Troy Cassar Daley woos crowds at last year's National Music Muster.
Troy Cassar Daley woos crowds at last year's National Music Muster. © Craig Warhurst

Magic first few days at the Muster

HUNDREDS descended on the Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Amamoor on Tuesday, August 24, 2010 for the opening of this year's National Music Muster.

The winding 12.2km dirt road from Amamoor to Amamoor Creek - where the festival resides - was bumper to bumper with cars, vans, caravans and buses,.

On site the campground was already packed with the elaborate campsites of the keener Muster goers who began setting up weeks ago.

Double storey constructions and bars complete with bra decorations, Christmas lights and inflatable Bundy Rum bears are just a few of the more extravagant campsites on display at this year's muster.

The most creative, innovative and muster inspired campsites go in the draw to win the inaugural Muster Campsite Competition while the Bundy Rum themed sites stand to win the Bundy Rum Campsite Competition.

As the newcomers set up their tents, the Muster's six days of entertainment kicked off with the bush poets breakfast, followed by performances by Marie Hodson, Todd Stewart and James Nash High Blues.

When afternoon settled over the first day of the muster, the evening's entertainment amped up. The Delta Monarchs, Dem Guys and Vanessa Lea & Road Train set the scene for stellar acts Anni Piper, Innes Campbell, Blues Connexion and The Famous Jimmies.

Tuesday's hot weather was replaced by dark rain clouds on Wednesday and while it never got any heavier than the occasional drizzle, the bad weather was embraced by muster goers who donned Driza-bones. 

Wednesday's entertainment began with poets Marco Gliori, Joe Lynch and Ray Essery during the bush poets breakfast, followed by Fiona O'Shea, Sarah Kay and Brooke Schubert.

At lunch, guests dining in the Stage Right Restaurant laughed more than they ate as Basil, Sybil and Manuel from Faulty Towers The Dining Experience had them in stitches during the two hour, three course meal performance.

That afternoon, winner of the 2010 Starmaker quest, Luke Austen launched his debut album, Light of Day in the club arena and as the day wore into evening, crowds were awed by Cory Hargreaves, Tom Richardson Project and Steven Jaymes.

On Thursday, the 2010 Maton Muster Talent Search commenced with heat one in country rock, traditional country and modern country. Heat two is being held on Friday and juniors and country gospel heats are on Saturday.

The winners from each heat will compete in the semi final on Sunday.

At midday the ominous grey clouds parted to reveal a blue sky and sun so warm the Driza-bones were quickly removed and Akubras put back on. 

As the sun shone down on Thursday afternoon, the entertainment shone also with performances by Luke Watt, Simply Bushed and AICM.

Thursday also saw the opening of three new venues -  the Bundaberg Rum Crowbar, Riversands Wine Bar and talent search - signalling the beginning of the wind up towards the three biggest days of the Muster: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

With ticket sales up on last year, thousands of more muster fans are expected to arrive on Friday afternoon and more again on Saturday morning.

As of Friday all 13 venues will be in operation and the day's entertainment begins with breakfast with Grant Luhrs in the club.

After which, heat one of the National Music Muster's MusterChef competition will be held in the restaurant. Celebrity chef James Reeson will be tasting the culinary delights and will declare the 2010 MusterChef during the grand final on Saturday.

On Friday night the first of the Sit Down Comedy Club presentations is being held in the grove and anticipated music performances include The McClymonts, James Reyne, Felicity Urquhart and Michelle Little.

Saturday kicks off with The Davidson Brothers Breakfast Show in the morning followed by performances by Sunshine Coast mayor Bob Abbott & The Green Machine, Troy Cassar Daley, Dallas Frasca and headline act Jimmy Barnes at night.

Wrapping up the Muster on Sunday is the talent search semi and grand final, contemporary concert featuring Spiderbait and Thirsty Merc and performances by Sara Storer and Lee Kernaghan.