Review: 2024 CMC Rocks QLD @ Willowbank Raceway (Ipswich)

2024 CMC Rocks was staged at Willowbank Raceway (Ipswich) 15-17 March - image © KealiJoan Studios

After years of bad weather, the forecast set the stage for an incredible line-up and atmosphere to be one of the best years CMC Rocks has had in a while (15-17 March).


As the crowd gathered and wristbands were done up tight, campers and travellers alike flooded the gates for yet another instalment of CMC Rocks. First act of the day, over at the Tailgate stage, local artist Hayley Marsten pulled a crowd seeking heart-catching melodies and lyrics.

The first songwriter's session of the weekend was off to great start, featuring Casey Barnes, Morgan Wade, Nate Smith and headliner for the night, Chris Young – who shared heart-wrenching stories as well as performing stripped-back melodies for fans, letting them get the ultimate glimpse into their favourite artists' lives and setting a more intimate tone for their much-loved songs.

Tyler Braden had everyone's attention as his powerful vocals rang through the crowd. With his captivating lyrics and stage present, there was no doubt that fans deservingly gathered in the masses.

Elvie Shane was yet another artist with a charismatic stage presence that was a true sight to behold, with his band matching every ounce of his energy and putting on a show-stopping performance. While Jackson Dean's soulful voice reverberated through the hearts of the crowd.

Elvie Shane
Elvie Shane - image © KealiJoan Studios

With captivating and connected melodies, Casey Barnes was a popular Australian artist with fans flooding the front of stage hoping to catch a close glimpse of a much-adored artist.

From his stage presence to his stage effects, Casey delivered a performance long awaited by Australian fans. Bringing in true harmonies and insane vocals, Casey brought his wife up onstage, who stepped into the spotlight to deliver a powerful performance of 'Footloose'.

There was no doubting Bryan Martin brought a whole new level of reality to the stage, delivering songs that came deep from his own life experiences that truly resonated with his audience.

Kameron Marlowe brought in next-level entertainment, with his deep and distinctively powerful vocals owning the stage and leaving adoring fans wanting more.

Casey Barnes
Casey Barnes - image © KealiJoan Studios

Everyone's favourite emo cowgirl, Megan Moroney hit the stage and despite technical difficulties early on in her set, she powered through to deliver an emotional performance filled with sass and heartfelt lyrics.

Nate Smith had fans captivated from the start, but playing CMC wasn't the only rush of adrenaline for Nate, with his song 'Whiskey On You' going platinum in Australia. Gratefully he added: "I cannot begin to explain to you tonight what it feels like in my heart to stand up here before you. This is one of those moments; you don't want it to end."

Headliner Chris Young hit the stage with a flurry of excitement and cheers from the crowd. The chorus of fans proved his appearance back in Australia was cherished and the mutual adoration between fans and artist was no doubt a true country music experience.


Over on the Stampede stage, Lane Pittman was a true sight to behold. With a crowd that seemed to only grow during his set, there is no doubting why he's quickly on the rise.

The songwriters day two showcase was yet another huge line-up, hitting capacity, but thankfully for many fans, being live-streamed at the main stages, with Bryan Martin, Ian Munsick, and headliners Lainey Wilson and Tyler Hubbard.

There is no doubt that Lainey spoke for all four artists when she gratefully said: "We are so excited to be here, it's a big deal to me and my team that you wanted us to come over here, it's crazy, country is more than just a genre, it's a way of life and we live out these songs."

Lane Pittman
Lane Pittman - image © KealiJoan Studios

Taylor Moss was back with her second eye-catching show of the weekend, leaving the stripped-back set she had the day before, returning to the stage with a full band and undeniable energy. With a slide and a spin, traditional country artist Drake Milligan hit the stage with his soulful voice and Elvis Presley-like stage presence.

Cooper Alan jumped around the stage with incredible energy and a show that felt like a party amongst friends, before swapping to something more intimate and touched the hearts of every person in attendance with a song about losing someone.

Jumping into the song he wrote for his wife at their wedding, Cooper was truly touched when he spotted fans getting engaged during his set. Bringing the energy back up, he poured beer on a fan before encouraging his fans to show him their worst dance moves.

Taylor Moss
Taylor Moss - image © KealiJoan Studios

With unapologetic attitude and relatable stories, Priscilla Block hit the stage with an energy that was truly memorable. Dedicated fans banded together, wearing high vis vests, with Priscilla borrowing one from a fan and to the crowd's delight, wearing it for the rest of the set.

Despite battling bronchitis, the much adored Morgan Wade delivered a performance that was truly powerful and touching, and proved why so many fans waited all day on the barrier in anticipation for her to perform.

Back for his second set, Kameron Marlowe was yet again mesmerising with his distinctive vocals and rock-infused sound getting many crowd members up on their feet and singing along.

