Gold Coast local Casey Barnes takes out the P&O People’s Choice Award for the second time

Over 135 live shows from close to 60 artists lit up Broadbeach as Groundwater Country Music Festival (CMF) celebrated ten years of country music on the Gold Coast. The award-winning festival saw tens of thousands of music fans coming together to watch their favourite artists and share a love of country music. One performance, by one standout artist was voted by fans as best in show!

 On the 2023 lineup were some of the Australia’s best and most loved country acts plus some incredible international guests but it was local sensation Casey Barnes, who was announced as the winner of the 2023 P&O People’s Choice Award. Ironically, Casey got his first big break playing at Groundwater CMF (formerly Broadbeach Country Music Festival) in 2014.

This is the second time Casey Barnes has won the hearts of fans at Groundwater CMF having been the recipient of the inaugural P&O People’s Choice Award in 2019.

His performance, personality and passion ignited the Surf Parade Stage last Friday night captivating the crowd of thousands, that included his own family.

“I am absolutely blown away to take out this year’s P&O People’s Choice Award at Groundwater CMF!” said Casey Barnes. “We were only saying yesterday that Friday night’s show easily will go down as one of my absolute favourites of my career to date… it was such a special night. There’s nothing better than a hometown crowd and it was even more special to have my entire family there too. A huge thank you to all the fans who voted and have supported this amazing festival over the last 10 years and a massive congrats to Mark Duckworth and the entire team on another incredible event!

Groundwater CMF, along with the festival’s Support Partner P&O Cruises, invited festival goers to show their love and appreciation by voting for their favourite artist across the three-day festival. With an epic lineup including Lee Kernaghan, Amber Lawrence, Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole, The Wolfe Brothers, USA sensation Jackson Dean and of course Gold Coast local Casey Barnes it was always going to be a tight race to the finish line.

“The P&O People’s Choice Award has become a popular part of the Groundwater CMF experience, with thousands of entries coming in throughout the festival,” said Mark Duckworth, Festival Director. Casey has been a festival favourite for some time, so it doesn’t surprise me that he has taken out this fan-nominated award for the second time. Casey’s headline show this year was a lot of fun, drawing huge crowds and the band were on fire!”

2023 has been a continuation of wins for Casey Barnes, having picked up Golden Guitar Award wins for Album of the Year and Top Selling Album of the Year for his latest album, Light It Up along with the APRA Award for Most Performed Country Work and the 2022 ARIA Award for Best Country Album. Now with a second P&O People’s Choice Award under his belt there seems to be no stopping this local sensation who is now also making major inroads in the US.

Casey is not the only winner, one very lucky voter has won a holiday for two onboard P&O Cruises’ Country Music Cruise, departing from Brisbane on 30 November 2024.

“We are delighted to have once again joined forces with Groundwater Country Music Festival to celebrate Australia’s remarkable country music talent,” said Ryan Taibel, Vice President Sales & Partnerships of P&O Cruises Australia. “While all performances throughout the festival were incredible, Casey Barnes sung just the right tune, winning fans’ hearts, and votes. From the entire P&O Cruises team, thank you for all who voted and congratulations Casey on receiving this year’s People’s Choice Award.”  

Groundwater CMF returns to the Gold Coast from 18-20 October 2024 ready to bring music lovers yet another huge three days of the best of Australian country music and no doubt some more incredible international acts.

Groundwater CMF shares it success with its 2023 Sponsor Family – City of Gold Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland, P&O Cruises, Gold Coast Airport, Clean Vibes, EVENTelec, KIX Country, 102.9 Hot Tomato, the Yugambeh Region Aboriginal Corporation Alliance (YRACA) and our Charity Partner Drought Angels.

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

Groundwater Country Music Festival stamps a decade of success

With 1300 songs, 135 live shows and close to 60 homegrown and international artists across 15 stages, Groundwater Country Music Festival 2023 was a party to remember.

Tens of thousands of music fans flocked to the Gold Coast to help with the ten-year celebrations. The crowds and atmosphere over the past three days reflecting Australia’s growing love affair with country music. It’s not surprising considering Australia has one of the biggest fan bases in the world.

