Brad Butcher will perform at Country on Keppel 2021.
Brad Butcher will perform at Country on Keppel 2021.

Headline acts announced for music festival on GKI

Get your swimmers, sunscreen, and beach towels ready as Australia’s only country music festival on a tropical island returns in July, with a host of music stars and up-and-coming country artists among the line-up.

Multi-award winner, ARIA nominee and chart-topper Jasmine Rae headlines Country on Keppel 2021, along with chart-toppers SaltbushSix and Cornell & Carr, and multi-award winner and music legend, James Blundell.

Golden Guitar winner Brad Butcher, Jonny Taylor, Danny Phegan and band, Aaron Jurd, Melissa Lukin, and inaugural Green Brothers Country on Keppel Talent Search winner Bella Mackenzie also feature on the stage line-up.

Mackay's talented young singer Bella Mackenzie.
Mackay's talented young singer Bella Mackenzie.

Jasmine Rae has won two CMC Music Awards, the US CMA Global Artist of the Year Award, and has been a four-time ARIA and 11-time Golden Guitar nominee and her latest album, Lion Side, debuted at #1 on the ARIA Australian Country Album chart.

She will now headline her first Country on Keppel, after her 2020 performance was postponed due to COVID-19 border restrictions.

“It’s now been a couple of years since I’ve played a festival in Queensland, and what better place to finally play one again than on the beautiful Great Keppel Island?” Jasmine said.

“I can’t wait to finally play some songs from my new album Lion Side with my band for you guys.”

SaltbushSix and James Blundell will return for their second and third festivals, respectively, thanks to popular demand, as is the case with Matt Cornell who headlined the 2020 festival and will return with his duo partner Mike Carr, to perform as Cornell & Carr.

“After a great time at last year’s Country on Keppel, SaltbushSix can’t wait to be back there again in 2021,” the band said.

“All of us in SaltbushSix are looking forward to seeing you all at Country on Keppel in 2021, so make sure you all come and say, ‘hi’.”

James Blundell has played both of the tropical island festivals since its inception in 2019, and was integral to the event coming to fruition.

“I knew from the moment the idea was floated that Country on Keppel would be a runaway success – relaxed atmosphere, great music, and a stunning location all combine to make it a unique and memorable experience,” he said.

“Country on Keppel is now my favourite event of the year with great, new, and exciting artists and some of the most beautiful scenery in Australia, complete with a very relaxed atmosphere, so you’d better make sure you get yourself there.”

Musicians Cornell and Carr
Musicians Cornell and Carr

Matt Cornell agreed with James and said he couldn’t wait to return, and encouraged music fans to get on board.

“Country On Keppel is such a unique festival,” Matt said.

“I think the fact it’s set on a tropical island, surrounded by stunning beaches, everyone is so chilled and the vibe is just so laid back. I loved the experience in 2020, and 2021 will be the biggest one yet.”

Mike Carr is keen to get on stage and perform with Cornell & Carr in the beautiful setting Great Keppel Hideaway provides.

“I couldn’t think of a better place for Cornell & Carr to perform than on an island … nobody can leave,” he laughed.

“We love to sing, we love to perform, and most of all Cornell & Carr love putting on a show that makes people feel good. There’s no better place to do that than on Great Keppel.”

This will be the third annual Country on Keppel held at Great Keppel Island Hideaway and will take place from July 16-18.

Country on Keppel 2020 was one of the few music festivals to be held in a year marred by festival cancellations due to the global pandemic, and was a major success, doubling the 2019 patronage.

Festival organiser Peter Blundell is looking forward to welcoming more country fans to the island.

“There aren’t a lot of other country festivals held on an island and the relaxed atmosphere of the festival means fans have access to the artists and everyone is here to mingle and have a fun weekend,” he said.

Country music radio presenter and host, Ronnie Tee, will join the festival for the first time this year as MC.

The Green Brothers Country on Keppel Talent Search will open proceedings on Friday, July 16, before the festival begins in earnest on Saturday morning, July 17.

Entries for the talent search are now open and festival tickets and accommodation packages are all on offer by contacting Great Keppel Island Hideaway.



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