Green Brothers representative Rod Green and 2020 winner Bella Mackenzie with judges Matt Cornell, Rebecca Gracie, and James Blundell. Photo: Jackii Fenlon
Green Brothers representative Rod Green and 2020 winner Bella Mackenzie with judges Matt Cornell, Rebecca Gracie, and James Blundell. Photo: Jackii Fenlon

Entries open for Keppel music festival talent search

A talent search competition is now open for a chance to play at a 2021 music festival.

The Green Brothers Country on Keppel Talent Search is open for entries for its second iteration, scheduled for July next year.

The competition kickstarted Country on Keppel 2020 in November this year with artists James Blundell and Matt Cornell among the judges.

Jeff Green from Rockhampton music store Green Brothers said he always wanted to support new talent.

“It’s the up-and-coming stars that keep the whole music industry going and we would like to see the talent quest and festival grow for the benefits of tourism,” he said.

“It’s great for the Central Queensland area.”

Mackay singer-songwriter Bella Mackenzie, who won the competition last month, encouraged others to share in her experience.

“I would really encourage other musos to enter next year’s competition to not only have a goal to work towards but make friends within the music industry and take up the amazing opportunity to play at the beautiful Great Keppel Island,” she said.

“The competition was so great, really well-organised and the people involved were super supportive.

“The competition was really well selected, there was no clear winner and everyone did an amazing job so it was a great show to watch, let alone be a part of. Not to mention the amazing venue and scenery; it was beautiful – the perfect spot.”

Country singer-songwriter James Blundell praised Bella’s performance and said great music in an idyllic spot was a recipe for success.

“Talent quests are an interesting and potentially complicated program: too many entrants and a judging panel becomes fatigued and desensitised … entrants are both disadvantaged and frustrated – all in all getting one to run smoothly is quite an art,” he said.

“This year’s Green Brothers Country on Keppel Talent Search bypassed all those pitfalls, and delivered a short list of exceptionally talented artists.”

He said the competition would provide a snapshot of contemporary Australian country music.

“The future is solid, and strong performances, strong songs, and a healthy, courteous attitude to fellow participants made it a joy to be part of,” Mr Blundell said.

“A high bar has been set for next year’s event, but as the festival gathers momentum, I’ve absolutely no doubt we’ll be seeing more and more exceptional talent taking to the stage.”

Singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Matt Cornell said country music was “looking as healthy as ever”.

“Every act was strong, but the eventual winner Bella Mackenzie really stood out! She has the star factor, she looked so confident on stage; this girl has a big future ahead of her.”

The talent search is open until April 19, 2021 for a chance to perform at Country on Keppel.

The competition will be held at Great Keppel Island Hideaway on July 16.

Prizes include opening the festival the following day and a Takamine guitar and hard case from Green Brothers.



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