HEADLINE ACT: Lady Antebellum.
HEADLINE ACT: Lady Antebellum.

CMC country music festival to rock Ipswich from 2015

IPSWICH businesses will share in a $10 million economy boost as the city secures one of the largest international country music festivals in the southern hemisphere.

Now named CMC Rocks QLD, Queensland has nabbed the Country Music Channel festival from the Hunter Valley after seven years in the NSW wine country in a major coup for the state.

The event, scheduled for three days next March, is expected to attract more than 5000 international and interstate visitors to Ipswich.

Seven-time Grammy-winning trio Lady Antebellum - from Nashville, the home of country music in the United States - will headline the 2015 Ipswich festival.

Ipswich City Council Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was thrilled at the prospect of welcoming an international music event to the city.

"CMC Rocks has established itself as a major country music event on the world stage," he said.

"Ipswich is ready to host an event of this size and the location selected at Willowbank Raceway ticks all the boxes."

The Tamworth Country Music Festival attracts more than 50,000 people over 10 days and is widely considered Australia's biggest country music festival.

But Tourism and Major Events Minister Jann Stuckey said Tamworth typically featured Australian artists while CMC Rocks drew more international acts. She said coverage profiling the festival and region would be broadcast across Australia on Foxtel's Country Music Channel.

"The Queensland festival is expected to generate direct and incremental expenditure of a whopping $10 million," she said.

"CMC Rocks QLD will showcase the greater Brisbane region to the important US visitor market as well as to the 62 million American households."

Event organiser Rob Potts said CMC Rocks, now in its eighth year, had become a favourite with country fans, who travelled from all over Australia and overseas to attend the music festival.

"The large site at Willowbank Raceway ... opens up exciting opportunities for us in the way we stage the event, along with greater catering and entertainment options enhancing the festival experience for everyone," he said.

"We are excited to move the festival to south-east Queensland as we look to double the size of the event over the next three years."

THE LOWDOWN

  • WHAT: CMC Rocks QLD music festival
  • HEADLINER: Lady Antebellum
  • WHERE: Willowbank Raceway
  • WHEN: March 13-15, 2015
  • VISITORS: 5000
  • WINDFALL: $10 million


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