Wisely Wine and Food Day headliner announced

Published: 10 Jun 2022

There's no need to “run to paradise” because Queens Park will be as close as you can get on Saturday, July 16.

One of the most iconic pub rock bands in Australian history will hit the stage in front of more than 20,000 people at the Wisely Wine and Food Day.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the Choirboys with their massive rock anthems – Run To Paradise, Boys Will Be Boys and Never Gonna Die – were the perfect headliners to cap off a stellar Wisely Wine and Food Day line-up.

“The Choirboys are renowned for putting on a great live show and it’s not just the music, it’s the atmosphere and the humorous banter they bring,” Mayor Williamson said.

“And we’ve got some other sensational acts this year that will help to build the atmosphere from ‘chilled and funky’ to ‘high energy rock and roll’ as the sun settles into the afternoon,” he said.

“Bands like Tropical State of Mind and Redtie Band will have the crowd well and truly warmed up for when the Choirboys hit the stage.”

Choirboys’ frontman Mark Gable said Wisely Wine and Food Day audiences could expect a mix of old and not-so-old songs.

He said the band had been having a lot of fun live streaming sets during Covid times, but nothing beat a festival crowd.

“Being in front of crowds is how it all started, and nothing beats having an ‘artist’ and an audience being as one and that is what we are hoping for at the Wine and Food Day,” he said.

The Choirboys are no strangers to our region, having previously played at the old Paradise Nights nightclub during their chart-topping days.

“We have been to Mackay many times; I think the best time was when Run To Paradise was top of the charts and we did, possibly, our first show after it was a hit in Mackay,” Gable said.

Gable joked that the recently viral Covid-lockdown-inspired cover “Stuck in Paradise” he created with his partner, country music songstress Melinda Schneider, would likely not make an appearance.

“Stuck In Paradise won’t be in the set list, as it really needs Melinda to make it happen, but who knows,” he said.

MECC and Events acting manager Jemma Carey encouraged diehard Choirboys fans to make sure they reserved the best seats in the park.

“For the first year we are offering The Oasis, a red-hot ticket to a stress-free tent, complete with private bar and amenities, and a great view of the main stage,” Ms Carey said.

“There will even be delicious food delivered straight to your table, so you can forget lining up for food or leaving someone to hold a space on the grass,” she said.

For those looking for some culture before they rock and roll, Ms Carey said there were Wine and Cheese Masterclasses with the team from Plattered Up and Mini Paint and Sip sessions with art operators Bottletops and Brushes.

“No one does gourmet cheese quite like our local cheese heroes at Plattered Up,” she said.

“Ticket holders get to enjoy a 45-minute masterclass with Patrice and Simon and pair full-bodied wines with strong, flavourful cheeses.

“It’s a really nice way to make your day that little bit more memorable.”

Festivals coordinator Sarah Porter said she was really excited by the line-up on the Grassroots Stage this year.

“Grassroots Stage headliners Egoism are an indie pop duo from Sydney’s inner west that are really taking off at the moment,” Ms Porter said.

“And they’ll join a string of folk, indie, soulful and chilled musicians and bands that will appeal to those keen to kick back and relax.

“Wisely Food and Wine Day will have a bit of everything for everyone this year and will certainly be a great day out for the whole family.”

Entry to the Wisely Food and Wine Day is completely free, however, the ticketed areas and classes are selling fast.

To book your spot in The Oasis, at a Plattered Up Wine and Cheese Masterclass or in a Paint and Sip session, head to themecc.com.au/festivals

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