Groundwater is one of Australia’s fastest growing country music festivals, taking place right here at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast from 26 – 28 July.
Now up to its seventh installment, Groundwater seeks to showcase both up and coming and renowned country music talents, both home-grown and from abroad.
In a further fillip for the event and its founder Mark Duckworth (who also curates the annual Blues On Broadbeach festival), it was elevated to ‘major status’ by Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) due to its importance to Queensland’s economy, generating an ever-growing influx of visitors to the Gold Coast.
This year sees highly regarded US country rockers Davisson Brothers Band fly in as one of the headliners, performing alongside Aussie legends such as Lee Kernaghan, Graeme Connors, Beccy Cole, Fanny Lumsden, Felicity Urquhart and up and coming talent such as Tori Forsyth and the Gold Coast’s own Casey Barnes.
Special, one-off performances will include John Schumann and Shane Howard presenting Songs That Changed Our Country and Tex Perkins and the Tennessee Four with Rachel Tidd performing Far From Fulsom, Songs of Johnny Cash.
Another major highlight of this year’s festival will no doubt be Tasmanian country rock royalty The Wolfe Brothers. Having announced their arrival in 2012 by taking out second place on the nationally televised ‘Australia’s Got Talent’, since then the lads have gone from strength to strength, recently cleaning up at the 2019 Golden Guitar awards in Tamworth, where they took out four major awards, including the coveted ‘album of the year’ gong for their 2018 release ‘Country Heart’.
In the lead up to their appearance at this year’s Groundwater Festival, we got a chance to fire off a few questions to them.
Your most recent album, ‘Country Heart’ scooped the pool at this year’s Golden Guitar Awards. Did you feel any pressure to live up to your previous successes at the time the album came out in 2018? Or did you suspect you were onto another winner that would really resonate with audiences, when you were writing and recording the songs?
I think we felt the songs we had written were the most personal and real yet. We really pushed ourselves in the studio with trying new things and getting us out of our comfort zone. We are glad it worked, haha!
You’ll shortly be appearing at this year’s Groundwater Country Music Festival. Having played the festival a few times already, what’s your opinion of how it fits into the national country music landscape?
Personally we love it! Country Music on the Gold Coast – I mean, that’s a great thing. There is a fantastic vibe within the festival and it feels like this is fast becoming one of the staple events on the Australian Country Music Calendar.
Are there any other artists on this year’s bill that you’re particularly looking forward to catching?
There’s a lot of local artists we love and who we can’t wait to catch up with… guys like Lee Kernaghan and Graeme Connors. We’re also excited about seeing The Davisson Brothers – those boys have some real energy!
How long were you playing music together before you were discovered in 2012? And do you recall your very first gig together as a band?
We all meet on the school bus. So we have been playing music together for a long time. We learnt our craft in the pubs of Tassie. Tom was 14 when we played our first pub show!
Are you currently working on any new material?
We are currently writing a new album. We set the bar pretty high with ‘Country Heart’ so we want to make sure we write another good one!
Finally, what’s in store for you guys for the rest of the year?
We are on the Backroad Nation Tour with Lee Kernaghan and we are gonna do some more Wolfe Brothers shows as well, after the success of the Country Heart Tour. We’re also heading to the States and Canada for some song writing. It’s busy, but that’s how we like it!
The FREE Groundwater Country Music Festival will be held between 26-28 July in Broadbeach, through its bars, restaurants, streets and parks. More than 50 acts will perform across 15 stages. Head to groundwatercmf.com for the full line up. Click here to view the 2019 Groundwater sizzle reel.