Australian country music royalty Lee Kernaghan, Amber Lawrence, Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole, The Wolfe Brothers and Gold Coast local Casey Barnes were among a stacked lineup that also featured the next wave of Australian Country artists.

“Ten years ago, we went out on a limb and put on a country music festival on the Gold Coast. Since then, country music has exploded into one of the most popular music genres in Australia and it is exciting to see our festival heaving with new and loyal fans.” – Mark Duckworth, Festival Director.

From Paul Thorn in 2013 to US sensation Jackson Dean in 2023, having an international flavour to the festival’s program over the past ten years has helped cement Groundwater CMF within the Australian country music scene.

“I don’t think you can turn down an opportunity to go play in Australia. It’s awesome that as far south as south goes, English speaking, there’s a crowd that knows some words to my songs. It’s a dream come true to play on the beautiful Gold Coast at Groundwater Country Music Festival.” – Jackson Dean, artist.

USA Country Music legends Asleep at the Wheel and Canada’s Dungarees also bolstered the international program with acclaimed singer-songwriters Melissa Carper and Summer Dean.

Since the festival’s inception, it has welcomed close to 400 country acts and has been a springboard for emerging artists.

“I have watched this festival grow over the five years I have been there and there’s no doubt Groundwater CMF is one of the best country music festivals in Australia. It’s a real honour to be on this lineup because there are such amazing Australian artists like Lee Kernaghan, The Wolfe Brothers, Casey Barnes and incredible international artists, like Jackson Dean, so to have that high calibre of artists on the Gold Coast playing at a free country music festival is amazing.” – Chloe Styler, artist.

Groundwater CMF first timer Sara Berki had to ‘pinch’ herself during the KIX LIVE – Songwriters segment. Perched on stage in between Jackson Dean and Amber Lawrence while watching the performances of idol Adam Harvey it was a moment she’ll never forget.

“I literally cannot believe I am already in the company of my idols. Groundwater is making my dreams a reality.” – Sara Berki, artist

It wasn’t just music lovers that benefited, local businesses were also heaving. As the popularity of the country music genre and the love for Groundwater CMF continues to surge, it will be exciting to see what evolves in the next ten years.

Groundwater CMF wraps after another successful year with thanks to our Sponsor Family – City of Gold Coast, Tourism and Events Queensland, P&O Cruises, Gold Coast Airport, Clean Vibes, EVENTelec, KIX Country, 102.9 Hot Tomato, the Yugambeh Region Aboriginal Corporation Alliance (YRACA) and our charity partner Drought Angels.

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

Groundwater Country Music Festival announces program for 10th anniversary

Get ready for the biggest Groundwater Country Music Festival (CMF) yet celebrating 10 years of country music on the Gold Coast.

From 20-22 October, music fans will gather at one of the country’s most popular beachside destinations to enjoy an epic lineup featuring more than 50 artists across 15 stages and venues.

With over 20 additional artists joining the already stacked lineup, as well as three new venues, don’t miss this opportunity to experience this star-studded celebration of the best in country music.

“The Gold Coast has been a proud host of this award-winning country music festival for the past decade and every year it delivers an exceptional line up of talent and a unique experience,” said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.

“Make room for tens of thousands of country music fans dusting off their Akubras and hitting Broadbeach to dance the day – and nights – away. The best news is it’s free so see you there as we come together to celebrate everything that’s great about the Goldie.”

The full program can be accessed via the official Groundwater CMF app, or via the website.

The festival kicks off on Friday with headliner Casey Barnes returning to Groundwater CMF. Following a knockout year in 2022 where he won the ARIA Award for Best Country Album, Casey kicked off 2023 by winning two Golden Guitars for his album ‘Light it Up’. Earlier this month he was also nominated for a prestigious Country Music International Award.

Also taking the stage on Friday, the not-to-be-missed debut of Rhinestoned, the new country trio formed by multi-award-winning Australian country music legend Kirsty Lee Akers.

