For the second year in a row, CMC Rocks QLD has made country music history, delivering an unforgettable 10th Anniversary celebration to a sell-out crowd of more that 15,000 over the weekend of Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March.
What has become the most anticipated country music event of the year, CMC Rocks QLD delivered the ultimate 10th birthday celebrations and then some. Closing out the festival on Sunday evening, and on their first Australian dates in over ten years, global superstars the Dixie Chicks had festivalgoers on their feet from the moment they took the stage. A greatest hits set saw the trio work their way through their most prolific songs, from ‘Goodbye Earl’ through ‘Wide Open Spaces’, ‘Not Ready To Make Nice’ and more, creating a moment of pure magic during ‘Ready To Run’ when confetti cannons exploded from the stage and sound tower; a dazzling spectacle.
Festival first-timers and Grammy Award-winners Little Big Town lived up to the hype, after warming up for CMC audiences with Sydney & Melbourne sideshows earlier in the week. Not only did they set the stage alight, they positively tore it apart, dropping fan favourites into a set heavy with songs from their latest album The Breaker, including the Taylor Swift-penned ‘Better Man’ which topped the US charts for weeks just last month.
Already a CMC Rocks festival favourite, returning US artist Kip Moore tore through his two weekend performances, leaving hundreds of existing and new fans in his wake. Up-and-comer Michael Ray, who wowed festival audiences straight off the back of a No.1 on the US Country Airplay Chart with ‘Think A Little Less’, has firmly cemented his place in the hearts of Australian country music lovers.
Australian music legend Lee Kernaghan celebrated the 25th Anniversary of his iconic breakthrough album The Outback Club, performing a stunning set filled with songs spanning his entire career. Lee surprised audiences on Saturday afternoon, when he jumped on-stage to jam with The Wolfe Brothers during their Main Stage set.
A few more surprises came over the course of the weekend, with one of Morgan Evans’ long-time fans joining the singer on-stage after his moving balled ‘Dance With Me’ to propose to his partner. During a very special Main Stage presentation, loyal festivalgoer Big Jim, who has attended every event since the inaugural CMC Rocks The Snowys in 2008, received a personalized festival street sign from event organisers.
Sweetheart’s Saloon Speed Dating made a return for the second year, hosted by ARIA-winning country comedy singer Buddy Goode and with a cameo appearance from Channel 7’s Larry Emdur.
Announced last week by the QLD Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Kate Jones, it has been confirmed that CMC will remain in Queensland for the next three years.
“Securing major events like CMC Rocks is a major coup for Queensland, delivering a valuable boost to our tourism economy and showcasing the state through global broadcasts”, she said.
Ipswich City Council has similarly inked a deal that will see CMC Rocks QLD stay at its current
home at Willowbank for at least the next five years. Mayor Paul Pisasale said, “CMC Rocks and
the Queensland Government have put their faith in Ipswich and we’ve delivered a product that puts the city and the state on the world stage.
“The announcement is music to my ears – last year’s festival smashed ticket sales records and
injected more than $10 million into the Ipswich economy.”
Promoter Rob Potts added, “We are thrilled to call Willowbank the home of CMC Rocks for another five years.
“CMC Rocks QLD is an unparalleled event that this year delivered record crowds singing along to twenty years of iconic Dixie Chicks hits, as generations of country music fans celebrated ten years of what has become the southern hemisphere’s most significant Country and Roots festival. We couldn’t be more happy and we can’t wait to get started on next year’s event!”
The broad impact of CMC Rocks on Australian music charts is once again reflected this year; festival artists hold seven of the top ten spots on the iTunes Country Albums Chart, and six of the top ten iTunes Country Single Chart positions. On the ARIA Country Albums Chart, festival artists hold six of the top ten positions, along with multiple artist appearances on two compilation albums appearing in the top ten.
For the tenth year running, CMC will televise CMC Rocks festival highlights, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes action.
Tune into all the action on Foxtel’s Country Music Channel on April 12.
The Queensland Government is proud to support CMC Rocks QLD through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar, showcasing Australia’s best live events in Australia’s best destinations.