SUPPORT: Festival coordinator John
SUPPORT: Festival coordinator John "Scratch" Grey has enlisted the support of Whitsunday MP Jan Jarratt and mayor Mike Brunker, to ensure the two-day music festival 'Whitsunday Calling' will go ahead. Council have already begun widening the access road to the festival site, as pictured. Sharon Smallwood / Whitsunday Times

Music festival seeks support

WHITSUNDAY MP Jan Jarratt and mayor Mike Brunker have pledged support for an 80's music festival at Brandy Creek now scheduled for September 29-30. "Whitsunday Calling", a two-day camping event featuring acts which could include Mental as Anything, the Hoodu Gurus and Jimmy Barnes, is the brainchild of event promoter and local musician John "Scratch" Grey.

Mr Grey said the event, which now needs sponsorship, was in the process of being set up as a fundraiser for the local area, with all profits to be returned to the community by way of a community fund.

"We've pretty much got the bands - we've just got to pay for them," Mr Grey said.

Ms Jarratt said organisers were confident that "once they've got the bands the ticket sales will take care of everything else".

"If the community can step up now to make it happen we're all going to benefit," she said.

Ms Jarratt said she already raised the possibility of sponsorship with Proserpine Sugar mill's new owners Sucrogen.

"I think it would be good for them as newcomers to the area to add their support, but obviously that's up to them," she said. Mayor Mike Brunker said Whitsunday Regional Council would provide a venue for the festival at the sports park land known as Havengrand at Brandy Creek. Cr Brunker said Council would also assist with basic infrastructure such as widening Plemenuk Road, which would be the main access point for the site.

"The road's the first thing and we obviously have to do a bit of work on the park itself [but] cash is king for an event like this to get up and running.

"Hopefully at the end of the day this could be a Gympie-style festival that could bring a lot of people to the region [and be a] shot in the arm to the tourism industry," he said.

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