Saturday will be packed with international stars who are sure to transport audiences right to the heart of the American south. On The Surf Parade Stage, rising US star 22-year-old Jackson Dean, who has been making waves in the international country scene, will undoubtedly have country lovers mesmerised by his soulful voice and gritty songs. Playing at The Kurrawa Big Top, the 10-time Grammy Award-winning US supergroup Asleep at the Wheel will be making their long-awaited Australian debut after 50 years of touring the world. The legendary band features stalwart member and founder Ray Benson and original member and longtime Australian resident Lucky Oceans plus current stars of the Americana genre, Joshua Hedley and Brennen Leigh.

Saturday will also see Tassie legends The Wolfe Brothers take to the stage. The band’s electrifying performances have earned them six Golden Guitar awards and the coveted P&O Cruises People’s Choice Awards at Groundwater CMF 2021. Groundwater CMF also welcomes Australian country music legends Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole, who will be performing their hugely popular Great Country Songbook show.

A fresh highlight of the program this year is the introduction of the KIX Live at Groundwater ‘Songwriters’ taking place at The Kurrawa Big Top on Saturday, featuring prominent artists from the lineup. With more details to come, country music aficionados will want to check out this exciting new offering to the 2023 experience.

Sunday provides a spectacular finale, as we welcome the King and Queen of Country Lee Kernaghan and Amber Lawrence to The Surf Parade stage. Favourites at Groundwater CMF, both artists boast incredible decade-spanning careers, and their shows will perfectly round out the three fun-filled days of great music and celebration.

There’s plenty more than music on offer with the return of Groundwater CMF’s Country Fair and markets held across the three days. The whole family can find something they’ll love.

Festival goers can try their luck at the Cornhole Arena or take a ride on The Big Slide (parents welcome too!) and help support Aussie farmers and their communities by donating to Drought Angels.

Groundwater CMF is proud to welcome back Drought Angels as the festival’s Official Charity Partner in 2023. Festival fans can show their support by making a donation when they ride, at the festival merchandise point of sale, or on the dedicated Groundwater CMF and Drought Angels webpage.

There is no reason to miss any of the great music or entertainment on offer in 2023 with the official festival app available to download and plan your Groundwater CMF experience. Attendees can easily find all the information they need about the artists, stages, venues, live updates and more.

With 10 years of country music to celebrate, Groundwater CMF is set to be one heck of a party. Music lovers will want to make sure they’re free for the three-day spectacular of country music on the Gold Coast. With an unbeatable location and an unmissable lineup, Groundwater CMF continues to prove why it’s one of the Australia’s most popular country music festivals.

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

Groundwater Country Music Festival announces explosive second lineup

Just when you thought Groundwater Country Music Festival’s (CMF) 10th anniversary lineup couldn’t get any better, the award-winning Gold Coast festival has added even more big names to the bill.

The three-day free festival returns to Broadbeach from 20-22 October welcoming some of Australia’s finest country music acts plus some huge international guests.

After announcing a stacked first lineup including the undisputed ‘King of Country’ Lee Kernaghan, Maryland USA’s rising star Jackson Dean, Casey Barnes and Amber Lawrence, the second announcement heralds even more great talent including The Wolfe Brothers, Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole, Caitlyn Shadbolt, Tori Forsyth, Melissa Carper and many more.

“We are determined to put on a party that our Groundwater CMF fans won’t ever forget as we celebrate 10 years of country music on the Gold Coast,” said Festival Director Mark Duckworth.

“Not only will we be bringing back some of our festival favourites from over the years but also seeing some new faces on our Broadbeach stages. This lineup represents the best of the best in Australian country music, plus some incredible overseas acts you won’t want to miss.”

One of the highlights of the second lineup announcement is The Wolfe Brothers, the multi award-winning country rock duo from Tasmania. The Wolfe Brothers have been making waves in the Australian music scene for the past decade.

“Groundwater CMF is always one of the highlights of our touring year,” said Tom Wolfe. “The crowd, the location and the vibe never disappoint. We can’t wait to catch up with everyone at the legendary Groundwater Country Music Festival. See you there!”

