Next month the Gold Coast shines as the world's sporting golden child, embodying the #GC2018 promise of 'Greatness Rarely Seen', also stretching to 12 action-packed days of free arts and cultural festivities, from music to film, circus, theatre and dance (check out the full Festival 2018 line-up).
But that's just the start. Queensland's legacy as Australia's favourite events hub sets global records in March. Guaranteed: greatness at every turn.
Here's our Top 5:
#1 Kick up your heels at the Southern Hemisphere's biggest international country and roots festival, CMC Rocks QLD (15-18 March). It may be on the other side of the world from Nashville – set on a drag racing track in Ipswich – but steps up as Australia's answer to America's country music capital. The 2018 all-star line-up, including US superstars, Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker and Kelsea Ballerini, sparked a record rush on tickets, selling out in less than an hour. Feeding an increasing hunger for epic festival foodie offerings, CMC Rocks Qld also sets tongues wagging with its drool-factor roll call: a pop-up of Brisbane's award-winning The Boatshed restaurant; the Sunshine Coast's Black Bunny Kitchen; a 'Bubbles & Beauty Bar'; Acai bowls courtesy Tatty's Superfoods; and all-new Honky Tonk Bar complete with mechanical bull! Yee-ha.
Missed out on tickets? Pull on your dancing boots and scoot to the Gold Coast for the 2018 CMC Music Awards (15 March); country music's night of nights on Australia's most famous beach strip.
Did you know? Country music sweethearts, America's Kelsea Ballerini and Australia's Morgan Evans, who wed last year, met and fell in love when co-hosting the 2016 CMC Music Awards in Brisbane – the same year that CMC Rocks QLD took cupid by the horns, introducing speed-dating. The 'Sweethearts Saloon' speed-dating initiative, which in its first year drew more than 600 requests for just 50 seats, is back bigger and better than ever in 2018, beefing up the romance stakes relocating from Jack Daniel's White Rabbit Saloon to award-winning The Boatshed restaurant.
Who said you can't hurry love? According to recent research, live events – whether music festivals or sporting spectacles – will super-charge your chances of finding true love. So, give Tinder the flick and start looking for love in all the right places: https://blog.queensland.com/2017/05/03/queensland-events-better-than-tinder/
#2 & #3 Queensland's endless summer keeps rolling with the world's biggest surfing event by competitor numbers, Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing (10 – 17 March). Now in its 27th year, the swell Sunshine Coast festival even includes a 'surfing dog' championships. Meanwhile, the world's best board riders descend on the Gold Coast for the Quicksilver Pro and Roxy Pro Gold Coast (11 – 22 March), marking the opening of the men's and women's world championship tours and, this year, doubling as Australia's farewell event to retiring local surf legend, Mick Fanning.
Say cheers! Raise a glass to Mick Fanning's epic career with a Balter ale. Better still, visit Balter's headquarters at Currumbin (equal parts industrial brew room and cool laneway bar), founded by Mick Fanning and surfing mates Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbridge and Josh Kerr.
#4 Get your genius on at World Science Festival Brisbane (21-25 March), an epic and exclusive 'Sister Act' to New York's World Science Festival staged at Queensland Museum on Brisbane's buzzing South Bank cultural forecourt. Guaranteed: the only festival on Earth where you can witness the precise moment tiny loggerhead turtles hatch as part of a collaboration between Queensland Museum and Queensland Government's Department of Environment and Heritage Protection during the 50th anniversary of world-renowned Queensland Turtle Conservation program. Itself a miracle of science, The Hatchery is just the start of a mind-blowing program of World Science Festival Brisbane events, promising a marriage of science, natural history, conservation and the arts as never experienced before. Check out the full 2018 program, including Street Science Saturday, and get ready to be amazed.
#5 Last, but not least: in the countdown to Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (4-15 April), IRONMAN's Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival (9-11 March) doubles as the perfect warm-up for a star-studded field of GC2018 athletes. The multi-sport festival, offering something for everyone (ASICS Mooloolaba Twilight 5km run, 1km Ocean Swim, Superkidz Triathlon, Special Triathlon, and Sport and Lifestyle Expo) features the sprint distance Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup, attracting some of the biggest names from around the world. And a sneak peek at Australian GC2018 triathlon team members Matt Hauser, Luke Willian, Jacob Birtwhistle and Charlotte McShane facing off against world ranked Top 10 athletes including South Africa's Richard Murray, New Zealand's Ryan Sissons, America's Kirsten Kasper and Canada's Joanna Brown.
Did you know? Queensland steps on to the global podium as just the place to be and feel your best… and perhaps also achieve a Personal Best (PB) in the process. Year-round! That's the low-down from new research commissioned by Tourism and Events Queensland revealing just what drives the world's most active travellers to 'bucket list' fit-cations across the state. Find your better state!
Dive into our full calendar of events: www.queensland.com/events
Word Count: 830
Author: Shelley Thomas
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