Often referred to as ‘The ones that have been coming for 38 years’
- Arrive at least a week before the festival, spend most of the daylight hours setting up camp, finish in time to call around to all the other Boomers who have been camping next to each other for the last 38 years for a cuppa.
- First day of Festival: rise bright and early and after a brisk walk in the environment, head to the festival precinct and decide if you would like to risk slipping a disc in the 8.30am line dancing session or tickle your funnybone at the Bush Poets Breakfast.
- Wander down past the stalls so the missus can do a bit of boots/hats/belts/knick knack shopping.
- Time for a tipple in the Iron Jack Shack and a catch up with muster mates from other years.
- Find out where Chad is playing.
- Back to camp for that afternoon nap before a big night ahead
- Armed with chairs, blankets and pre-prepared hot water bottle, march back to the festival precinct to secure a prime position on the hill in front of Main stage.
- Wait for James, Kasey, The McClymonts, Felicity, Col (Chase who??) and anyone else you know and love to make an appearance.
- Trek home, via the hot chocolate van (with 2 marshmallows) to be tucked in by 10.30PM.
- Repeat ’til Festival end. Routine makes for happy campers.
And all those conceived in a generation that has Y or Z after it
- Pick a day, probably Saturday, come on out, whenever.
- Bring a swag and/or tent and/or blanket (its gonna be bloody freezing at least one day) and change of clothes (in case you fall over, dribble beer down the front of your shirt or decided to throw any item of clothing at Chase Rice or The McClymonts during the evening.) Find a space, make sure the neighbours are not part of the above mentioned group who might complain about any activity in the neighbourhood after 10pm.
- Make your way to the Granddad Jacks Gin bar for a designer cocktail (or two) social media photo of #bestgincocktailinqueensland
- Make way to RFDS tent to see if any Naked Farmers are hanging around, who won the calendar comp, get some counselling after feeling gin depression set in and make a gold coin donation to tour the Flight Simulator (more fun than Dreamworld’s Tower of Terror). Get selfie with Naked Farmer and Muster hair stencil from Memphis Barber.
- Cruise to Jim Beam Blues bar for Guitar Jam with Micki Free, Andrew Farris, Linc Phelps and Hayseed Dixie– cool by association so don’t mess up it up by dancing like Russell Coight in front of the stage. Keep it chill. Snapchat video of mates who can’t dance
- Eat Street for a classy takeaway – Cuban rice, stuffed potatoes, chowder – saving the kebabs and the chips and gravy for the 2am back to camp walk at shutdown. Social media selfie of awesome Cuban vegan plate.
- Find a spot in the Pit – Andrew Farris (famous before you were born but best buds with Oz rock legend Michael Hutchence), then some real country (James Blundell, Felicity Urquhart, The McClymonts)
- Social media #gympiemusicmuster to see yourselves on the Big Screen by Main stage.
- THEN, what you came for. Nashville hero Chase Rice. One and only appearance in Australia this year. Close enough in the mosh pit to get a great selfie with him in the background but just far away enough that security doesn’t hustle you up the hill.
- Post Chase – head to Crow Bar to expel that pent up energy, let the Viper Creek Band rock your night away and it doesn’t matter that your mates still can’t dance.
- Shutdown – make your way back to camp/home/shelter/warmth in the dark. Texting and giggling.
After Elvis died and before The Spice Girls became a thing
- Friday Feels: take some Friday TOIL or RDO and head out to make camp. With gear packed the day before, tent for precipitation protection, thermals for warmth, scrubbing up gear for making a late impression in the Crow Bar, arrive on site and select prime position (with landmarks so you can remember where to come home to and near someone with a bar bigger than yours.
- The party has been going for a week already, so the vibes are pumping and it’s time to get it on. Your Funky Shirt that is. Thoughtfully co-ordinated with your group of Muster mates, outfitted in the most tasteless Hawaiian, maroon velour, fluro lycra or Vinnie’s special shirt you could find, head down to the Trade Mutt and RFDS tents for a photo opp (for posterity and your social media account) With any luck, there could be a prize in it for you if the shirt is truly hideous.
- While you are there, hit up the Memphis Barber for an old fashioned shave and a haircut. Her specialty is Mullets and a chat. You might need a G&T first.
- By dark, find a spot on the hill for Kasey and those good old boys from Tennessee, Hayseed Dixie. Who doesn’t love an ACCA DACCA cover?
- Later, book in at the Crow bar for some Viper Creek and Red Neck Gentlemen, or if you are needing to pace yourself, lower the temperature in the Jim Beam Blues Bar with some chilled Tim Gaze blues and 8 Ball Aitken.
- If you are not cooked by morning, and you can back up, stay for Saturday and the star of the weekend, Chase Rice. Even if just to watch the groupie frenzy in the mosh pit. Grateful that messy phase of your life is past.
THE ABOVE: with KIDS
• One piece of advice only: KIDS’ COUNTRY, when it opens 10am. For as long as you can handle it. A tired kid is a happy kid. All venues accept supervised children and there is always a big hill in front of main stage to roll down. Again and Again. Hopefully they fall asleep by the time Main stage is cranking to the Thunderstruck riffs or the grandparents have just proved their worth by collection for a sleepover.
• Teens. Take them to Talent Search. Then make them go to the Ukelele/Guitar/Harmonica workshops. They will be inspired to become rich and famous country music stars. Be grateful, it’s a better culture than gangsta rap.