Mackay Festival of Arts breaks all the records

Published: 10 May 2022

The biggest Festival of Arts program ever released dropped today and offers a glimpse into an amazing array of arts, entertainment and gastronomy.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the iconic festival was turning 35 this year and had a record 27 events packed into the program.

“This won’t just be a smorgasbord of entertainment taking over Mackay in July – our region will be completely immersed in festival fever from June 30 to mid-August,” Mayor Williamson said.

“The fan favourites are returning, including Wisely Wine and Food Day, Daly Bay Illuminate and the Friends of the MECC Jazz Brunch,” he said.

“To mix things up this year, Daly Bay Illuminate is moving to Queens Park to provide a more spacious setting for mass displays and installations.

“As for new events, there’s something for everyone – from the Festival Hub at the Bluewater Quay with Ballistic Whitsunday craft beer, roving entertainment and live music; to Just Saying Project’s ‘Bare’, a burlesque-style show in the Wonderland Spiegeltent which talks about taboos and female pleasure.”

Acting manager MECC and Events Jemma Carey said the team had been blown away by how much interest there had been in the Festival Fringe program this year.

“We’ve got 18 amazing fringe events that will appeal to diverse audiences,” Ms Carey said.

“If live music is your passion, then we’ve got everything from electronic to classical,” she said.

“For those 15 years and up, the B Social Music Festival is back and bigger in 2022.

“For those who like their music a little more classical, there’s the Mackay Chamber Music Festival and Mingle at Melba, complete with live opera.

“If jazz is more your thing, then The Bluewater Big Band is back for the Friends of the MECC Jazz Brunch.

“Or, if you are more into Aussie Rock, then don’t miss Goanna when they play all their hits, like Solid Rock and Let the Franklin Flow, at the MECC on July 1.”

Mayor Greg Williamson encouraged residents to put an hour aside after dinner one night this week, pour a beverage and take a deep dive into the program.

“There’s a lot to choose from, so grab your calendar and start marking dates now,” he said. “I’d also recommend getting in and booking some early-bird tickets – we fully expect sell-outs for some events and VIP experiences.”

View the full program and purchase tickets at the Mackay Festival of Arts website.