The Gold Coast soars into spring

Whether it’s aircraft, live music, art, or even lawn bowls that you’re into, there’s no better time to escape the final weeks of winter and book a weekend on the Gold Coast.

With spring in the air and blue skies on the horizon, expect an aerial spectacular like no other when the Pacific Airshow Gold Coast takes to the sky over Surfers Paradise.

The three-day event from 18 August features heart-pumping aerobatics and formation flying from the world’s best military aviators and civilian performers.

Two weekends later, the Surfers Paradise beachfront will be transformed into a free music festival as SPRINGTIME blooms for a second year. With more than 30 live music acts across two stages, the VANS Skate Plaza, mural artists and a huge interactive performance installation on the beach, expect guaranteed good times from 1 September all weekend.

In a change of tempo but with no less action, the world’s best bowlers and para-bowlers will descend on the Gold Coast from 29 August for the 2023 World Bowls Championships, with competitors from 44 nations.

“There is no better time to visit the Gold Coast,” said Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick. “The sheer variety of events this city is hosting over the next month is extraordinary and it’s the reason why our reputation as the ultimate events destination continues to grow. After years of planning, we are thrilled to see the Pacific Airshow Gold Coast lift off.”

“What sets our event apart from your ‘typical airshow’ is its unique setting, high tempo and diverse hospitality offerings,” said Pacific Airshow Gold Coast founder Kevin Elliott. “We offer something for everyone, including those who have never considered attending an airshow before. There’s always something to see, always something in your face, always something new happening. It’s something you have to experience to understand.”

From 29 August to 10 September the city hosts the World Bowls Championships for the first time. The sport’s pinnacle international competition will be held across five Gold Coast bowls locations, with finals held at Club Helensvale on 2-3 September and Broadbeach Bowls Club on 9-10 September.

“We are thrilled to have secured this prestigious tournament for the Gold Coast, and the World Bowls Champion of Champions directly after it from 11- 16 September,” said Ms McCormick. “With over 540 competitors and coaches from 44 nations descending on the Gold Coast, this year’s event will be the biggest tournament in the event’s history, and we are expecting some close matches and world-class competition.”

“The Gold Coast is a heartland for the sport of bowls, and its clubs and greens are renowned the world over, so anticipation and expectation from the bowls community and competing nations for the 2023 World Bowls Championships is absolutely sky high – akin to what will be on display at the inaugural Pacific Airshow,” said Bowls Australia General Manager – Promotion and Partnerships Aidan Davis.

“This is the first occasion that para-sport players will compete alongside able-bodied bowlers, showcasing the truly inclusive nature of the sport, and with 11 gold medals up for grabs across two blockbuster finals weekends, home crowds will be hoping the Gold Coast greens are a happy hunting ground for the world’s number one bowls team, the Right at Home Australian Jackaroos.”

The Gold Coast will officially bring in spring on 1 September with the return of Major Events Gold Coast’s newest free music festival, SPRINGTIME. The three-day festival on Surfers Paradise beach will continue to shine a spotlight on Australian artists, and highlight local music, arts and the skate scene while celebrating the best parts of the country’s most popular beachside destination.

The 2023 lineup features homegrown favourites like Matt Corby, Bag Raiders and Boo Seeka with acclaimed international artist BENEE.

“We want this festival to present some of the best Australian contemporary artists as well as to celebrate and support the musical talent right here on the iconic Surfers Paradise beach,” said Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festivals and Events Mark Duckworth.

“In 2023 we’re stoked to welcome the incredible BENEE from New Zealand, Matt Corby and many more to the three-day lineup, plus we’ll have live mural artists, a pop-up skate plaza, DJ workshops and a massive interactive art installation inspired by retro arcade games. It’s going to be a lot of fun!”

The festival kicks off on 1 September the day after the Gold Coast Music Awards which are proudly supported again this year by SPRINGTIME.

The world’s best beach volleyball players to go head-to-head on the Gold Coast

When it comes to beach volleyball, Coolangatta’s iconic wide golden beach has become synonymous with the sport. This month Australia’s best volleyball players will go head-to-head, and take on the world’s top teams, in a showcase of skill on the sand over 10 days.

One of the jewels of the southern Gold Coast coastline, Coolangatta beach played host to the first ever Commonwealth Games beach volleyball matches in 2018, and since then has become the new home for Australia’s national beach volleyball championships.

