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CMC Rocks QLD 2024: Everything You Need To Know

March 7, 2024 - News

As far as festivals go, CMC Rocks is like an extended Christmas for the Australian country music scene. The annual extravaganza – going down at the Willowbank Raceway in Ipswich, roughly 45 minutes southwest of Brisbane (Meanjin) – brings together some of the biggest and best artists from the US and right here Down Under, spreading them over three stages amid a wealth of inimitable culture.

The end result is five epic days of rockin’, rollin’, yeein’ and hawin’ – the kind of event that attendees share stories about for decades after it ends. And this year’s edition is shaping up to be one of the biggest in the festival’s history, with heavyweight headliners including Chris Young, Lainey Wilson and Tyler Hubbard, and so many other stars on the lineup that choosing who to see can be quite the daunting task.

Ahead of its kickoff next Wednesday (March 13), we’ve curated the ultimate guide to CMC Rocks 2024. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the festival and its lineup, tickets and how to get them, camping, transport, and how to make the most of everything happening.

VENUE & DATES

CMC Rocks 2024 is taking place at the Willowbank Raceway in the titular Ipswich town, just off the Cunningham Highway, about 30-to-45 minutes southwest of Brisbane. For those driving out, pop this address into your GPS app of choice: 36 Champions Way, Willowbank QLD 4306.

The festival itself technically kicks off on Friday March 15, running over the entirety of next weekend. But for those opting to camp onsite, the gates will open two days earlier on Wednesday March 15. Live music will indeed be hosted on those first two days, with one stage boasting performances from the likes of Melanie Dyer, Josh Setterfield, Travis Collins, Morgan Wade and Sera Berki (among others).

The festival gates will open at 9:15am on all three days of CMC Rocks’ main programming, with closing times set for 11:15pm on the Friday and Saturday, and 10:40pm on the Sunday. Campers, however, will have extended access to the Tailgate Stage: while it closes for the general public at those times aforementioned, it’ll be kept open for campers until 1:30am (except on Sunday, when everyone will be sent back to their tents at 1am) with exclusive “afterparty” performances being stages.

See below for a full breakdown of gate opening/closing times, as well as a map of the entire festival grounds.

LINEUP, SET TIMES & SIGNINGS

As mentioned above, this year’s CMC Rocks lineup is topped by a trio of US-native country icons: Lainey Wilson, Tyler Hubbard and Chris Young. Also heading over from the States are Chase Rice, Oliver Anthony, Nate Smith, Megan Moroney, Kameron Marlowe, Morgan Wade, Ian Munsick, Jackson Deal, Priscilla Block, Bryan Martin, Drake Milligan, Elvie Shane, Cooper Alan, Tyler Braden and Vavo.

The bill also sports a healthy stack of local legends, being rounded out by the likes of Brad Cox, Casey Barnes, Taylor Moss, Melanie Dyer, Sara Berki, Josh Setterfield, Sammy White, Loren Ryan, Lane Pittman, Abbie Ferris, Hayley Marsten and Dee Jaye Bux. Hosting the trio of stages, too, will be Storme Warren, Mike Carr and DJ Grizzly Adams.

This year’s festival will sport three stages – the Rebel Stage, Stampede Stage and Tailgate Stage – and many of the artists billed will perform multiple times over the course of the week. Set times were released last month: head here to see them on the CMC Rocks website, or scroll on to see infographics on set times for the main weekend, as well as the two bonus days of programming exclusive to those camping onsite, and the camper-exclusive Amazon Music afterparties.

Additionally, the onsite Maton Music Shop will host a spread of artist signings across the whole weekend. Of the festival’s three headliners, Tyler Hubbard is the only one not scheduled to host a public meet-and-greet session; Chris Young will sign autographs from 4pm on the Friday, while Lainey Wilson will meet fans at the shop from 5pm on the Saturday. See below for a full rundown of the signing sessions.

OTHER HAPPENINGS

Aside from the live music programming, CMC Rocks will host a suite of market stalls, food trucks, and all manner of other pop-up happenings. These include a beauty bar and beard bar (with bookings available here for the former, and in-person for the latter), the Big Time Charlie’s disco (sporting performances of Dee Jaye Bux and Vavo), the Honkey Tonk Stomp line dancing workshop (hosted by Chris Watson), and the aforementioned Maton Music Shop (which in addition to artist signings, will be stocked with limited and vintage vinyl, plus early-release CDs).

Then there’s the festival’s Lucky Locker initiative: across the entire weekend, CMC Rocks staff will dot the festival grounds with hidden keys to lockers holding some incredible prizes. Those prizes include VIP upgrades, VIP tickets to next year’s festivals, merch packs and vouchers, and all kinds of other special goodies.

Meanwhile, the Medshed first-aid hub will offer a pop-up GP clinic, a recovery lounge, and access to amenities like Hydralyte and after-sun gel, contraception, pain relief, sunscreen and deodorant.

See below for infographics outlining the beauty bar, beard bar, market stalls, food vendors Lucky Locker contests, Big Time Charlie’s and Honkey Tonk Stomp.

