The entire town of Winton will become a festival site this April as visitors from across Australia and the world descend on Outback Queensland to celebrate the re-opening of the Waltzing Matilda Centrefrom April 19-22.

With an amazing music festival line-up including Jessica Mauboy, John Williamson, The Living End, Kip Moore (US), Lee Brice (US), Sheppard and many more already announced, today adds 30 new artists including James Blundell and 2018 Tamworth Golden Guitar winners Brad Butcher (best new talent) and Dean Perrett (Best Bush Ballad) plus bush balladeers, poets and storytellers, as historic outback venues like The Winton Club, The Winton Hotel, North Gregory Hotel, Tattersalls Hotel and even the Australian Age of Dinosaurs become part of the extravaganza.

The Saturday is also set to explode with an outback race meeting including five exciting local races, bookmakers and fashions on the field including $10,000 in prizes, with the authentic country experience included in the price of your Way Out West Fest ticket.

Winton’s Way Out West Fest is more than just a music festival,” said Winton Mayor Gavin Baskett. “This event is about celebrating everything that’s great about life in the outback from our songs and poems like Waltzing Matilda, through to our iconic Winton Races, our friendly locals and of course our iconic pubs. If you haven’t yet sat in an outback pub for a beer with a local, Winton’s Way Out West Fest is the best opportunity to tick it off your bucket list.”

Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said the star-studded festival line-up and country race meeting were fantastic draw cards for Australian and overseas travelers wanting a true-blue Outback Queensland experience.

Way Out West Fest will showcase the town of Winton, the iconic Waltzing Matilda Centre and what traveller’s love most about Outback Queensland – its incredible landscapes, friendly country hospitality, unique wildlife and rich history,” Ms Jones said.

“Events play a vital role in promoting our stunning destinations, driving visitation, generating jobs and fostering pride in our local communities, and this event will do just that.”

Way Out West Fest will also serve as the outback launch of James Blundell’s new single, ‘Way Out West’ a reworking of his 1992 hit which became the highest selling Australian country music singleof the 90s, cementing him as country music royalty. The new version features James joining forces with good friends Adam Brand, Tania Kernaghan, Brewn, Bec Lavelle, Ben Ransom and Paul Costa. The song will join with the iconic Waltzing Matilda as the event showcases two of Australia’s musical treasures.

After it’s devastating destruction by fire in 2015, the newly rebuilt $23 million Waltzing Matilda Centrewill be the pride of Western Queensland once more as the festival marks the re-opening of an outback icon. The Centre is a landmark celebrating the resilience of the local community as well as the spirit of what is our unofficial national anthem.

“What Winton has gone through after the fire in redesigning and rebuilding the Waltzing Matilda Centredemonstrates the community thread that is evident in people in country communities,” said James Blundell. “Only in the bush would you find folks with the tenacity to rebuild and say to the whole of Australia that their country pride and identity will not waver despite the adversity. I look forward to not only celebrating the Waltzing Matilda Centre, but also the entire region and everything that’s great about living Way Out West.”

The music will flow right across the weekend including at the North Gregory Hotel, the site of the first public recital of Waltzing Matilda by Banjo Patterson himself, as well as seven other venues across the town including the “pop up” Johnny Ringo’s Outback Pool Saloon at the Winton Bowls Club complete with mechanical bull, surf board, swimming pools (with lifeguards) and heaps more. Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to participate in the Queensland outback’s biggest ever Pub Choir to sing their own rendition of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ as well as songwriting workshops hosted by QMusic for country kids who may well be our next Jessica Mauboy, James Blundell or even Banjo Patterson. The Crack Up Sisters will also be taking over Winton Memorial Park with a stunning display of whip cracking and acrobatics sure to satisfy all ages.

Tickets for Way Out West Fest are selling fast with a final allocation now on sale. With travel agents providing easy flight, ground transport, camping and other travel packages and options, Winton’s Way Out West Fest is the perfect excuse to get out and explore Australia.  

The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support Winton’s Way Out West Fest which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia’s best live events.

Jessica Mauboy
John Williamson
The Living End
Kip Moore (USA)
Lee Brice (USA)
Busby Marou
Russell Morris
The Black Sorrows
Pierce Brothers
John Williamson
James Blundell
Busby Marou
Pierce Brothers
Brad Butcher
The Ayers
Blues Arcadia
Team Utopia
Osaka Punch
Paddy McHugh
Amanda Emblem
Madeline Chaplain
Bruce McCumstie
(Throw The Billy On Bush
Gary Fogarty
Dean Perrett
Jeff Brown
Peter Pratt
Vic Pascoe
DJ Black Amex
John O’Shea
Alan Cameron
(Duncan Monaghan)
Seleen McAlister
Cam Cusack
Ali S Band
Tony Cook
Sax and The Single
Dee Jay Bux
James Anderssen
Tony Q Band
Lindsay Warren
Anthony Quincey
(All The Songs You Loved
Bush Poets

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