HIGH ENERGY DUO: Hat Fitz & Cara are among Australia's most talented roots music artists.
HIGH ENERGY DUO: Hat Fitz & Cara are among Australia's most talented roots music artists.

Biggest summer music tour in nation comes to Gympie region

AUSTRALIA'S largest dedicated regional music tour, Festival of Small Halls, has announced its 2019 Summer Tour, featuring award-winning English singer-songwriter Blair Dunlop and famed high energy Queensland duo, Hat Fitz and Cara, and Rainbow Beach is on the itinerary.

The tour will rock the Rainbow Beach Community Hall on November 28.

Hat Fitz and Cara play the Bluestown stage at Woodford Folk Festival 2016/17.
Hat Fitz and Cara Tessa Mapstone

With a dedication to getting off the beaten track, the not-for-profit music tour celebrates the time-old tradition of gathering in the local small hall for a special night of live music, storytelling and community connection.

Launching in the rolling hills of northern NSW at Mullum Music Festival on 17 November, the Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour will travel to twenty town halls.

Local music duo Hat Fitz and Cara will perform at The J Noosa on February 8.
Hat Fitz and Cara Contributed

Encompassing the Darling Downs areas and crossing the Fraser, Keppel and Cassowary Coasts, this tour journeys as far as the lush rainforests north of Cairns and back again before wrapping up at Woodford Folk Festival, December 27 - January 1.

Producer Eleanor Rigden said running the tour in partnership with some of Australia's leading music festivals enables them to "bring in the best contemporary and folk artists.”

"We've spoken to communities all over the country, and they want access to wonderful music

without the cost, challenges and inconveniences of packing up the family to get to a show in the city.

"We also know that musicians desperately want to get out and play their music in these really

special, intimate environments.

So really, we're like the connecting piece in the puzzle supporting both groups to get what they want!, Ms Rigden said.

Teaming up for this year's Summer Tour, Blair Dunlop and Hat Fitz and Cara are raring to jump on the bus and get out into the Small Halls of Australia.

"I'm already counting down the days till the tour starts, said UK-based Blair.

"Australia is such a special place to play, it's going to be very fun checking out some new spots.

To be ending the run at Woodford Folk Festival is very exciting, people have been telling me great things for years, so I'm looking forward to experiencing it first-hand,” said Blair.

Tasman McClintock sweeping out the Rainbow beach hall Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Tasman McClintock sweeping out the Rainbow beach hall Renee Pilcher

Local legends Hat Fitz and Cara agree.

"It is communities like these that have supported us throughout our career and we are excited to have the opportunity to reconnect with them in these magnificent Small Halls," said Cara Robinson of Hat Fitz and Cara.

Ms Rigden is looking forward seeing fresh friendships blossom in small communities across the country.

"Blair Dunlop and Hat Fitz and Cara have been chosen not only because of their beautiful musicianship, but because they have the ability to really connect with people through storytelling, the ability to tell a joke, as well as a wonderful warmth and real interest in connecting with the audience.

"We've also decided to really liven up the run this year - those old hall roofs are going to rock!”

The Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour starts November 17, at Mullum Music Festival. Tickets on sale now at www.festivalofsmallhalls.com

Proudly presented by Woodfordia Inc in partnership with Mullum Music Festival and Woodford Folk Festival.

Festival of Small Halls Summer Tour 2019: Mullum to Woodford

Nov-15 - 17 Mullum, NSW Mullum Music Festival

20-Nov Austinville, QLD Mt Nimmel Hall

21-Nov Kerry, QLD Kerry Memorial Hall

22-Nov Jiggi, NSW Jiggi School of the Arts

23-Nov Eureka, NSW Eureka Public Hall

24-Nov Toormina, NSW Toormina Community Centre

27-Nov Freestone, QLD Freestone Memorial Hall

28-Nov Rainbow Beach, QLD Rainbow Beach Community Hall

29-Nov Kalpowar, QLD Kalpowar Hall

30-Nov Yeppoon, QLD Queen Street Community Hall

1-Dec Eungella, QLD Eungella Memorial Hall

4-Dec Koah, QLD Koah Hall

5-Dec Bluewater QLD Bluewater Community Centre

6-Dec Armstrong Beach, QLD Llewellyn Hall

7-Dec Emu Park, QLD Emu Park Community Hall

8-Dec Pialba, QLD Pialba Memorial Hall

11-Dec Cooroy, QLD Cooroy Memorial Hall

12-Dec Haden, QLD Haden Hall

13-Dec Glen Aplin, QLD Glen Aplin Memorial Hall

14-Dec Springbrook, QLD Springbrook Community Hall

15-Dec Mapleton, QLD Mapleton Hall

26 Dec - 1 Jan Woodford, QLD Woodford Folk Festival