Groundwater hits the ground running with state recognition and first lineup of legends

Groundwater Country Music Festival is returning for its seventh year off the back of a prestigious status elevation and with a bumper lineup of country royalty.

Groundwater is Australia’s fastest growing music festival and last week it was announced the event has been elevated to ‘major status’ by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) due to its importance to Queensland’s economy and significant growth in generating visitation to the Gold Coast. Festival Director Mark Duckworth was also recognised over the January long weeked with a Cultural Achievement Award.

This year’s first lineup announcement is sure to set an exciting tone for the festival with reigning King and Queen of Australian Country Music Lee Kernaghan and Beccy Cole first off the mark. The Wolfe Brothers – big winners at the 2019 Golden Guitars – will join the royal pair, alongside the cream of the crop of the Australian country music scene, including Adam Eckersely Band, Fanny Lumsden, Felicity Urquhart, Tori Forsyth, and many more.

We shot a few quick questions to all around musical guru Mark Duckworth about this year’s event.

It feels like Groundwater 2018 was five minutes ago! How was the rest of your year, and did you get a chance to take a break between gigs?

Yeah 2018 was a massive year for Broadbeach with so many events happening,  2019 just kind of rolled into it.

Congratulations on the cultural achievement award. It’s great to see you getting recognised for your mammoth efforts. What do you think are the main keys to your success as a festival director?

The key to success for Groundwater has been our team who are passionate about the event and help make a memorable experience for everyone on and off the stage. If everyone leaves happy the word spreads. As the festival director it then makes it easier to pick up the phone and invite artists to perform. Being a music fan also doesn’t hurt.

Groundwater has more than doubled in attendance since its inception, and many other Australian country festivals are also growing in attendance. To what factors do you attribute this growth?

Country music is becoming more accepted by people and there’s more interest in what’s going on in this genre. With Groundwater we have stayed true to the roots of country music and its fan base as well as adding enough fresh surprises for our tribe to want to return.

What act/s are you most excited about hosting at this year’s Groundwater this year, and why?

As I put the entire line-up together I am excited to see it all and how it works as an entire event. I’d make mention of Tori Forsyth’s return to the event. She’s been going from strength to strength since she was last here and her last album was killer,  so I’m keen to hear those songs pumping on the streets of Broadbeach.

This FREE festival will be held 26-28 July in Broadbeach on the stunning Gold Coast through its bars, restaurants, streets and parks. There will be more than 110 incredible live music performances with over 130 hours of free live entertainment. Click here to view the 2019 Groundwater sizzle reel. See the full first lineup announcement below:

Lee Kernaghan

Beccy Cole

The Wolfe Brothers

Adam Eckersley Band – Fanny Lumsden – Felicity Urquhart – Tori Forsyth – John Schumann and Shane Howard present Songs That Changed Our Country – Mustered Courage – Round Mountain Girls – Gretta Ziller – Andrew Swift – Pete Cullen & The Hurt – 2019 Star Maker Winner Blake O’Connor – Montgomery Church – DJ Colonel’s Surf Parade Hoedown

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