TICKETS

Tickets for CMC Rocks 2024 are being sold via Moshtix here, and at the time of writing, most options have indeed sold out. There are still limited three-day passes available, though. They cost $419 for adults and youths (ages 15-17), and $179 for children (ages 4-14). Adults can also purchase slightly cheaper tickets by selecting the option labelled The Drove, with three-day passes running at $399.

Single-day tickets for the Friday are still available to all age groups – adult and youth tickets costing $229 and children’s tickets costing $109 – however Saturday and Sunday are completely sold out. All other ticket options and upgrades have sold out, however some might be available through CMC Rocks’ official resale facility – see here for more info on that.

TRANSPORT & PARKING

According to the festival’s website, there will not be any official drop-off or pick-up zones located onsite. As such, rideshare and taxi options are limited – more info there is said to be coming, keep an eye out here.

For those driving in each day, you’ll need to secure tickets for day parking; they cost $20 per day and can be purchased here. Parking lots will open at 8am every morning, and close at 11:55pm (or “as long as it takes for all cars to leave following the final daily performance”). Only cars and motorbikes will be permitted here, and overnight parking is a strict no-go. For campers who plan on driving in, you’ll need a special ticket to enter one of the overflow parking lots – unfortunately if you haven’t yet secured one, those have all sold out.

There will be three bus routes running in and out of the festival, each of which are ticketed. Route one will head to and from the festival via local motels (see below for a full list), while route two will run directly to and from a stop at Ipswich Train Station, and route three will run directly to and from a stop in Brisbane’s CBD (that being Bus Stop F at the junction of on Parkland Crescent and Roma Street, in the Brisbane Coach Terminal). Tickets can be purchased here, costing $13 each way for routes one and two, and $36 for route three.

Here’s a full list of the motels being stopped at along route one:

Country Motel Ipswich: 250 South Station Rd, Ipswich QLD 4305
Ipswich City Motel: 86 Warwick Rd, Ipswich QLD 4305
Quest Ipswich: 57/63 Warwick Rd, Ipswich QLD 4305
Best Western Ipswich: 51-55 Warwick Rd, Ipswich QLD 4305
Central Motel: Limestone St &, Thorn St, Ipswich QLD 4305
Cumquat House: 10 Salisbury Rd, Ipswich QLD 4305 
Quest Springfield: 4 Wellness Way, Springfield Central QLD 4300
Springfield Lakes Hotel: 7/1 Springfield Lakes Blvd, Springfield Lakes QLD 4300

See below for infographics on the festival’s official bus schedules and pickup map. Alternatively, head here for info on free shuttles running from Willowbank to Yamanto/Riverlink, and here for more info on driving in.

CAMPING

Onsite camping is being offered in four tiers – small sites without power, medium sites with and without power, and large sites with power. All campers will need to purchase tickets for the campgrounds in addition to their festival tickets – head here for info on campsite ticketing.

Small sites measure in at 3.5 metres squared, with tickets costing $258. They’re suitable for two people max, with space for one car. As mentioned on the festival’s website, ticketholders will only be permitted to set up tents and swags in the small sites.

Medium sites measure in at five metres by six metres, with tickets costing $516 for unpowered sites and $596 for those with power. They’re suitable for four people max, with space for one car. In addition to tents and swags, ticketholders will be permitted to bring camper trailers, caravans, horse floats, roof-top campers, camper vans and motorhomes.

Large sites measure in at six metres by 12 metres, with tickets costing $894. They’re suitable for six people max, with space for one car. All the same provisions for medium sites apply here.

In addition to basic campsite access, the festival offers a range of pre-built camping options. First up is The Inn, where a small site with a tent will run $400 without extras and $500 with extras (single stretcher beds, camp mats and an LED lantern), while a medium site with a tent will run $800 without extras and $995 with.

Then there’s The Ranch, a medium site will cost $596 (plus $80 per person) and a large site will cost $894 (plus $80 per person). Benefits here include the closest access to the festival entry, a complimentary daily breakfast and water refill, a free merch item, and exclusive access to showers and toilets. The Ranch does not, however, offer pre-setup tents.

Head here for more info on The Inn, and here for more info on The Ranch.

Campground C will open at 12pm on Wednesday and close at 9pm. The following day, all campsites will open at 9am and close at 9pm. For the remainder of the weekend, all campsites will open at 7am and close at 9pm. And for those leaving on Monday March 18, you’ll need to be packed up and driving out before 12pm.

See below for an entry map into the campgrounds, as well as a map of the campgrounds themselves.

ACCESSIBILITY

CMC Rocks will offer several concessions for disabled attendees, including accessible parking, viewing areas and camping facilities. Companion cards will also be accepted, with a limit of one carer per paying ticketholder.

Raised viewing platforms will be accessible in front of the Rebel and Stampede stages, with those who need them able to bring one companion along. Access to these platforms, it’s said on the festival’s website, “will be determined at the discretion of the festival personnel”.

Head here for more info on accessibility.

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