Big plans for new music festival

LONGTIME local musicians John (aka "Scratch") and Waha Grey, have grand plans to bring big bands to Airlie Beach.

Last week, the brothers overcame their first hurdle in establishing a "Whitsunday Calling" music festival, after securing a venue at "Havengrand" - the land bought by Council for a new sports park.

The land is on Shute Harbour Rd between Airlie Beach and Proserpine.

John Grey, who runs UK-based business 'Live Events and Promotions' (LEAP) approached council seeking approval to host a two-day camping event on September 1 and 2, 2012, incorporating live music based on an 80's rock theme.

Mr Grey said he was delighted with council's decision to support the venture, which would potentially "put this place on the map".

At this stage there are no confirmed artists but Mr Grey said A-list stars and headline acts had been approached.

"I'm (now) talking with Mark Knopfler. David Bowie could be interested - and I'm still waiting on Tom Jones and Rod Stewart."

Mayor Mike Brunker said he had high hopes for the event.

"The Gympie Muster started out the same way so it could be just as big," he said.

Tourism Minister and local MP Jan Jarratt has also pledged her support saying Whitsunday Calling could be "a wonderful opportunity for community spirit to shine".

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