COMING UP NEXT: Lee Kernaghan was introduced as the next Groundwater Country Music Festival headliner by James Blundell at last year's event.
COMING UP NEXT: Lee Kernaghan was introduced as the next Groundwater Country Music Festival headliner by James Blundell at last year's event.

Groundwater Fest brings Country to the Coast

BROADBEACH'S free country music celebration, Groundwater, is Australia's fastest-growing music festival.

Hosted by Broadbeach Alliance, from Friday, July 26, to Sunday, July 28, this year's headliners include reigning king and queen of Australian Country Music Lee Kernaghan and Beccy Cole, and US Country rockers the Davisson Brothers Band.

But Alliance CEO Jan McCormick, herself an over-55, said she was really looking forward to Tex Perkins' tribute to Johnny Cash, having seen Cash live in concert and loved it.

Best known for fronting The Cruel Sea and Beasts of Bourbon, Tex is doing a "turbo-charged incarnation" of Cash's famous prison performances.

But Jan said it doesn't matter what you see of the festival's 50 artists across 15 stages, throughout the bars, streets and parks of Broadbeach, with more than 110 free live music performances to choose from.

"It's just a wonderful event, and something I think everyone should experience," she said.

"It's very much a family-friendly event, in a very safe, flat and alcohol-free precinct, which makes it perfect for Seniors."

Last year 61,000 people attended the three-day event, up 13 per cent on the previous year, injecting more than $13million into the local economy.

This year's program, the seventh, Jan said, is the festival's biggest yet, and there will be choices to make, with this year's big Golden Guitar winners, Country rockers the Wolfe Brothers, for instance, playing in Surf Parade at the same time as Tex Perkins in Kurrawa Park.

She expects about 6000 people to see Lee Kernaghan close out the festival from 6.15pm on the Surf Parade stage on Sunday.

"It's an incredible vibe on stage and out on the street and I can't wait to be a part of this awesome festival," said Kernaghan.

"With the emerging fan base for country music, its popularity is just going through the roof," Jan said.

Other performers include the Coast's Casey Barnes, as well as Graeme Connors, Fanny Lumsden, Adam Eckersley Band, Drew McAlister and Felicity Urquhart.

Find out more and see the full program at http:// groundwatercmf.com.


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