For almost 40 years, Queensland’s only camping country music festival, has been making a difference to community by bringing together Australian artists, mates and music in a quiet bush paddock not far from Gympie.
With a focus on music from Country origins, the Muster infrastructure rises from the hinterland landscape for a few weeks every year, to become a small settlement on the banks of the Mary River, lit by music, singing, dancing and a spirit of place.
The first Gympie Music Muster was held in 1982 as a fundraising celebration of the Webb Brothers’ Golden Guitar win and has been one of Gympie’s biggest and most recognised fundraising events since.
While featuring largely country artists, the program also includes Blues and Roots ,country rock and folk musicians , bush poetry, comedians, and the odd unusually, eccentrically talented Aussie performer.
A small dedicated team, assisted by a much larger network of volunteers, and the charities benefiting from the event, brings the 4 day festival to life each August, when more than 20,000 country music fans from around the nation settle into camp and boot scoot together for this Queensland Winter’s long weekend.
The community is the Muster’s most valued resource with more than 15,000 volunteer hours given to the event.
The music festival has raised close to $15 million since its inception with money returning to the local community and various charities over the years.
The success of the event and the atmosphere that surrounds it is due to the festival being nearly exclusively run by a massive volunteer base of community groups including schools, sporting clubs and service clubs.