Across much of its rocking history, Agnes Blues Roots & Rock Festival has captivated audiences from a single stage under an enormous Marquee at the SES Grounds in Agnes Water-1770.
In 2020, an exciting new concept of expanding to a second, emerging artist stage came to life in the hands of a keen band of volunteers passionate about empowering more grass roots performers. And then there were two!
A small but dedicated volunteer team organised everything from the ground up that year, successfully delivering the inaugural Discovery Stage to a delighted Festival audience. Supported by welcome sponsorship funding from local business Agnes Water Tavern, this brand-new supplementary stage to the Marquee stage embraced blues, roots and rock in a chill, intimate atmosphere; getting up close and personal with the original work of an eclectic range of regional artists from Central Queensland and beyond.
The first batch of ‘discovery’ artists were over the moon at this new, unique opportunity to showcase their original music and gave it their all, inspired by the positive audience responses to their sets. The Discovery Stage was a resounding success and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Each year, volunteers professionally manage all aspects of the Discovery Stage including artist liaison and administration leading up the event. During Festival weekend, they manage front of house, stage/sound, performer support and the backstage green room. Staging Solutions (who also manage the main Marquee Stage) provide all of the Discovery Stage equipment including sound desk, stage equipment such as and backline, plus a few support crew to advise the volunteers. The melting pot of Discovery vibes on stage, in the the audience and backstage among volunteers, artists and fans for a delicious brew that’s irresistible to live music lovers.
The Discovery Stage offers an empowering opportunity for emerging artists to level up in all aspects of their career and move up to bigger stages, including the main Marquee Stage at #AgnesBluesFest. Emerging artists are encouraged and supported in performing their original songs with confidence, flair and passion to a Festival audience, often for the very first time. More experienced performers and stage personnel share their skills, information and education around creating electronic press kits, registering as an APRA artist and getting paid for live performance, building and delivering branding and marketing, stage etiquette and performance skills, and much more.
Performance slots on the Discovery Stage are deliberately tailored so that artists on this smaller stage overlap the main Marquee stage sets. Festival attendees have maximum opportunity to move more readily between both stages to catch as much of the sizzling summer live music program as they can across 3 days.
Since 2020, Discovery Stage performers have included artists such as Kate Mahood, Raining Roses and Murphy Road, who stepped up in following years with their original music to #AgnesBluesFest’s main Marquee stage as well as numerous other venues, events and Festivals across the country and beyond. Some have been inspired to record and release their original music for the very first time on EP’s and albums.
‘The Agnes Blues Roots & Rock Festival’s Discovery Stage allowed me a supportive space to share my original music with other artists and attentive audience members. The festival encourages a large variety of unique musicians to share their personal journeys through original music. The Discovery Stage is a great way to bring forth new talent into the limelight, bring like minded people together and inspire collaboration between artists’. [Sophie-Rose, Raining Roses – Discovery Stage performer 2020-21, Marquee Stage performer 2023]
#AgnesBluesFest Discovery Stage is very proud of its continuing legacy as a supportive, inclusive platform welcoming new and original music artists each year across the blues, roots and rock genres, guiding, inspiring and motivating them to take the next step in realizing their music dreams with confidence out front of bigger audiences.
If you’re an emerging artist keen to grow, take a chance on being ‘discovered’. Submit your expression of interest when the application portal opens on the website each year. The sky’s the limit and who knows where it could take you. Our main Marquee Stage, for starters!
We can’t wait to ‘discover’ our next exciting batch of emerging artists and their original music at #AgnesBluesFest 16-18 February 2024. Stay tuned for all of the line-up announcements!
16-18 Feb 2024
Rocking out since 2008, the Agnes Blues, Roots & Rock Festival is a 3 Day Annual Event held in the Great Barrier Reef’s Sensational Deep South.
Book tickets and places to stay: www.agnesbluesandroots.com.au
The 2024 Festival will be required to operate in line with current QLD Govt Health Directives for all attendees, staff, volunteers, stallholders, vendors and performers.
The Agnes Blues, Roots & Rock Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.