From 24 March through to 2 April, Volleyslam 2023 Festival will take over Coolangatta beach with four separate championship events across 10 days including the Australian Beach Volleyball Championships, the Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships, the Australian Beach Volleyball Schools Cup, and crowd favourite – the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour – Futures event.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick said the annual Volleyslam festival celebrates the best of the best in beach volleyball with some incredible action that you definitely want to be beachside for.

“Beach volleyball is one of those exhilarating sports that you can’t help but get invested in as a spectator, to be able to see the world’s best on one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, is a not-to-be-missed experience both for volleyball enthusiasts and for the general public,” said Ms McCormick.

In 2022, Major Events Gold Coast in partnership with Tourism and Events Queensland resigned a deal with Volleyball Australia to keep the beach volleyball events on the Gold Coast for another three years.

“Securing these premier national events for Coolangatta until at least 2025 is a major coup for the Gold Coast, both from a reputational and economic point of view for the city but also for many other reasons as we head towards the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Ms McCormick.

“Hosting the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour event in particular not only showcases our natural stadiums to a global audience of potential event organisers but also helps inspire a generation of up-and-coming local volleyball stars providing them with the opportunity to mingle with the best in the world and aspire to be on the beach competing for Gold come 2032.”

Volleyball Australia CEO Andrew Dee said it is fantastic to return to a beach that’s become synonymous with world-class beach volleyball events.

“Last year was the first time we hosted the Volleyslam festival with all four major events which was a resounding success,” Dee said. “To have the Scape Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships and Scape Australian Beach Schools Cup on at the same time as the Australian Championships and Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour creates an incredible opportunity for Australia’s future beach volleyball stars to learn from some of the best in the world.

“We’re excited to be back on iconic Coolangatta Beach this month to provide participation opportunities for beach volleyballers at all levels. With the Gold Coast set to host the beach volleyball competition for the 2032 Olympic Games, it provides us with a great opportunity to bring together the next generation of talent as we continue to provide opportunities to identify talent that have the potential to represent Australia on the world stage,” he said.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said he is excited to see the energy, passion and excitement of this great sport back on the beaches of Coolangatta.

“It’s fantastic to see VolleySlam return to Coolangatta,” said Mayor Tom Tate. “With four separate events to be held across the festival, we can expect some fierce competition as teams strive to take home a championship trophy.

“Major Events Gold Coast and Volleyball Australia deserve applause for bringing together the country’s best beach volleyballers again in 2023. It’s showtime and it’s free for spectators so don’t miss a minute of the action.”

Volleyslam 2023 kicks off with the Australian Beach Volleyball Championships on Friday 24th March and culminates with the World Beach Pro Tour Futures event on from 29 March – 2 April.

All Volleyslam events are free to attend.

The World Beach Pro Tour Futures and Volleyslam Gold Coast is supported by Major Events Gold Coast and the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Over 11,500 elite cheer and dance athletes tumble into the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast was a sea of sequins, glitter, and bows as more than 11,500 of the country’s top cheer and dance athletes, and 40,000 spectators, descended on the city for the All Star Nationals from 24-27 November.

With 2000 teams competing over four days, the 2022 Australian All Star Cheerleading Federation (AASCF) All Star Nationals is one of the biggest mass participation events the city has hosted. Along with the 11,500 competitors the event attracts up to 40,000 spectators.

The All Star Nationals is an incredible event, not just for the scale of the event itself, with a routine every three minutes from 8am-11pm every day, but for the significant boost it provides to our local economy, which we estimate will be more than $10M” said Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick.

This is the first time since 2018 the event has been back on the Gold Coast and Major Events Gold Coast is proud to have been able to attract this fantastic national competition back to the Gold Coast and support these talented athletes.”

AASCF Managing Director Kerry Perry said they were thrilled to back on the Gold Coast. “The last time we brought the AASCF Nationals to the Gold Coast was in 2018 so it’s really exciting to be back here,” said Ms Perry.

This event takes an incredible amount of organisation, and space, and the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre with its premier facilities is the perfect venue for this kind of elite competition. Plus the competitors and their families love coming here and combining the Nationals with a holiday in one of Australia’s best destinations.”

The AASCF Nationals is Australia’s largest cheer and dance event and continues to grow. Teams compete for the National Championship and the chance to go on to compete in the World Cheer and Dance Championships in Florida, USA.

Right now, our city is alive with action from some of the biggest sports and events carnivals,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. “The All Star Nationals are top billing and I applaud organisers, Major Events Gold Coast, competitors and the 40,000 fanatics for making their way to the coast.”

The event proudly supported by Major Events Gold Coast runs for four days but many interstate athletes and their families arrive early and then stay on after the competition to enjoy everything else the Gold Coast has to offer, with the average stay around six days.

