Katie Noonan's homespun Sunshine Sounds Festival returns for a second year welcoming music and arts lovers to enjoy an easy escape for a winter weekend in Eumundi on Gubbi Gubbi country.
"Eumundi is a beautiful part of the world, it's a magic patch of paradise," Katie says.
"For anyone from Brisbane it's a short drive, there are heaps of beautiful places to stay, there's camping. Winter is gorgeous up here, it's blue skies and crisp nights.
"But more just getting to switch off, get off the grid, get out of the city for the weekend and just be with likeminded people."
Last year's inaugural Sunshine Sounds Festival
saw audiences braving stormy weather to enjoy an all Queensland line-up of artists, including the talented students from Katie's own Eumundi School Of Rock.
"I've lived in Eumundi for ten years and seven years ago I started the Eumundi School Of Rock, and one of my favourite highlights of last year was seeing some of our kids perform on the big festival stage, and they really smashed it," Katie reflects.
"A few of them jumped up with Jack Carty and then they did their own set. It was awesome to watch that."
This year, Katie and her brother Tyrone will celebrate the 20th anniversary of their former band george's debut album 'Polyserena' with a special performance at Sunshine Sounds featuring Katie's son Dexter on drums.
"It's bizarre and special and beautiful, and weird to be celebrating an album that I'm still really proud of," she says.
"That album was really the soundtrack of me becoming a young woman, and to be sharing that music with my son 20 years later is surreal and beautiful."
Also onboard for 2022 are Katie's mates Clare Bowditch and Tim Rogers, along with Asha Jeffries, Hat Fitz & Cara, Andrea Kirwin
& The Yama-Nui Social Club, Band Of Frequencies and much more.
"On the Friday night we're going to have our amazing School Of Rock bands, which will be four bands – two bands from this year, our show band which are the best kids from last year and then our teenage superband," Katie says.
"On Saturday we've got lots of different artists, but Clare has graciously agreed for one of our young Eumundi School Of Rock singers Layla Barnett to jump up in Clare's set and the festival will close with our big Community Choir moment."
For Katie, the spirit of Sunshine Sounds Festival is all about being family-friendly, affordable and open to everyone. She encourages everyone to raise their voice and become part of the festival as a member of the Sunshine Sounds Community Choir.
"My whole thing with this festival is that there is something for everyone, everyone is an artist, and you can be a part of the festival yourself in the Community Choir," she says.
"This year the song is 'The Dead Heart' by Midnight Oil. When I saw them play up here at the Sunshine Coast Stadium, I was crying actually, realising it was the last time I was going to see that band of brothers play those tunes live.
"That's one of my favourite songs, and we're going to do part of it in Gubbi Gubbi language as well.
"I love everyday people becoming part of music making. I fundamentally believe that everyone is an artist and everyone that can talk can sing.
"Midnight Oil are a band that have spoken to the spirit of our country for so many decades, since I was pretty much born basically. What I love about the choir is you've got little 5-year-old kids and you've got 70-year-old grannies in it together singing along."
Sunshine Sounds Festival puts the best of Eumundi on show, from the historic town's wealth of musical talent to its extensive artisanal offerings, underpinned by a deep respect for the traditional custodians of Gubbi Gubbi country.
"We have our Gubbi Gubbi Welcome To Country each day, which is very special and talks about the seasons and where we are and where we live and how we're connected to it, which I think gives us a really beautiful sense of grounded belonging to go through the whole festival," Katie says.
Sunshine Sounds Festival was born from Katie's love for the place she calls home. The Eumundi community were among the hardest-hit by the pandemic and the festival is helping rebuild the local arts economy.
"We're going to have craft workshops and all the food is 100 per cent local, actually all the vendors are 100 per cent local, it's all about keeping the investment in our community," Katie says.
After more than two years watching the music industry wither, Katie is heartened to see it begin to bounce back as more shows and festivals are announced and audiences regain their confidence. "It's been an arduous start that's for sure," Katie says.
"To put on a festival during COVID was pretty bonkers, and then putting on a festival as we're coming out of COVID is still a little tricky, but I really believe in this festival, and I want to make something special for my town.
"The dream is for Sunshine Sounds to keep on going and for it to very much be a celebration of Sunshine Coast talent and culture, but also the best of the best from around the country. It's a very feel-good festival and everyone has a lovely time."Sunshine Sounds Festival takes place at Eumundi Showgrounds (Sunshine Coast) 29-30 July.
Sunshine Sounds Festival 2022 Line-up
Katie + Tyrone Noonan Band (performing 'Polyserena' 20th anniversary show)Clare BowditchTim RogersHat Fitz And CaraAsha JefferiesAndrea Kirwin and the Yama-Nui Social ClubBand Of FrequenciesJaZZellaDeline BriscoeLayla BarnettZaraLyndon Davis and the Gubbi Gubbi DancersEumundi School Of Rock