Priscilla Block
Priscilla Block - image © KealiJoan Studios

Nate Smith delivered yet again another emotional performance, with fans and artist alike crying during his song 'Wreckage', which he has preluded by talking about the restarting of his life and how much this song meant to him.

A massive audience assembled for Oliver Anthony's performance. Positioned against a backdrop featuring his grandfather's portrait, he captivated the crowd with a heartfelt song dedicated to his grandfather.

Reflecting on the significance of his own name, Anthony explained his decision to adopt his grandfather's name as his artist moniker. Oliver disclosed that his previous pseudonym didn't align with the themes of his music, especially given his professional commitments. He admitted: "I never imagined myself onstage in Australia, entertaining a crowd of 30,000."

Tyler Hubbard
Tyler Hubbard - image © KealiJoan Studios

Tyler Hubbard, headlining the second night, burst onto the stage with electrifying energy. It marked his return to Australia after a hiatus of five years, now making his debut as a solo performer.

Expressing his gratitude to the audience, he exclaimed: "Thank you all for being here. Tonight, I'll share some new tracks, mix in a few hits, but you know what excites me most? Hearing you sing these songs back to us."

Throughout his performance, Tyler showcased his latest solo material while generously delighting fans with a rendition of 'Cruise' by Florida Georgia Line. Both new and long-time supporters left the venue thoroughly satisfied.


By mixing in a little bit of punk to the country scene, Josh Setterfield delivered a huge performance highlighting the genuine diversity of country music fans. From metal screams to punk covers with a country twist, Josh delivered a unique performance that captivated new and dedicated fans.

The final songwriters showcase for the weekend finished with a bang featuring Brad Cox, Chase Rice, Cooper Alan, and Kameron Marlowe, bringing the best songwriters session for the weekend. Cooper Alan was key to the atmosphere, getting the crowd up on their feet dancing in what is usually a stripped-back setting.

Elvie Shane was back for his second set with more energy than ever with a captivating blend of heartfelt storytelling and dynamic stage presence.

Priscilla Block returned for her second electrifying performance, igniting the crowd with her powerful presence and commanding vocals, prompting enthusiastic cheers and applause that resonated throughout the venue, even reaching those at the back who were on their feet, fully immersed in the emotion of her impactful lyrics.

Jackson Dean
Jackson Dean - image © KealiJoan Studios

Jackson Dean delivered a performance filled with raw talent and infectious energy, leaving the audience exhilarated and craving more of his electrifying stage presence and soulful sound.

After heading to CMC first as a fan in 2008 before returning to CMC Rocks after two years, Brad Cox was undeniably entertaining. From his chemistry with his band to his facial expressions and dance moves, Brad proved why he is such a huge part of Australian country music.

Megan Moroney's show was a captivating display of musical prowess and emotive storytelling, enchanting the audience with her powerful vocals and dynamic stage presence.

After his time with Blackjack Billy, Ian Munsick made his return to CMC as a solo artist and delivered a truly theatrical performance including getting fans doing the belt-buckle shuffle and performing a cover mashup of hits including 'Toxic' and 'No Scrubs'.

Gratitude was a common theme among the performing artists and Munsick was no exception, stating his love for the community: "Country music fans respect their neighbour and the land more than they respect the things in their own pockets."

Ian Munsick
Ian Munsick - image © KealiJoan Studios

Storme Warren, who was the weekend's main stage host, put forward a touching tribute to Toby Keith who passed earlier this year, with 2024 marking the 10-year anniversary of Toby playing CMC Rocks. Playing 'Red Solo Cup', fans held up their cups to pay respect to such a huge part of country music and CMC Rocks' history.

Last in Australia in 2016, Chase Rice hit the stage and fans went crazy. Talking about how his parents bought him his first guitar if he promised to sing to them in their living room, he treated the crowd to a cover of 'Take Me Home, Country Roads', which was the second song he learnt on guitar.

Getting up VAVO, who had been entertaining campers over the last few days, his performance was truly one that had deservingly been much anticipated.

Chase Rice
Chase Rice - image © KealiJoan Studios

The final act for the weekend was CMA winner Lainey Wilson. For her first time in Australia, there was no doubt she already had a community of fans waiting for her appearance with many punters titling the final day 'Lainey Day' and repping the bellbottoms that Lainey has made her brand.

Preaching love and unity, Wilson stated: "Bellbottom country is about you being you," which really proved why she has quickly become such a large and influential part of country music across the globe.

With CMC Rocks 2024 coming to an end, there is no better way to sum up a weekend filled with the unifying atmosphere that comes with country music, other than to quote Lainey Wilson: "Country is cool again."

More photos from 2024 CMC Rocks.

CMC Rocks returns in 2025, taking place 21-23 March.

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