The Superjesus at the 2019 Airlie Beach Festival of Music. The festival is one of two events in the Whitsundays set to receive a funding boost from the State Government. Photo: Andrew Pattinson / Vampp Photography
The Superjesus at the 2019 Airlie Beach Festival of Music. The festival is one of two events in the Whitsundays set to receive a funding boost from the State Government. Photo: Andrew Pattinson / Vampp Photography

Two Whitsunday festivals to get slice of $480K cash splash

Two major Whitsunday festivals are set to be given a share of $480,000 in funding to support events across the state.

Both the Airlie Beach Festival of Music and the Great Barrier Reef Festival will be granted cash through the State Government’s Queensland Destination Events program.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said both festivals were popular with Whitsunday families and were also a major drawcard for visitors to the region.

“The Airlie Beach Festival of Music attracts thousands of people each year because of its laid-back vibe and the Great Barrier Reef Festival is a fantastic weekend for families,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Both events have strong histories in the region and it’s good to see them back bigger and better this year after COVID.”

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Mr Hinchliffe said events gave an important tourism boost as they encouraged visitors to stay, explore and spend money in the Whitsunday and Mackay region.

More than $480,000 is being invested by the State Government in 23 destination events across nine regions to support Queensland’s COVID-19 economic recovery.

“We know the global COVID-19 pandemic has hit Queensland’s tourism industry hard,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“This round of the Queensland Destination Events Program is another important step in helping local communities to recover and supporting Queensland tourism to rebuild better.”

“With an investment across nine regions in this round, there’s a festival, show or sporting event to entertain, fascinate or challenge Queenslanders and visitors for every month from May to November.”

Members of a previous Great Barrier Reef Festival committee (from left) Lisa Stockow, Kirsten Orenshaw, Fiona Van Blarcom, Margie Murphy, Heather Batrick, Lily Tarver, Ellen Kerr and Brian Duell. Photo: Vampp Photography
Members of a previous Great Barrier Reef Festival committee (from left) Lisa Stockow, Kirsten Orenshaw, Fiona Van Blarcom, Margie Murphy, Heather Batrick, Lily Tarver, Ellen Kerr and Brian Duell. Photo: Vampp Photography

Since 2015, the Queensland Destination Events Program has delivered almost $13 million to support more than 410 events in communities around the state.

“We’re keen to help kickstart new events and help existing festivals to grow to reach their full visitor potential,” Mr Hinchliffe said.


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