Renee Geyer heads all-star female line-up at Mitchell Creek
IF THE Australian rock music industry needs some pointers on achieving some sort of quota for female performers, they need only look to Gympie region to see how.
Mitchell Creek Rock 'n' Blues Festival promoter Jimmy Budgen said the event he has been running for seven years had no problem finding talented women to hit the stage.
The event has been involving female artists without having to be told, and for no reason other than their excellence.
"While festivals, events, political parties and big business across Australia are trying to figure out gender equality, a boutique rock and blues festival in Southeast Queensland has been leading the way since its inception in 2012,” he said.
The festival - on again from next Friday - was thriving, he said, "simply by doing what it does well and continually enhancing the festival experience year after year”.
The location, on a huge site in the Mary Valley, is part of the party, as is the family atmosphere.
And possibly the "bring your own” affordability.
But the talent is the big drawcard, especially this year when Australia's symbol of all that is jazz, soul and blues, Renee Geyer, heads the bill.
Even iconic male blues entertainer Matt Taylor and guitar genius Phil Manning are part of the deal.
Enthusiastically admired by many as part of the band Chain, which spawned Mushroom Records, they are part of what has made Mitchell Creek what it is.
And the music industry award named after their band is a big part of the gender-equality story.
"We have a band, Black Cat Bone, formed especially to back Matt Taylor at the festival, and we have the awesome female band Soul Sisters, which is made up entirely of Chain Award winners,” Mr Budgen said.
"The award is only given to people who rank first on Australia's Blues charts a number of times.
"It's a female supergroup and all its members have won a Chain Award,” MrBudgen said.