FESTIVAL ALERT: Airlie Beach Festival of Music

The annual AIRLIE BEACH FESTIVAL OF MUSIC has announced the first instalment of it’s mega 10th anniversary lineup.

FROM Rogue Traders to Mi-Sex, Ben Lee to The Badloves, the 10th anniversary of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music is promising something for everyone this November.

Rogue Traders front woman Natalie Bassingthwaite says it has been “way too long” since her last visit to the tropics, after their last scheduled performance at the festival was cancelled due to COVID in 2021.

“We’ve been talking about it forever, and we’ll be bringing the kids, so lots of family outdoor fun,” she says. “It’s been such a strange time for everyone these past few years, but being able to finally get back on stage with the Rogues will be electric.”

It has been two years since the band last performed together, so Bassingthwaite said they will be “bursting out of [their] seams” to give punters “the best show ever.”

“We’ll play all the hits so get prepared to sing and dance the whole way through,” she said.

Joining Rogue Traders on the first lineup announcement will be Mi-Sex, whose landmark performance at the Sydney Opera House in 1979 was dubbed “the concert of the decade.”

Vocalist Steve Balbi says it is fitting for the band to perform in another iconic Australian location.

“We’ve been on the Airlie Beach line-up for about four years now, but for one reason or another it hasn’t happened yet, so that’s four years of pent-up entertainment ready to be unleashed,” he says.

Balbi predicts people will “really dig” the well-oiled festival machine that is Mi-Sex.

“We’ve had eight Top 40 hits, so there’s a lot of familiarity,” he says. “You might think, ‘Oh, I know ‘Computer Games,’ and I know, ‘But You Don’t Care,’ but honestly, if you’re in our demographic, you’ll know pretty much the whole set – it’s all in your Australian rock’n’roll DNA.”

As with Rogue Traders and Mi-Sex, singer-songwriter Ben Lee was originally booked to play ABFoM in 2021, but COVID border restrictions prevented him from travelling.

Philosophically describing it as, “just one of those things” that all touring musicians dealt with in 2021, Lee is grateful to be joining the 2022 lineup.

“For me, the live element of sharing music is what it’s all about,” he says. “You can survive without it, but life is infinitely more dull – it adds colour to life when you’re able to get to a space with people and share.”

Lee’s hits ‘Catch My Disease’ and ‘We’re All In This Together’ became unofficial anthems for Australia’s pandemic experience, but the musician – who is based back in Los Angeles after relocating back to Sydney during COVID – promises he will be the consummate party host.

“I guess my strong suit is I show up and I’m present in that moment,” he says. “For me the fun of the live concert is it’s really vulnerable – it’s always just about being human – and I try to be a good party host.”

Completing the first line-up announcement for 2022 are 90s legends The Badloves, whose debut album Get On Board spent a massive 69 weeks in the charts, country king Bill Chambers, soul-fire music aficionado Matty Rogers, and festival favourites, The Hillbilly Goats. 

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, says he is proud to kick off the 10th anniversary line-up announcements with such a diverse mix of artists, whose music spanned not just genres but also decades of fandom, from the 1970s to today. 

“The Airlie Beach Festival of Music is renowned for having something for everyone across its three-day line-up and we are determined to make the 10th year exceptional so keep watching this space,” he says. 


Watch Rogue Traders ‘Watching You’ –


The Airlie Beach Festival of Music will be held in Airlie Beach from Friday 4th until Sunday 6th November. Tickets cost $300 for a three-day festival pass, as well as access to the Passport to Airlie finals in the main tent at the Whitsunday Sailing Club on Thursday November 3rd, and the After-Party hosted by Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill on Monday November 7th – both of which will be hosted by The Superjesus’ Sarah McLeod.

Purchase tickets and get more info on ABFoM at the official web site.

Feature pic: Supplied

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