Outback Queensland’s iconic events calendar is back in full swing in 2021 and is shaping up to draw bumper crowds, while boosting local economies and spirits along the way.
Denise Brown, OQTA CEO said the outlook across the Outback was very positive on the road to COVID-19 recovery, with the return of events in 2021 helping to draw visitors to the region and bring locals together.
“With so much uncertainty and worse case scenarios in the last year, we’re absolutely blown away to be getting back to this level of ‘normal’ relatively quickly,” Ms Brown said.
“Our events calendar returns better than ever with some great new events joining favourites like the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo, Vision Splendid Outback Film Festival, Channel Country Music Muster plus much more.
“The region has certainly come of age and the variety of our world-class event offering shows just what a powerhouse of a destination Outback Queensland has become,” she said.
“Outback events deliver a truly authentic experience, with genuine hospitality, set in the best venues – from wide open spaces to bustling towns to iconic natural wonders, you’re never short of an awe-inspiring moment and chance to take the ultimate selfie.”
Ms Brown said the impacts of COVID and the ongoing drought were far from over and that local support would continue to play a crucial role in communities and business getting through the tough times.
“Now more than ever, we need people to get behind their mates in the Outback – book ahead, come on out and you’ll have the time of your life. That’s a pretty good value proposition!” Ms Brown said.
“Events play a crucial role in connecting our isolated communities and can be truly community shaping like the Birdsville Races or the Big Red Bash where the local population of 140 swells to thousands in a just a few days.
“It’s a real community effort with local councils the driving force behind many of these events as well as the countless committee and volunteer hours that make it all happen.
In a story that is familiar across the region, Karen Grimm, Tourism Manager at Quilpie Shire Council, said the return of events was set to be a highlight this season.
“It’s pretty exciting for us to have events returning – giving an invaluable boost to our community while providing a drawcard for visitors.
“It’s not only COVID that hit our region, but the prolonged drought has had far-reaching impacts including the cancellation of events.
“This year we’re pumped to see events ramp back up with a great variety coming up including Opera Queensland’s ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’ tour, Outback Masters Golf, local shows, country race meetings, polocrosse and plenty of other activities which will bring a lot of people out.
“Everything is open and with the recent rain it’s going to look wonderful and with lots of events, activities and experiences including the recently expanded Eromanga Natural History Museum, it’ll be great to see people flock back to our towns.