Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Musos on Passport to Airlie; Careers Launched in Oz's Biggest Battle of the Bands

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Musos on Passport to Airlie; Careers Launched in Oz's Biggest Battle of the Bands

Article excerpt

ONE lucky Mackay act will be set for musical greatness after taking part in Australia's largest 'Battle of the Bands' competition, starting this week.

The Airlie Beach Festival of Music's 'Passport to Airlie' heats are held in 15 locations around Australia, from Darwin to Adelaide and everywhere in between.

The Mackay competition kicks off this Sunday at Hotel Mackay, when the first five of 15 local acts will take to the stage in an effort to impress.

All vying for the judges' attention on Sunday are Hound Dog Swagger, Pip, Niki Vella-Power, The James Gray Band, Erin and Hiro, and Tania.

In heat two on August 12 musicians ALT, Stone Faced Heathens, Ice City and DJ Axe will enter the mix, with Lone Wolves, Lucid Wings, VaMa Band, Parker Avenue and Spitten Image following up in heat three on August 19.

The Mackay winner, decided at the final on August 26, heads to the grand final - a giant battle between winners of all national heats, held at Magnums Hotel during the Airlie Beach Festival of Music weekend of November 9-11.

The ultimate winner secures a spot on the main stage line-up at the 2019 festival, a $1000 performance fee, four nights' accommodation, VIP festival passes, a spot on Balcony TV, and the chance to play their own music in paradise.

Mackay organiser Tash Hardiman said the best thing about the competition was the encouragement it gave artists to share their original music.

"It's changing the music scene here in Mackay - people are more confident about getting their original work out there instead of playing the normal covers," she said.

"And it's obviously working - we've never had this many bands entering before.

"This is the biggest year for us so far and we want as many people as possible to come along, support the live music scene and see the abundance of talent this town has to offer. …

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