we launched The Turner Brown Band for the first time in 2017. To come back all these years later and see the growth, the excitement and diversity of talent is extraordinary.” – Dom Turner, The Turner Brown Band.

Blues players and blues lovers alike cannot be defined by age, gender or nationality, with an impressive 61-year age gap between 22-year-old Melbourne singer songwriter Steph Strings and 83-year-old US swamp-rock legend Tommy McLain. Facilitating a new generation of musicians to share the stages with masters of their craft, the joy and excitement was palpable as legends and fresh faces took to the Broadbeach stages to share in what they love – music.

Playing her Blues on Broadbeach debut, Steph Strings noted – “I’m pinching myself that I get to play at Blues on Broadbeach for the first time amongst a lineup of my biggest inspirations and the world’s best Blues talent.”

Building new experiences into the festival is something we’ve been really proud of this year. Spreading the footprint further into Federation Park, introducing a piano bar in Broadbeach Mall, having more integration with the local businesses and adding Secret Shows and Masterclass events for our Twelve Bar Society members, we continue to see the festival evolve year on year,” said Mark Duckworth.

The sold-out exclusive Twelve Bar Society lived up to its promise to provide bespoke experiences for members who enjoyed a festival first, a secret show from multi-award-winning Aussie great Lloyd Spiegel. Two unique masterclasses from Memphis based legends Marcus Scott and The Bo-Keys, plus an intimate session with the world’s greatest acoustic guitarist Tommy Emmanuel were also on offer.

Tommy talked about his playing style, cutting his teeth as a session musician, collaborating with the world’s best and treated us to an unrecorded song… we couldn’t ask for more” – said Mark Duckworth.

The 2023 festival was an uplifting celebration of rhythm and blues that solidified its place as one of Australia’s most beloved music events in its two-decade run. With picture postcard weather, a beachside location and over 200 hours of world class music, it’s no wonder crowds were at an anticipated all time high proving Blues on Broadbeach 2023 is one that won’t be forgotten quickly.

Music lovers book in 16-19 May 2024, and get ready to find your rhythm at the 23rd Blues on Broadbeach.

This year’s festival wraps after an incredibly successful 2023 with thanks to our Sponsor Family: City of Gold Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland, Gold Coast Airport, Memphis Tourism, Yugambeh Region Aboriginal Corporation Alliance (YRACA), Clean Vibes, 92.5 Triple M and EventElec.

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

More than 65 artists across 16 stages, Blues on Broadbeach full program unveiled

If you haven’t already, now is the time to book your flights to the Gold Coast in May with the full festival program for the legendary Blues on Broadbeach revealed.

Now in its 22nd year, one of Australia’s favourite festivals returns from 18-21 May with more than 20 additional acts added to an already stacked lineup.

The full program is now live online with four jam-packed days of live rhythm and blues music, including Tommy Emmanuel, Don Walker, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Emma Donovan & the Putbacks plus many more international and homegrown sensations.

Among the fresh artists added to the 2023 bill is the globe-trotting multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter powerhouse Minnie Marks and Brisbane’s three-time Australian Blues Music Award winners and Australian Roots Music Award nominees Blues Arcadia.

A highlight of this year’s program will be the recently announced world-first exclusive performance from the electric Marcus Scott & The Bo-Keys.

Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, previous Tower of Power frontman (2016-2020) Marcus Scott is bringing his explosive and compelling lead vocals to The Bo-Keys all-star cast of legendary soul masters. Lead by Emmy Award-winning and Grammy-nominated composer Scott Bomar, The Bo-Keys feature some of Memphis’ most renowned and respected blues craftsmen.

