Gympie's most eligible farmer gets naked - not a drill
GYMPIE Music Muster is stripping away the stigma around rural mental health this August in support of 2019 charity partner, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Queensland.
With on site and online help from social media activists Ben Brooksby (The Naked Farmer), Mick Gould (Married at First Sight) and Nick 'The Honey Badger' Cummins, the iconic Aussie event is leading #getnaked4Muster and 'Funky Shirt Friday' initiatives to raise awareness and funds for delivery of RFDS state-based mental health programs.
Muster Chairman Greg Cavanagh said the choice of this year's charity partner was driven by the need for greater mental health resourcing in rural communities.
"Those living in rural areas are just as likely to face mental health challenges as city dwellers, but 1 in 5 times more likely to commit suicide due to lack of access to support services," Mr Cavanagh said.
"Every loss of life or suicide attempt has a ripple effect on family, friends, workplaces, schools and communities and the statistics in Queensland are far too high.
"This year's charity partnership is harnessing the collective power of community to drive change; opening up a dialogue and making it easier for people to connect with what's happening in each other's lives. At Muster, there are no strangers, only friends you haven't met yet."
Muster is encouraging festival-goers to support the work of the RFDS by either getting naked, dressing up or meeting their neighbour in and around the Amamoor State Forest festival site this year.
Gympie lad Mick Gould has polished up his boots and his birthday suit to lead the #getnaked4Muster photo competition - offering those with the guts to get naked the chance to become Mr /Ms August in the 2020 Naked Farmer Charity Calendar, along with a swag of other prizes.
The not so brave can shirt up for 'Funky Friday' [Muster Friday, August 23], wearing their fave op-shop bargain or lairy number gifted by a relative with a sense of humour. The team from social enterprise TradeMutt will be on hand to provide funky work shirt tips, and start conversations from their base at this year's RFDS stall.
In addition, the Nescafe crew will create on site café spaces to give Muster-goers the chance to sit, chat and find out more about their neighbours.
"The RFDS is thrilled to be chosen as the Gympie Muster's charity beneficiary in 2019, a year that has seen the resilience of those across rural and remote Queensland truly tested with the devastating floods across north and north west and the prolonged effects of drought in other regions of our vast State impacting both livelihoods and individuals' sense of wellbeing", said RFDS Queensland Section CEO, Meredith Staib.
"While much is made of our life-saving aeromedical services, our ability to provide counselling support and look after the emotional needs of these pastoral communities is of equal importance, so we thank Muster organiser's for shining a light on this important issue".
The Queensland RFDS team will be at the festival offering aircraft simulator tours and raffling off a custom-made and signed Keith Urban guitar and one-of-a-kind Muster t-shirt signed by 2019 festival artists.
Raising in excess of $15 million for Australian charities since its inception 38 years ago, Gympie Music Muster is a not-for-profit event run by the community, for the community.
Upholding Muster's tradition of true, grassroots country music coupled with an exciting element of discovery, the 2019 program features more than 80 acts, from Nashville sensation Chase Rice and 'rockgrass' phenomenon Hayseed Dixie to festival favourites Kasey Chambers, The McClymonts and James Blundell to R'n'B legend Renee Geyer, Tex Perkins and more.
An unmissable and iconic event, one ticket gives festival goers free camping and multi-venue access to all performances to experience everything one of Australia's favourite country music celebrations has to offer.
The Gympie Music Muster runs from Thursday August 22 to Sunday August 25, 2019 in the stunning Amamoor Creek State Forest near Gympie. Tickets are on sale now via www.muster.com.au .