Muster Talent Search


Previous Winner Drew McAlister announced as Ambassador

The Gympie Music Muster’s distinguished Talent Search competition returns for the Muster’s 35th anniversary in 2016 to discover and support emerging music talent across Australia.

With a rich 26 year history catapulting the careers of some our most successful country music artists, the Muster Talent Search has been the launching pad for musical greats including Brooke and Samantha McClymont (The McClymonts), Drew McAlister (McAlister Kemp) and Mark O’Shea (O’Shea).

This year’s competition is a must for all aspiring talent looking for a chance to be recognised and discovered as they are given the opportunity to perform in front of thousands of country music fans on the Main Stage at the iconic Gympie Music Muster to win a tremendous amount of prizes.

Previous winner Drew McAlister has been announced as this year’s Talent Search Ambassador. The prestigious singer songwriter won the coveted Muster Talent Search award in 2003 and has since won 4 Golden Guitar awards and numerous accolades including ARIA and CMC awards as McAlister Kemp. Now a renowned Australian artist, McAlister recounts the personal and career-defining impact that winning the Talent Search has had, saying:


In 2003 I entered the Muster Talent Search. I didn't really know what to expect but with a little luck I was fortunate enough to win on the night. Winning gave me two things, a chance to start my career in country music and with the prize money I bought an engagement ring and proposed to my then girlfriend now wife and mother Justina. 13 years down the road things are working out great, all thanks to the Muster Talent Search!”

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From left: Previous winner and this year’s Talent Search Ambassador - Drew McAlister, The McClymonts

Applicants can join either the Junior Talent or Open Category by digitally submitting their performance online at Selected artists from the Digital Heats will then be invited to perform on stage and give it their all to the Muster crowd and in front of a panel of industry experts. The chosen finalists will have the privilege to perform in the Grand Final on the Gympie Music Muster Main Stage and the winner (in each category) will be crowned on the night.

Entrants into this year’s competition go into the running to win $30,000 worth of prizes including a professionally produced studio recording for an EP, Fender instruments and professional EP distribution services.


In recent years the competition has been an enormous success, opening doors for developing artists to showcase their hidden talent and provide the opportunity to work with some of the best industry professionals. Last year’s winner, Maryborough local Sam Maddison, has since gone on to perform in the Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year competition on Norfolk Island in May of this year and took out the highly prized award for ‘Most Outstanding Original Song’. Phoebe Jay, one of the 2015 junior winners recently went on to release her debut single this year titled 14 Cents at the Gate, dedicated to Australian Dairy Farmers.


This year, entries for the competition open on Monday June 13th and competition eligibility criteria has changed to allow all performers, whether Australian residents or not, to enter without excluding artists who have previously released recorded material.


As in previous years, competition entrants can choose between ‘open’ and ‘junior’ categories and will submit digital entries to compete in the preliminary heats before the main stage semi-final performances on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August 2016. Top three category semi-finalists will then be invited to perform for the glorious title at the Grand Final on Main Stage on Sunday 28 August.



On line applications will be open from June 13 - July 11, 2016.

For more information about the Muster Talent Search please visit


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