I am extremely excited and also honoured to be sharing the stage with this great band The Bo-Keys. We are about to take you on a musical journey giving you a taste of our Memphis history and then will bring you right back to the present day! Please join me Marcus Scott along with The Bo-Keys as we share a chemistry like no other that is bound to take you on an unforgettable ride from beginning to end. This will truly be one of the best blues parties you will ever experience!” – Marcus Scott

Marcus Scott and The Bo-Keys will also be hosting a unique masterclass as part of an exclusive offering for members of the Twelve Bar Society. The Twelve Bar Society was launched in 2022 and is made for blues lovers. The membership gives you the chance to experience Blues on Broadbeach with a difference, and includes masterclasses, a members only ‘Secret Show’, an exclusive VIP bar with up-close main stage viewing garden, limited-edition merchandise and more.

Memberships for 2023 are still on sale but are limited and selling fast so secure yours now for $149 plus booking fee (total $154.80), only through Oztix.

Twelve Bar Society members will also have the privilege of hearing from Grammy Award nominee Tommy Emmanuel. Widely regarded as one of the greatest acoustic guitarists of all time for his percussive and complex fingerpicking style, you don’t want to miss this exclusive masterclass.

I am so happy to be finally able to come back to play my beloved Australia. It’s been a tough time in our world lately, and I find that music is needed more than ever. Since I’ve been back touring again, I sense a new feeling of JOY that people have for the live experience, just like the old days when people hear you play for the first time. It’s an awakening, a reminder of the beauty of music – seeing, feeling, and experiencing an event filled with truth, love, sacrifice, dedication and letting go. Relax, let it all go, come and have fun!” – Tommy Emmanuel

The Gold Coast is proud to have been home to this very special multi-award-winning festival for the past 22 years. If you haven’t already got enough reasons to visit the Gold Coast, here’s another! Where else can you see some of the world’s best rhythm and blues musicians just steps from some of the globes’ best stretches of beach.” – Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

You won’t miss a beat of this beachside blues extravaganza with the upgraded festival app providing the perfect companion to your Blues on Broadbeach adventure, right in your pocket. Download the app in advance and make sure to plan ahead with schedules and alerts – plus dive deeper with extra artist and event info, festival map and updates.

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

Blues on Broadbeach second lineup announced

Blues on Broadbeach returns to the Gold Coast for its 22nd year this May; boasting an array of talent and artistry that has earned the beachside festival a reputation as one of Australia’s most beloved music festivals, and now one of the country’s largest.

The Festival features more than 50 acclaimed international and homegrown artists performing across multiple outdoor and indoor stages, Blues on Broadbeach is guaranteed to be all about the music, all the time. With 20 additional artists added to an already classy bill, the 2023 festival promises a musical experience as diverse as the fanbase.

Joining the likes of Tommy Emmanuel, Don Walker, Emma Donovan and the Putbacks and The Kevin Borich Express, the second lineup welcomes Melbourne Ska Orchestra – who will be returning to the Blues on Broadbeach stage after nearly a decade hiatus. The Living End frontman Chris Cheney will also be debuting his first solo album and sharing the stage with swamp-pop legend Tommy McLain (USA), joined by long-time collaborator C.C. Adcock. The second lineup also features Memphis’ own Marcus Scott and the Bo Keys, Blue Shaddy, Albi & the Wolves (NZ), Little Georgia, 8 Ball Aitken, Julian James and the Moonshine State, Ian Collard, Mike Elrington plus many more… Check it out below.

“The Blues on Broadbeach team has put together a lineup for 2023 that will appeal to all our festival fans; Blues’ aficionados who have been coming to the festival for more than 20 years and new fans just discovering the genre,” said Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festivals and Events, Mark Duckworth.

“Our festival has always been about the music and celebrating excellence in Blues’ craftsmanship, and that is what we have become known for both by the artists who perform on our stages, and by our audiences.”

And where better to enjoy four days of incredible music and family-friendly fun than at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast. Swinging into action from 18 May, the 2023 festival will take over four blocks of the beachside precinct, enabling Blues on Broadbeach fans to find their rhythm as they weave between the colourful and unique parks, venues, and streets of this iconic location.

