April 27, 2015
The South Burnett played host to more than a thousand tourists last week when 500 caravans and RVs packed Boondooma Homestead’s grounds for the annual Spirit Of The Bush Heritage and Bush Balladeers Muster.
Organiser Buddy Thomson said he was delighted with attendance numbers, which were up on last year.
The popular five-day music festival has been held around Anzac Day for the last 15 years and features an average of 50 bush balladeering artists, along with walk-up acts.
Many Muster performers – such as well-known South Burnett balladeer Dean Perrett – are nationally famous.
The historic Homestead also holds an Anzac Day service on April 25th so guests don’t miss out on this important national observance.
This year the Homestead’s Anzac Day commemoration took on a slightly different tone when it was led by a rare World War I foot locker.
The foot locker was bought to the fesrtival by long-time guest Jim Dutton, who normally lives in Mackay but has made an annual pilgrimage to Boondooma for the last 14 years.
Jim and his friend, Boondooma Homestead’s famous Kevin “Brownie” Brown, led the march.
Highland piping for this year’s commemoration was supplied by Alan Eagleson from Mon-Dee Coffee 2 Go, who had a coffee stand on site for the full five days.
“The piper who was arranged for last year’s service didn’t show up and the organisers had to supply the music from a CD,” Alan said.
“I didn’t think that sounded very good, so this year I bought my own bagpipes along to help out.”
The real magnet of the Muster, though, is the country music, the camp oven cooking, the relaxed camaraderie and camping out.
Buddy said a lot of guests booked in for the entire week, though there were plenty of day-trippers and weekend visitors too.
This year’s attendance numbers had put a bit of a strain on the Homestead’s kitchen – which kept running out of food – but new supplies were quickly brought in to feed the ravenous crowd.
“The weather was fabulous all week too, which was a big plus,” he said.
“Things were a little bit windy on Sunday, but all the rest of the week was just perfect.”
The Muster is one of the Homestead’s two major annual fundraisers.
The other is the Scots In The Bush celtic festival, which will be held on August 14-16.