Another exciting addition to the lineup is the dynamic duo of Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole, who will be performing songs from their latest album ‘The Great Country Songbook Volume III’. Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole are both Australian country music royalty, with multiple Golden Guitar awards, chart-topping albums and loyal fan bases between them. Having both wowed audiences with solo performances at Groundwater CMF over the years, Adam Harvey & Beccy Cole will be performing together this October.

Country music lovers won’t want to miss these three exciting US artists who are coming to Australia for the first time. Melissa Carper is a singer and stand-up bass player who sounds like she came straight from a vintage record. The Pink Stones hail from Athens, Georgia, pioneering the sounds of cosmic country. Last but never least, the charming and talented Summer Dean is a former school teacher from Texas who turned into a honky-tonk troubadour.

The 2023 line up has another surprise in store for all country music lovers – a debut performance and fresh new collaboration from one of Australian country music’s most unique and recognisable voices Kirsty Lee Akers.  Kirsty Lee is joined by her music-loving husband Jesse Anderson and showstopping lead guitarist Dan Ebbles and together they have formed Rhinestoned.
Don’t miss this opportunity to experience some of Australia’s best country music and internationals, in one of the most beautiful and vibrant beachside destinations in Australia. Mark your calendars for 20-22 October 2023!
Groundwater CMF is supported by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland and is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

Groundwater CMF celebrates ten years of country music on the Gold Coast

Celebrating unmatched artistry, unique beachside stages and a commitment to the heart and soul of country music, Groundwater Country Music Festival (CMF) is thrilled to announce yet another world-class lineup for its 10th anniversary this October.

Since its inception a decade ago, the Gold Coast’s Groundwater CMF has become a beloved annual pilgrimage for country music fans from all over Australia and the globe.

With three days of free live music by the beach featuring the country’s best country music stars, it’s no surprise the festival has earned a loyal following of fans and artists alike over its 10-year run.

Announcing 20 artists in the first lineup, 20-22 October will see the Gold Coast once again welcome some of the best Australian talent country music has to offer and a host of international guests including the return of some familiar favourites!

Taking place only steps from the golden beaches of Broadbeach, festivalgoers can experience the magic of the Gold Coast backdrop all while enjoying unbeatable performances from superstar acts such as Lee Kernaghan, Jackson Dean (USA), Casey Barnes, Amber Lawrence, Asleep at the Wheel (USA) and many more.

This year is going to be a really special party at Groundwater CMF with a decade of festivals under our belts and we are lucky to have many friends of the festival back to join us in the celebration, including the legendary Lee Kernaghan, Amber Lawrence who appeared in our inaugural lineup and of course our own local star Casey Barnes,” said Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festival and Events Mark Duckworth.

With a new album and a national tour to boot, headlining the festival this year will be the legendary Lee Kernaghan – who needs absolutely no introduction to country music fans.

Groundwater CMF is also excited to welcome Maryland USA’s rising star Jackson Dean, who has had an astounding breakthrough year in 2023.

Australia’s reigning queen of country Amber Lawrence will be returning to the Broadbeach stage this year as will Gold Coast local and music mega-star Casey Barnes.

“I’m so excited to be coming back to the Groundwater festival. I remember being lucky enough to play the very first festival in 2013 and many times since.” – said Amber Lawrence.

“I know I’m not meant to have favourites but when it comes to Groundwater it’s definitely at the top of the list and I’m so honoured to be part of yet another amazing lineup to celebrate the 10th anniversary. This was one of the first festivals to give me a start back in the day and I’ll never forget that.” said Casey Barnes.

With many more artists still to be announced, Groundwater CMF is shaping up to be one incredible party.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe congratulated organisers on the 10th year of the Groundwater Country Music Festival.

“This award-winning music festival has become an icon in its own right as one of the Gold Coast’s must do, bucket list visitor experiences,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Last year more than 20,000 music fans experienced the Groundwater Country Music Festival, generating more than $9.4 million for the Gold Coast visitor economy. The unbeatable tourism combination of beach and country is why the Palaszczuk Government continues to back Groundwater as a major feature of our It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar.”