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

Blues on Broadbeach teams up with the birthplace of blues – Memphis

Blues on Broadbeach, the Gold Coast’s very own home of blues music, is coming together with the city where it all started, Memphis.

Today Blues on Broadbeach announced an exciting three-year partnership with Memphis Tourism coming on board as an Official Support Partner of the festival from 2023-2025. The partnership formalises the festival’s long-held relationship with Memphis Tourism.

From the blues clubs on Beale Street, Memphis to the streets of Broadbeach Queensland, Memphis Tourism will play an integral role in bringing that unique Memphis blues sound to Blues on Broadbeach fans each year. This partnership falls in line with the ethos of festival producers Major Events Gold Coast, to deliver a truly authentic blues experience and nurture our growing blues music culture in Australia.

“Blues on Broadbeach has built a strong relationship with the team at Memphis Tourism for many years, curating some amazing festival performances from some of Memphis’ best,” said Festival Director Mark Duckworth.

“To see our partnership continue to grow for our 2023 event, and beyond, is a testament to the genre of blues music, and its ongoing journey around the world. We can’t wait to welcome many more legends from the home of blues music, to our Gold Coast stages.”

Thanks to Memphis Tourism, the recently announced Blues on Broadbeach 2023 lineup will, for the first time, include Memphis rhythm and blues artist Don Bryant.

“Memphis Tourism is thrilled to once again be partnering with Blues on Broadbeach,” said Chris Ingram, Director of Memphis Tourism Australia/New Zealand.

“Known as the home of blues and soul, Memphis is a perfect match for this festival and the synergies extend far beyond the music. We are incredibly excited to be welcoming Don Bryant and The Bo-Keys to the festival from Memphis, and we can’t wait to be part of another successful Blues on Broadbeach.”

Memberships to the festival’s exclusive Twelve Bar Society are on sale, and the Memphis Tourism partnership brings with it a truly special experience for 2023 members – an exclusive masterclass with rhythm and blues legend Don Bryant, and friends. An opportunity fans of soulful blues won’t want to miss!

The Twelve Bar Society was established in 2022 to offer the ultimate blues experience for avid Blues on Broadbeach fans and included exclusive offers and opportunities, selling out quickly in its inaugural year.

Along with the Don Bryant masterclass, 2023 membership will include a ‘secret show’, a special masterclass with one of the greatest acoustic guitarists, Tommy Emmanuel, an exclusive VIP bar and main stage viewing area and limited-edition merchandise. Don’t miss your opportunity to become a member of Twelve Bar Society available here.

Born in the blues capital of the world, Memphis native Don Bryant is among the greats of the genre. He is immortalized in the history books of music as the artist who penned “the best song ever”, as declared by John Lennon. The timeless hit I Can’t Stand The Rain is a song Don wrote for his wife Ann Peebles, one of many influential records he created as a solo artist and in collaboration with fellow blues elites, like Otis Clay and Al Green.

Twelve Bar Society members have the opportunity to experience a piece of blues history with Don Bryant himself at the very heart of it. With a career spanning over 50 years, Don will no doubt have a wealth of insight to offer in his masterclass, as well as a vast catalogue of soul, jazz and blues to perform on the Gold Coast in May. Sharing the stage with Don will be The Bo-Keys, a band of multi-instrumentalists from Memphis who bring together the sounds of classic rhythm & blues with their own distinct flavour.

For over two decades, Blues on Broadbeach has been an annual pilgrimage for blues fans, travelling to the Gold Coast from across states and seas to this unique four-day event. Now one of Australia’s largest music festivals, Blues on Broadbeach returns for its 22nd year from 18 – 21 May 2023 and will showcase some legendary names in the Australian and International blues scene.  Don Bryant & The Bo-Keys (US) will be joined by the likes of Tommy Emmanuel, Don Walker, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, The Kevin Borich Express, and The Turner Brown Band (US/AUS), plus many more to be announced.

Blues on Broadbeach 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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