It's the ultimate combo - music festival meets road trip.
#We’ll get you out on the road this year to see (and hear) something special at some of Queensland’s most spectacular places.
Whether you’re scoffing down a sausage roll at a country bakery or hoeing into a fresh Yatala pie; crackin’ a tinny at a pub in woop woop or nodding your head in approval as you gaze out across one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, you’ve got to ask yourself – is there anything better than an Aussie road trip? Well, yeah. Maybe. But what if you chucked in some live music along the way? That’d be nice!
It would! So in 2021, we're shaking things up a bit. We’re saying see-ya-later to traffic jams, hoo-roo to long cafe lines on the weekend and offering up a fresh alternative to doom scrolling your way through to 2022. This Winter, the Outback Trail gets Aussies out of the big smoke, and into that great big beautiful backyard we all call the Queensland outback. We're totally reimagining the Aussie road trip, turning the festival format on its head and putting on a bunch of unique events in some damn fine locations. The best bit – you're all invited along for the ride!
Sounds like an alright time, yeah? Heck yeah!
In June and July The Outback Trail will take keen road-trippers through the Western Downs, into the heart of the Australian outback and towards the red desert, and it’s jam packed with weird and wonderful events along the way. From discovering bands at the most regional music festival on earth, to experiencing music under the stars with a glass of bubbles, The Outback Trail will marry the best of Queensland’s southern outback across small towns, big cities and natural wonders with ripper live music.
Shaping up to be a pretty nice time, right? Here’s some bloody beaut highlights: the Trails get going on Friday 25 June to Sunday 27 June, with an evolved version of the iconic Opera at Jimbour for three days of intimate opera and chamber music performances. Think wine, cheese and world class opera taking place within the grounds (and house) of the historic Jimbour House. It’s a bit fancy!
With just enough time to admire the Bunya Mountains, a quick pit stop to grab a photo in front of the World’s Biggest Watermelon slice and a look in at a secret World War II base, it’s on to the Cosmos Centre in Charleville. From Tuesday 29 until Wednesday 30 June the small town of Charleville will come to life as pop icon Kate-Miller Heidke and acclaimed Kalkadunga artist William Barton deliver Music For Stargazing, a concert inspired by astrological arrangements, Aboriginal navigation and traditional stories of Charleville. The bespoke chamber concert – produced exclusively for the Queensland Music Trails – will feature the world-premiere of the new commission by William Barton, with help from Kate Miller Heidke, Veronique Serret, Jess Hitchcock, Keir Nuttall, Sam Pankhurst and widely recognised Dreamtime Opera Diva Delmae Barton.
After a small jaunt west through the red sandy plains of the Mariala National Park, its over to the remote town of Quilpie, for Echoes In the Dust on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 July. Here the magnificent boulders of the Baldy Top lookout provide the backdrop to an immersive musical experience. Musical soundscapes from Topology and giant puppets from Dead Puppet Society will transport visitors to ancient times in this one-of-a-kind performance that fuses together stories, music and other-worldly artistic interpretation in one of the most beautiful natural environments in the world.
Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July welcome a series of outback performances from Karl S. Williams, Emily Wurramara, Hussy Hicks and a line-up of locals in Windorah park, giving travelers time to kick-back and enjoy the afternoon with a bevvie in hand.
After a relaxing Sunday in the outback, the final week of Queensland Music Trails comes to a dramatic conclusion, with Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, Tim Finn, Kate Ceberano, Shannon Noll and countless others taking to the stage over three days at the iconic Big Red Bash. Despite tickets being snapped up months ago, we've got an exclusive family pass to give away to one lucky Queensland Music Trails subscriber.
Queensland Music Trails continue will grow and expand with more regional trails planned to launch incrementally over a five-year period, allowing the Queensland Music Trails brand to grow and become a flagship tourism and music property that operates across the entire state and throughout the whole year.
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Images courtesy of HAC Photography, David Chatfield and Quilpie Shire Council.