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22 August, 2021

Get your cowboy gear on for a party

By Rob Kidd THIS weekend our Mackay Showgrounds come alive for the QCCS Rockin Country Festival.

 If you’re wondering who’ll be playing at this festival then Graeme Connors, Troy Caser-Daley, Ian Moss, Brad Butcher and Casey Barnes will all be there so I reckon it’ll be a fun place to be! Got me thinking though, the old showgrounds has seen plenty of bands over the years especially in my growing years of the 80’s. 

There were plenty of fun days waiting for school to finish at Milton Street, so you could ride your Malvern Star back to Gregory St, have a tub, get changed and dart down to the gate on Milton St and wait in line so you could get the best spot when the gates opened. 

That’s just what we teenagers did back then, and we saw plenty. Australian Crawl, The Church, Men at Work, Mentals, Midnight Oil, Goanna, Split Enz, Kids in the Kitchen, Mondo Rock, the amazing Dire Straits show in ’85, INXS, Dragon, Jimmy Barnes, and so many more all next to the old greyhound track. 

 Yes kids, they used to race dogs at the Mackay Showgrounds. Pretty cool hey. I know things have changed over the years. Bands stopped playing on a truck on Milton St. They went up-market and jumped inside at Paradise Night and the Blue Moose. 

They were great times too but nothing makes a rock concert better, than having your wannabe girlfriend on your shoulders so she could see, and then raining so hard your sneakers had their own swimming pool of their own. I still think one of the best music shows I’ve ever seen at the showgrounds was the John Farnham Last Time big top tour. 

Not only was it brilliant, I was lucky enough to take my Mum for front row seats, and we got to hangout with John backstage. A night that I think Mum enjoyed so much. Plus I think Mum was taller than John coming to think of it too. Kids in 2021 just have no idea how we lived back then just to enjoy ourselves. 

To everyone heading up to the showgrounds this weekend you will love it. The weather is perfect, the artists are top level and the bloke behind it all Geoff Baguley is a superstar! His vision and dedication to have this just needs to be applauded.

 Have fun everyone! Stay hydrated too!   

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