Feel the rhythm at Blues on Broadbeach 2023

One of Australia’s largest music festivals, Blues on Broadbeach, is set to return for its 22nd year from 18 – 21 May 2023 and will showcase some legendary names in the Australian and international blues world.

An annual pilgrimage for many, Blues on Broadbeach attracts fans from near and far to the Gold Coast to feel the rhythm in what’s set to be an unforgettable four-day festival.

Our first lineup for 2023 includes Tommy Emmanuel, Don Walker, Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Don Bryant & The Bo-Keys (US), The Kevin Borich Express, and The Turner Brown Band (US/AUS).

Two-time Grammy-nominated headliner Tommy Emmanuel brings the power and dynamism of a full band to his solo acoustic playing. He returns to Australia in May 2023 for the first time in four years and a truly special opportunity awaits Blues on Broadbeach fans.

Joining Tommy on the bill is yet another icon of Australian music, Don Walker. Widely acknowledged as one of the nation’s most important songwriters.

I am delighted to be a part of the lineup in 2023 in what will be its 22nd year,” says Cold Chisel pianist, Don Walker.

Hailing from the Home of Blues Memphis, rhythm and blues legend Don Bryant is the real deal when it comes to blues. He will be joining forces with fellow Tennessean band, The Bo-Keys, to perform an eclectic blend of blues, gospel and soulful jazz.

We look forward to adding even more friends to the festival family in 2023. Blues On Broadbeach has become the Gold Coast’s home of blues for over two decades and we are all excited to announce these amazing acts to the 2023 lineup,” said Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festivals and Events Mark Duckworth.

We are gearing up for a rhythms, blues, and roots festival like no other in May, with some legendary international acts joining plenty of homegrown talent on our Blues on Broadbeach stages. The 2023 lineup includes some exceptional singer/songwriters like Don Bryant hailing from the Home of Blues, Memphis Tennessee, and much-loved Aussie icon Don Walker, plus arguably one of the world’s best guitarists, Tommy Emmanuel.”

With borders open again, the 2022 festival earlier this year saw the return of  interstate and international fans eager to experience the electric atmosphere that Blues on Broadbeach is renowned for.

The 2023 festival promises to be even bigger, encompassing four blocks in the Broadbeach precinct, interspersed throughout the many vibrant streets, parks and venues of Broadbeach.

Here’s more music for the ears of blues lovers: The Twelve Bar Society is back in 2023! This exclusive club offers members the opportunity to elevate their Blues on Broadbeach experience.

Sold out in 2022, Twelve Bar Society offers a range of exclusive experiences including Masterclasses with artists, a VIP Bar and viewing area, merchandise and more.

Rounding out the stellar first lineup are some familiar names and festival favourites including Jazzparty, The Mason Rack Band, Frank Sultana and newcomer Steph Strings, plus plenty more.

Don’t miss a beat, mark the dates in your diary and start planning so you can feel the rhythm at Blues on Broadbeach on the Gold Coast this May!

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.

Australia’s best bowlers celebrated at awards held in the ‘Home of Bowls’

Bowl’s most outstanding performers of 2021 and 2022, and the sport’s greatest achievers, have been recognised at the Bowls Australia Hall of Fame and Annual Awards Night held overnight on the Gold Coast.

The red carpet was rolled out at Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, as the best national and international bowlers were celebrated, including Male and Female Bowler of the Year, International Male and Female Bowler of the Year, Bowler with a Disability of the Year and Club of the Year among many others.

Among the guests in attendance were a number of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games medallists.

Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC) was proud to support the Female Bowler of the Year award, awarded to Kelsey Cottrell from Queensland. Fellow Queenslander Nick Cahill took out Male Bowler of the Year, while yet another Queensland bowler, Lynsey Clarke, won International Female Bowler of the Year. NSW bowler Aaron Wilson was awarded International Male Bowler of the Year.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick said MEGC was proud to be able to continue to support Bowls Australia events on the Gold Coast.

“The Gold Coast has well and truly become the home of bowls with a long list of prestigious national bowls events being hosted in the city, including the Australian Open and the World Bowls Championships in 2023,” said Ms McCormick.

“These fantastic events bring thousands of competitors, their families and spectators to our city which in turn delivers a huge boost to our local economy.”

Along with the individual award winners, the Awards also celebrated the achievements of five bowlers who were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Three more bowlers were elevated to Hall of Fame Legend – Karen Murphy AM, Stephen Glasson OAM and Robert Parrella OAM. The Australian bowlers each have long and decorated careers, between them winning multiple Commonwealth Games gold medals and World Bowls Championships.

