Cooly Rocks On unveils hugely anticipated entertainment lineup

Lovers of music, motors and the lifestyle of yesteryear are preparing for another not-to-be-missed event on the annual calendar as Australia’s largest nostalgia festival announces its much anticipated entertainment lineup.

This year’s Cooly Rocks On, to be held on the Gold Coast from 7-11 June, will feature a host of big international performers, along with Australia’s favourite rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly and swing artists from across the country.

Arguably one of the biggest rockabilly bands in the world, Swedish group The Go Getters, will be one of the headliners of the 2023 program. The trio who formed 35 years ago is sure to keep the toes tappin’ all night as they make their first appearance in Australia in more than a decade.

Japan’s Johnny Pandora has been breaking hearts on the rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly scene since he was 18 years old, performing nearly 200 shows a year. Now the singer, bassist, guitarist and dancer is ready to wow audiences in Coolangatta, as part of this year’s lineup.

New Zealand’s original retro rockers Boom! Boom! Deluxe are set to fill the dancefloor, playing a mix of authentic 1950s and 60s classics laced with clever re-workings of modern songs in the rock ‘n’ roll styles.

“This year’s festival is going to be bigger and better than ever with five international acts invited to perform, as well as dozens of acts from across the country filling the streets with the sound and energy we have become famous for,” said Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festivals and Events Mark Duckworth.

Fan favourites from Melbourne, The Rechords, will perform their unique blend of bluegrass western swing, hillbilly and rock ‘n’ roll.

Adelaide’s hottest seven-piece 50s swing, rhythm and roots group Lucky Seven will set the mood at the Cooly Rocks On Moonlight Swing Dance, as well as channelling the original rock ‘n’ roll genius of the legendary Bill Haley with their outfit The Lucky Comets: The Sounds Of Bill Haley.

Queensland’s own Cherry Divine, dubbed the ‘Princess of Rockabilly’, grew up listening to records on her Grandad’s gramophone. Her love for rockabilly has taken her around the world and she can’t wait to return to Cooly Rocks On.

Headlining in the Elvis Precinct this year is the USA’s Shawn Klush, who’s widely considered the best Elvis Tribute Artist in the world.

For Elvis fans, it doesn’t get much better than this,” said Mark.

Shawn tours extensively around the world performing to sold out shows, but his inaugural Cooly Rocks On appearance will be his first Down Under in five years. The team is so excited to present Shawn at the 2023 festival.”

The critically acclaimed artist was named the first-ever ‘Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist’ by Elvis Presley Enterprises in Memphis and has been described as the “closest thing to The King in concert.”

Cooly Rocks On is also bringing another renowned international Elvis Tribute Artist to the Gold Coast, with an Australian-first performance from Jimmy Holmes (USA), who has taken the industry by storm.

In an unmissable event, Jimmy Holmes and Mark Andrew will present ‘The King Returns to Stage ‘68-’72” in a nod to Elvis’ triumphant return to the live arena after waving goodbye to Hollywood.

For lovers of surf culture and classic rock ’n’ roll car songs, The Australian Beach Boys Show will bring back memories of cruising in coupes and feeling fine in a Chevrolet 409.

Other notable artists performing this year include The Pacific Belles, Issi Dye, Jake & the Cadillacs, Kenny and the Nitro Rockers, Melody Graves and the Hokum Redemption, Peaches & the Alphasonics, Swingabilly Ray and more!

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.

Cooly Rocks On revving up with tickets now on sale

Australia’s largest nostalgia festival, Cooly Rocks On, returns to Coolangatta on the Gold Coast from 7-11 June to celebrate the motors, music and lifestyle of yesteryear and organisers are gearing up for it to be bigger and better than ever.

All ticketed shows at the award-winning festival are on sale, as well as the Cooly Rocks On Moonlight Swing Dance, and for car enthusiasts the highly anticipated Show ‘N’ Shine tickets are now available.

“Record crowds of more than 136,000 people made the annual pilgrimage to Cooly Rocks On last year, to enjoy what we’re famous for – a combination of music, dancing, motors and fashion from the rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and swing eras,” said Major Events Gold Coast Director of Festivals and Events Mark Duckworth.

“This year we’ve also secured a very special show for our Elvis fans with the artist widely-considered the best Elvis Tribute Artist in the world performing on our stage, Shawn Klush, along with a host of other unique performances.”

The five-day festival is free to attend with bespoke ticketed offerings available for those who wish to elevate their Cooly Rocks On experience.

Among the experiences, car owners can secure tickets for one of the country’s biggest showcases of classic cars, the Show ‘N’ Shine, open to vehicles manufactured prior to and including 1979.

The now renowned display will take place on 10-11 June spanning seven zones showcasing more than 900 cars throughout the Coolangatta precinct.

For those eager to start their engines early, the Early Bird Show ‘N’ Shine will be held on Thursday 8 June and Friday 9 June.

Car enthusiasts can also gear up for an unforgettable experience and purchase tickets for the annual car runs across the Gold Coast which will roll out of Coolangatta on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 June.

Dancers can look forward to a favourite sell-out event, the Cooly Rocks On Moonlight Swing Dance to be hosted in the Elvis Marquee on the Coolangatta beachfront on Thursday 8 June.

For Elvis fans, be prepared to be taken through arguably the greatest era of Elvis’ live performances as Jimmy Holmes and Mark Andrew present: The King Returns to Stage ‘68-’72 on Wednesday 7 June.

Tickets are also on sale for all three rounds of the Cooly Rocks On Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist (UETA) Contest. Attracting entrants from Ireland and New Zealand in 2023 this renowned annual contest is sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises with the winner going on to represent Cooly Rocks On in Memphis later this year.


Performing for the first time at Cooly Rocks On, the man dubbed ‘The closest thing to The King in concert’, Shawn Klush will take to the stage on Friday 9 June and is not to be missed.

Festival fans can secure their ticket to take a ride back in time for The Australian Beach Boys Show, paying tribute to the pure genius of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys on Saturday 10 June.

The festival’s exclusive VIP Legends Passes went on sale in December, providing fans with the ultimate Elvis inspired experience including premium seating, VIP drink service, an exclusive performance and meet and greet with Shawn Klush and fellow Elvis Tribute Artist Jimmy Holmes, VIP Legends goodie bags and much more. With over $1,000 in value, pass holders can get the ultimate VIP Elvis experience for just $449. But be quick, limited tickets remain.

Applications are also now open for the Cooly Rocks On Pin-Up Pageant, proudly presented by Celebrity Ink, bringing together the classic and rockabilly styles in one place.

The 2022 Pin-up Pageant attracted entrants from as far afield as the USA and New Zealand and is a highlight of the festival.

“There really is something for everyone at this year’s Cooly Rocks On festival and if last year’s record crowd is anything to go by, we are all looking forward to another not-to-be-missed festival this June,” said Mark Duckworth.

Produced by Major Events Gold Coast, the festival was recently awarded Gold in the Major Festivals and Events category at the Queensland Tourism Awards and is a finalist in the upcoming Australian Tourism Awards held in March.

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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