Gender parity a shining hallmark of this year's Muster
GENDER parity is one of the shining hallmarks of this year's Gympie Music Muster bill.
Out of the festival's 100-strong line-up, 46 female-fronted acts are taking to the stage over four days including headliner Jess Mauboy.
"Country music is a really great platform for women to be in a situation to be quite empowering, to tell their story and inspire other women to achieve cool things and give them the confidence to put themselves out there,” Jody Direen told The Gympie Times.
The New Zealand-born songstress plays the Muster for the second time this year, after recently supporting LeAnn Rimes.
"My first Muster performance was in 2015 and I was just starting out my career then. I remember it feeling really big and it still does feel really big,” she said.
While there was no specific female artist target, Muster program director Jeff Chandler said he was keen to promote diversity in all forms.
"We didn't have to look too far for strong female representation at our event,” he said.
"Programming was made easier by the fact there are many very talented female artists across the country, folk and roots genres.”
To that end, Jess Mauboy's headlining set on Saturday night will start with a welcome to country ceremony.
Expect to see local star Caitlyn Shadbolt enjoying Jess's show after her own main stage performance on Saturday afternoon.
"I'm excited to see Jess. She's got her country roots and she's just a great female artist,” Caitlyn said.
"It's great to see her powering on and representing the indigenous side of Australia as well.”
Caitlyn will be joined on stage today by a new backing band, plus a special guest appearance by Reece Mastin.
"Reece and I might have a sneaky song together,” she said, referring to their duet Me Without You from her debut album Songs On My Sleeve.
"The boys who played on my record are going to be on the main stage with me, which is a bit of a special treat. We're just going to play the songs on the album and do what we love to do.”
Caitlyn will release the music video for her new single Bad on Friday.
"We filmed it in Sydney at the Sydney Prop Centre. It's just me in this complete performance clip,” she said.
"I really like shooting music clips. You get to slip into this whole other creative vibe.”
Caitlyn Shadbolt plays the main stage on Friday at 3.15pm and Jody Direen plays the Crowbar Saturday at 5pm. Jess Mauboy plays the main stage at 7.30pm Saturday.