Bowls Australia’s CEO Neil Dalrymple said Gold Coast was the perfect backdrop to the sport’s night of nights.

“The Gold Coast is a heartland for the sport of bowls and was an ideal setting to showcase the achievements of both the sport’s grassroots and high-performance elite at the Hall of Fame and Awards Night, where many Queenslander’s contributions were recognised.”

The Hall of Fame and Awards Night is part of the 2022 National Festival of Bowls underway on the Gold Coast until 14 October.

The Nationals brings together six of the sport’s most coveted national events across two weeks of exciting bowls action with more national titles set to be bestowed across the 15-day period than at other time in the sport’s history.

“The Nationals highlights why our city is now recognised as one of the best destinations for major sport, across the globe,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

“Hosting this tournament is a major coup for our city and is the first time six national titles will be on the line at the one event.

“Our current global ranking for Bets Sports Cities is No 26 and I’m confident that major tournaments like this, followed by the World Bowls Championships in 2023, will further boost our stakes as a place to compete, and enjoy, sport.”

Today the bowls action rolls on with the Australian Championships underway at Broadbeach Bowls Club until Friday 14 October.

MEGC celebrates two years of securing major new events for the city

An international airshow, a global superstar, a BMX Freestyle World Cup and an English Premier League team – in the past two years Major Events Gold Coast (MEGC) has secured some of the world’s biggest international events for the city.

July marks MEGC’s second birthday and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate said CEO Jan McCormick.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick:

MEGC was created in July 2020 to build a portfolio of major world-class events for this city, and we are steadily doing just that with some huge wins in our first two years.

In a massive coup for the Gold Coast, Major Events Gold Coast could finally share the news in May that one of the world’s largest and most spectacular air shows would be hosted in the city from 2023.

We were determined to secure Pacific Airshow Gold Coast. It well and truly cements our city's reputation as a world-class events destination with capacity to host the biggest events and shows on the planet. There were many times we thought we might not pull this off, it involved more than two years of negotiation and meticulous planning across multiple time zones, all while navigating a global pandemic. We are thrilled the Gold Coast will see the airshow in our skies for the next five years at least.

The airshow is a game changer for the Gold Coast, attracting visitors from not just across Australia but across the world, bringing a significant and much-needed city-wide economic boost.

This weekend another global blockbuster secured with the help of MEGC will take centre stage – the International Boxing Federation (IBF) Cruiserweight World Title Fight. It’s the first time the city has hosted a world title match. The event will be broadcast live around the globe ensuring all eyes are on the Gold Coast.

Later in the month, the city will host English Premier League club Leeds United FC when they take on Brisbane Roar, another first for the city. Then in December, a UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup, an Australia first.

MEGC has also been excited to announce a host of major new international music and cultural events for the Gold Coast, including legendary band Guns N’ Roses performing at Metricon Stadium in November, and global superstar Harry Styles who will bring his Love On Tour here in February 2023.

Major Events Gold Coast CEO Jan McCormick:

The Harry Styles tour announcement is a fantastic win for the Gold Coast, and will be his only Queensland performance. Having international live acts of this calibre continues to elevate the city’s reputation as a world-class major events destination and is something to really celebrate. The city is continuing to grow as a must-visit live music destination, and MEGC is excited to continue to work with promoters to secure more international live music events for the Gold Coast.

MEGC also delivers a portfolio of its own award-winning festivals Blues on Broadbeach, Groundwater Country Music Festival, Cooly Rocks On and the new SPRINGTIME festival set to showcase some of our best home grown and local contemporary artists on beach stages in Surfers Paradise.

MEGC Festival Director Mark Duckworth:

Despite the challenges of the past couple of years MEGC was still able to successfully deliver hugely popular music festivals for the city. The reopening of international borders this year came just in time for both Cooly Rocks On and Blues on Broadbeach, allowing us to invite artists from New Zealand, Indonesia, Japan and the USA, and our confidence continues to grow in adding international programming to our festivals.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the coast’s growing calendar of world-class music, sporting, arts, and cultural events amplified the city’s reputation globally putting the Gold Coast firmly on the map as the ultimate major events destination.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate:

Major Events Gold Coast has worked behind the scenes for the past two years to deliver, attract and secure some of the most spectacular and significant international events you'll see anywhere in the world. That dogged persistence has paid off and the local economy will reap the benefits of that today, and well into the future.

And MEGC is just getting started.

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