October 21, 2012
Organisers of Nanango’s new Waterhole Rocks festival are so happy with the public’s reaction they’re already planning its second outing next year.
The new event is devoted to all things associated with 1950s-60s rock’n’roll, including music and dancing, clothing, hot rods, vintage caravans and custom cars.
This year’s festival was put together by the Nanango Show Society, the South Burnett Gas Guzzlers, Rods & Customs Club and local entertainer Bobby Ricks, and they all said they were very pleased with the turnout.
More than 72 caravans booked into the showgrounds for the weekend, approximately double the number the now-famous Nanango Country Music Muster drew when it began there a decade ago. The total attendance over the three days was higher than the Muster’s first year, too.
Organisers are taking these numbers as a good sign that there’s a genuine market for the quirky, off-beat event that can be built on as time goes by.
Nanango Show Society president Les Schloss said the Festival’s name had come about because of a desire not to cause any confusion with other festivals that run at the showgrounds.
“Nanango means ‘The Waterhole’,” he said. “So we thought it would be a good name to use because it would clearly separate this event from the Nanango Country Music Muster, which we hold every September, and Boots’n’Bulldust which now runs at the showground on the new October long weekend.”
Entertainment for Waterhole Rocks’ three days was provided by a mix of local performers and “imported acts” from Maryborough and the Gold Coast.
Well-known South Burnett rock’n’roll performer Jeff Hancox shared the stage with local singer Natalie Fenton on Friday and Debbie Robertson from Maryborough on Saturday. He also performed several solo slots over both days.
Tina and Joe from Pobblebonk also performed several sets, while well-known local entertainer Bobby Ricks manned the “morning shift” on Saturday and Sunday and acted as the Festival’s emcee.
Sunshine Coast rockabilly band The Atomic Cruisers also performed several energetic sets over the weekend, while the Festival’s headline act, Catfish & The Dee-Jays – widely regarded as the Gold Coast’s premier rock’n’roll band – took centre stage on Saturday night.
Patrons came from all parts of the South Burnett, but many others travelled up from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast and Murwillumbah – either for a day or for the entire weekend.
In addition to three days of almost non-stop musical entertainment, there were market stalls offering everything from rock’n’roll clothing to bric-a-brac and memorabilia; a small but high-quality display of hot rods and meticulously restored custom cars and caravans; and even dance lessons available in one of the showground’s main pavilions.
The showground’s canteen and bar workers were kept busy serving snacks, meals and drinks from breakfast through to late evening, while out on the main oval motoring enthusiasts put on a some very entertaining driving games on Saturday afternoon that aren’t often seen outside the confines of car club shows.