Craig Warhurst

Hats off to 30th Muster

NOW the dust has settled and hangovers have passed, it's time to take a look back at the 2011 Optus Gympie Music Muster.

There is no question this year's festival presented all the right elements to mark an unforgettable 30th birthday.

The massive celebration came to an end on Sunday night with international country superstars Montgomery Gentry entertaining the crowd with the final show stopping performance on the event's Main Stage.

The enthusiastic crowd welcomed the visiting Americans who took to the stage following sensational performances from Australian icon John Williamson and country livewire Beccy Cole.

Over the course of the six day festivities, the event paid tribute to founding sibling trio, The Webb Brothers, by naming one of the festival's roads Webb Brothers' Road.

The Apex Club of Gympie were also honoured for their contribution and dedication to the festival, with the club's 28 members and their families working alongside the festival's management team to produce the event to such a high standard.

Weather conditions did not affect the entertainment schedule, nor did they impact on the spirit of the 70,000-plus strong patrons joining in on the party.

Two continuous days of rain created muddy baths but the final day cleared with sunshine working to dry up soaked grounds.

While a little wet, the patrons proved that not even rain could dampen their enthusiasm.

With impressive numbers and no major issues, the event's management is thrilled with the overall delivery and positive feedback received from the industry and patrons.

"The Optus Gympie Music Muster is an integral part of the fabric of Australian music,"; Gympie Music Muster Ltd CEO Vickii Cotter said.

"As Australia's largest not for profit charitable music festival, we have the obligation to develop and grow emerging Australian musical talent.

"The Optus Gympie Music Muster is the vehicle to nurture the stars of tomorrow as well as showcase our stars of today.

"While a strong sense of history and heritage remained evident over the six days, there was also a feeling of new beginnings, with the event working to ensure it remains at the forefront of live music to continue to attract not only its loyal patrons but increase its audience who can share the Muster experience with patrons in years to come.

Ms Cotter and her team at Muster Ltd extended their appreciation and thanks to all of those who helped make the Muster's 30th birthday so memorable - "from the talented artists who put on such amazing performances, the local community groups who generously donated their time to help produce the event and our patrons who have supported us over the last 30 years and enabled the event to support our major beneficiaries, communities groups and charities";.

With the 2011 event over, plans are already underway for the 2012 Optus Gympie Music Muster, which will be held in the Amamoor Creek State Forest during the last week of August in 2012.

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