 

Full program announced for the Gold Coast’s annual country music party

From 28-30 October, the Gold Coast will host its renowned and award-winning annual country music party – Groundwater Country Music Festival (GCMF).  

The full three-day live music program for 2022 is now live along with the official festival app.

The 2022 Groundwater CMF has added more great country music acts to the already stacked lineup which now features close to 50 artists for the FREE star-studded celebration of the best in country music.

Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festivals and Events Mark Duckworth said the Groundwater CMF team were looking forward to bringing another packed lineup of country music talent to the stages in Broadbeach.

Mark Duckworth, Festival Director:

It’s hard to believe we are just a month out from kicking off Groundwater CMF 2022 and I think the program this year is one of the most varied we have ever had. We can’t wait to welcome home some of our favourite Aussie acts this year, showcase a collection of international talent, and introduce fans to some new up and coming artists.

The beloved ‘big top’ is making its return to Kurrawa Park for Groundwater CMF 2022, housing one of the festival’s six stages.

The festival program will kick off with Groundwater’s KIX-Start competition winner who will entertain festival fans on Surf Parade Stage. Later that night New Zealand-born hit maker and the current Most Streamed Female Country Artist in Australasia, Kaylee Bell takes to the same stage. Going back-to-back with Kaylee is the 2021 Male Artist of the Year as named by Country Music Awards Australia, Travis Collins. Both launched their successful careers after winning the prestigious Star Maker crown, and in keeping with Groundwater CMF’s commitment to nurturing emerging talent, reigning Star Maker champion Max Jackson gets her opportunity to do the same the following afternoon.

The program certainly doesn’t slow down on Saturday, with ARIA award winner and eight-time Golden Guitar recipient Fanny Lumsden joining a stellar evening roster including the likes of Jayne Denham, Tami Neilson (CAN), Kristy Cox, Andy Golledge Band and more. Nashville residing Aussie trio Dozzi, will be sure to keep the party going with a performance well into the night.

Fellow Nashville-based country-pop duo Seaforth, who are returning to home shores for their only Queensland show, are performing the closing set on the Surf Parade Stage on Sunday. The pair are set to bring their uniquely magnetic presence to the Groundwater CMG stage as the sun sets on the magical Gold Coast. Determined to keep the country party going, Sunday’s program will also feature some of the industry’s best including Canadian artist Dan Davidson, Kirsty Lee Akers, Hayley Jensen and The Viper Creek Band among dozens more on the bill. Former INXS composer and prolific country and rock artist Andrew Farriss is set to hit the Kurrawa Big Top for a primetime afternoon set.

There’s plenty more than great music on offer at Groundwater CMF with family-friendly entertainment at the Country Fair and Art & Craft Markets held across the three days. The markets will provide local artists and businesses an opportunity to showcase their work to thousands of festival goers who have travelled from near and far. Festival favourite, Cornhole will also be back for punters to try their luck.

With so much great music and entertainment to enjoy, it is just as well the official Groundwater CMF festival app is available to help festival goers make the most of the long weekend!

Get ready to enjoy some unforgettable country music while kicking back in one of the best beachside destinations in the country!

Groundwater Country Music Festival is supported by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland and is a feature on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

New partnership to lift the Gold Coast festival experience to new heights

Major Events Gold Coast and Gold Coast Airport have joined forces to deliver an enhanced experience for festivalgoers touching down at the city’s southern end, on their way to some of the Gold Coast’s most popular festivals. 

As part of the two-year partnership with one of Australia sixth busiest airport, MEGC will provide in-terminal pop-up performances and other entertainment showcasing its festivals including the award-winning Blues on Broadbeach, Cooly Rocks On, and the recently delivered SPRINGTIME music festival held in September on the Surfers Paradise beachfront.

MEGC CEO Jan McCormick said a partnership with Gold Coast Airport was a natural fit for Major Events Gold Coast.

Jan McCormick, CEO Major Events Gold Coast:

Our airport is the gateway to the Gold Coast, and our festivals for so many of our fans, so it makes sense to work together to ensure their festival experience starts the minute they land.

