Cassar-Daley to rock the Raceway
AUSTRALIAN country music star Troy Cassar-Daley has certainly got something to sing about.
The multi-award musician is one of the many Queenslanders bursting with excitement over the arrival of the CMC Music Concert in Ipswich.
The premier event - currently known as CMC Rocks the Hunter - has outgrown its original stomping ground in the Hunter Valley. To accommodate larger festival numbers, it has been relocated to the expandable Willowbank Raceway site.
At an official announcement yesterday, Cassar-Daley said he was thrilled to see the three-day music festival arrive in the Sunshine State.
"I've been a proud Queenslander for a long time," he said. "As a local artist, it's amazing to have something like this brought to our doorstep."
The ARIA-winning musician was one of the first two performers announced to play at the event - now called CMC Rocks QLD - in March next year.
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He will be joined on the bill by seven-time Grammy-winning trio Lady Antebellum from the US as well as a swag of other national and international artists to be announced in October.
Event organiser and Chugg Entertainment CEO Matthew Lazarus-Hall said he considered Queensland to be the "heartland of country music" in Australia.
Mr Lazarus-Hall said he was excited about expanding the festival in Ipswich and working with the local community to make it a success.
He said the music event last year attracted crowds of more than 10,000 people each day. It is expected to double in size over the next three years. "One of the things this festival has done was highlight how broad the genre of country music is in this country and across the world," he said.
"Sometimes people think country music is 'a bit daggy' or 'unpopular' but country music stars like Tim McGraw have sold more albums in Australia than Lady Gaga."
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale - a self-confessed country music fan - said the event would be a huge boost for the local economy.
"We're going to have thousands of people pouring into the city, not only during the festival but in the weeks leading up to it and after," he said. "All our local shops, hotels and restaurants are really going to benefit from hosting this event."
Cr Pisasale said he was trying to arrange discounted ticket prices for Ipswich residents to attend the festival.
Also in attendance at the announcement was Foxtel general manager, music channels and digital Rebecca Batties, Ipswich West MP Sean Choat and Minster for Tourism and Major Events Jann Stuckey.