Home News Australia Scores First COVID-Safe Country Music Festival on Earth!

Australia Scores First COVID-Safe Country Music Festival on Earth!

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Sound Australia is pleased to announce that Tropical North Queensland will become the very first place on earth to host a COVID-Safe country music festival, with The Savannah Summer Series landing in Cairns and Mareeba this October 1-3.

Originally scheduled to see a host of local, national and international country music heavyweights land in Cairns on the Queen’s Birthday Weekend for Savannah In The Round, festival organisers were able to quickly postpone the full weekend event to 2021 and reimagine the Savannah Summer Series, securing top Australian talent to keep the music playing in a COVID-safe way for 2020 while giving Tropical Northerners the first taste of what’s to come next year.

While all of  Australia’s most recognisable country music events have been forced to cancel and even major internationally revered festivals like ‘Stagecoach Festival’ and ‘Watershed Festival’ have been forced to postpone, Savannah Summer Series has managed to work with health authorities in navigating the COVID minefield, to push ahead and deliver a unique live music experience for Tropical North Queensland.

As gatherings and the regulations around social distancing are relaxed in a measured way it’s important to us and to the economy of the region that we keep the music playing”, said Sound Australia’s James Dein. “Savannah in the Round was always conceived as an event to bring the Tropical North Queensland community together, as well as drive interstate tourism and shine a light on the amazing talent this country has to offer. It’s never been a more important time to deliver on that goal, and we couldn’t be happier to be hosting the first COVID-Safe country music festival in the entire world, right here in Tropical North Queensland this summer”.

One of Australia’s most loved country music icons, Lee Kernaghan, will be making his way to Far North Queensland this October, as a very special guest of the inaugural Savannah Summer Series, where he’ll be joined by a long list of hot Aussie country acts, including Casey Barnes, newcomers The Buckleys, SaltbushSix, The Roadtrippers , The Ayres Rockettes and Camille Trail.

Fans lucky enough to snap up one of the limited remaining tickets will get an exclusive opportunity to see Lee Kernaghan perform a collection of hits, from The Outback Club, Boys From The Bush and Hat Town to She’s My Ute and Australian Boy in an intimate setting, alongside some of Australia’s most acclaimed country music acts. Ticket holders will also be first in line to hear a very special announcement from Lee Kernagan on stage in Cairns.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone at the Savannah Summer Series in Cairns and Mareeba next month. I’ll be jumping up on stage with the boys from SaltbushSix to knock out some classics and I also get to officially announce the Savannah in the Round 2021 Festival and Lineup. See you in North Queensland in October!”

The Savannah Summer Series will visit Cairns’ Salt House on October 1 and Mareeba’s Rodeo Grounds on October 2, giving the region just a small preview of Savannah in the Round 2021, providing support to the Tropical North Queensland community as it gets back on its feet and celebrating the return of live music after 2020’s challenges.

The fun continues on October 3, when the 2020 Great Northern Bullriding Series rolls into town, offering up another day jam packed with entertainment for the entire family and over $4,000 in prize money for the winner, who will also head to Fort worth, Dallas Texas to take on some of the best bulls in the world.

Free camping on Saturday night at the Mareeba’s Rodeo Grounds, clothing stalls, food and some of the toughest bulls from around the state only sweetens the deal!

“I can’t wait to get up to Cairns and Mareeba this October to welcome back live music to the region,” said Casey Barnes. Savannah in the Round is one of the most exciting things to happen for country music in Tropical North Queensland and to be part of the Summer Series to show that live  music is alive and kicking post-COVID will be a big highlight after a tough year for all of us!”

Casey Barnes kicked off the year with his hit single ‘Sparks Fly’, holding #1 at radio for 7 weeks, followed bythe first #1 Australian Country ARIA album during covid-era, ‘Town of A Million Dreams’. The Savannah Summer Series will give him his first opportunity to play for the Tropical North Queensland fans since the album’s release, and will kick off his long-awaited victory lap of Australia with the 9-date national tour.

Teenage sibling trio The Buckleys are also a band on everyone’s lips with a Golden Guitar nomination for Best New Talent and a Country Radio #1 with their hit single ‘Daydream’. Signing a global recording deal with long-time INXS manager Chris Murphy’s Petrol Records and the Universal Music Group, the band’s debut album is set for release later in 2020.

The mini-festival will also include SaltbushSix, one of Australia’s most acclaimed backing bands, launching Keith Urban onto the global stage with his album The Range in 1997 and working with artists including Lee and Tania Kernaghan, Trisha Yearwood, Big House and the godfather of Australian country, Slim Dusty. The event also welcomes The Roadtrippers and The Ayers Rockettes, Queensland’s best country party bands, bringing the good vibes for audiences of all ages.

Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the Savannah Summer Series couldn’t come at a better time. “Major events like this pump millions of dollars into the local economy and support local jobs,” Ms Jones said. “Because Queenslanders have done such a great job fighting COVID-19, we can now start welcoming tourists back to our state.

“This festival will deliver a great boost for local businesses at a time when everyone is doing it tough. “With the continual easing of travel restrictions, the Savannah Summer series will give Queenslanders, and hopefully all Australians, another reason to explore Tropical North Queensland, home of the Great Barrier Reef and the world’s oldest rainforest, the Daintree.”

The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the Savannah Summer Series, which features on the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar. As Aussies holiday at home for the remainder of 2020, the Savannah Summer Series gives visitors not only a great country music experience, but also the perfect launching pad to explore the natural beauty of the tablelands through to the reef.

Tickets for the Savannah Summer Series go on sale on NOW via


Lee Kernaghan  –  Casey Barnes –  The Buckleys
SaltbushSix  –  The Roadtrippers
The Ayres Rockettes – Camille Trail

Thursday October 1 – Salt House, Cairns QLD
Friday October 2 – Rodeo Grounds, Mareeba QLD
+ Saturday October 3 – The Great Northern Bullriding Series


We kindly ask that all patrons are mindful of the impact their choices have on others. If you’re feeling unwell in the lead-up to the event, have been in close contact with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, or have visited a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the preceding 14 days, please do not attend the Savannah Summer Series and refer to the latest advice from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer. A full refund will be provided in these circumstances upon provision of a medical certificate or evidence of applicable travel.

All patrons must have their ticket scanned upon entry and will be required to supply their contact information if they have not already done so as part of the purchase process. We highly recommend downloading the Commonwealth Government COVID-19 app prior to attending the event and remind all event participants to practice good hygiene and to monitor their social distancing.


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