Visitors flying in for MEGC’s festivals will have the opportunity to enjoy a taste of what’s to come as soon as they disembark, and we’re also hoping to capture new audiences who may not have experienced one of our festivals before.

Queensland Airports Limited CEO Amelia Evans said the expanded partnership with MEGC came on the eve of the Gold Coast Airport terminal expansion that opened for flights and passengers in early September.

Amelia Evans, Queensland Airports Limited CEO:

The events and aviation sectors have both ramped back up in response to the demand for travel and entertainment. We have a fantastic new airport terminal where we will be welcoming passengers and MEGC has expanded the festival offering, to bring more visitors to the region. It is great to be partnering with MEGC on these popular festivals from Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta.

In September the Gold Coast Airport’s $260 million  terminal expansion opened for domestic passengers and in October it will open for international services.

The Gold Coast Airport returned to pre-COVID-19 passenger numbers in April and expects to welcome about 6.5 million passengers this financial year. The expansion will allow the airport to service new domestic and international routes, making it easier to travel to and from the Gold Coast.

Jan McCormick, CEO Major Events Gold Coast:

The Gold Coast has built a strong reputation as a major events destination and it’s crucial that as well as offering great world-class venues and precincts, we also have state-of-the-art facilities like the new terminal to accommodate the visitors who are flying in to experience everything we have to offer.

Major Events Gold Coast is looking forward to working with Gold Coast Airport at this exciting time in our city’s growth. 

Groundwater Country Music Festival adds more artists to an already stellar lineup

Groundwater Country Music Festival (GCMF) has added more huge international and national names to an already impressive lineup for 2022. 

With its second artist announcement release, Groundwater CMF is gearing up for a long weekend escape (28-30 October) of mega proportions for country music fans on the Gold Coast.

Boasting an incredible lineup of beloved international and national country music artists, 2022 is shaping up as a not-to-miss festival. 

Now based in Nashville, sensational country-pop duo Seaforth returns to native soil for Groundwater CMF in their first show back home and their only Queensland performance.

Joining Seaforth on their voyage from the US will be the chart-topping Aussies Kristy Cox and Dozzi.

Beyond these wonderful homecomings, be prepared to be staggered by the exceptional talent now confirmed to complete the already impressive lineup. Big names like Andrew Farriss, and New Zealand favourite Tami Neilson who is back for her only Australian performance this year, in addition to Andrew Swift, Jayne Denham, and The Viper Creek Band will be augmenting an already amazing bill! See the full lineup here.

Groundwater CMF prides itself in its unwavering ethos to support and nurture emerging talent and is proud to be featuring 2022 Star Maker winner Max Jackson in the lineup.

Max will be joining an incredible alumni of previous Star Maker winners: Travis Collins, Kirsty Lee Akers, and Kaylee Bell. Plus of course, last year’s inaugural KIX start winner Bella Mackenzie.

There really is just so much to love about Groundwater CMF and the opportunities it provides emerging talent throughout Australia.

Festival Director Mark Duckworth said the Groundwater team were stoked to be able to add some extraordinary international talent to the 2022 festival program and welcome home some of our own homegrown stars as well.

Mark Duckworth, Festival Director:

I can’t wait to kick back and enjoy some incredible live music and to share it all with our loyal festival fans on the beautiful Gold Coast. This is going to one of our best country music parties yet!

Seaforth, Country-pop duo:

Our Australian tour has been a long time coming so we can’t wait to get back home and kick off our run of shows at Groundwater CMF. It’s our only show in QLD so we’d love to see ya!

The new additions to the lineup will join already announced Groundwater CMF 2022 artists including country icons Fanny Lumsden, Travis Collins and Catherine Britt. 

With such a huge program of country music legends, and up and coming stars, country music lovers are encouraged to book their Gold Coast accommodation soon so they don’t miss this out on this hugely popular free festival. Why not make a long weekend of it and enjoy everything this holiday mecca has to offer.

Groundwater Country Music Festival 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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