FESTIVAL FUN: 8 Ball Aitken at a previous Agnes Water Blues and Roots Festival.
FESTIVAL FUN: 8 Ball Aitken at a previous Agnes Water Blues and Roots Festival. Mike Richards

Seven Gladstone events you can't miss this year

HERE are seven events in the Gladstone region that shouldn't be missed, with something for everyone.

1. Agnes Blues, Roots and Rock Fest

MORE than 20 bands will travel to Agnes Water for the Agnes Blues, Roots and Rock Festival.

It's the first year the three-day music festival has added the third genre to the list.

President of the Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce events committee Gassan Sangari said they were expecting a mixture of local and national acts.

"We're hoping to get 3000 people there," he said.

"That's what the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre would get when they used to host it."

This is also the first year the festival has been run without the support of Gladstone Regional Council.

"It's going really well. We've booked all the bands and there's just a couple of minor things left to do," he said.

WHEN: The event is held from Friday, March 27 to Sunday, March 29.

WHERE: At the Agnes Water SES Grounds. 

TICKETS: For tickets visit the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre website or office.

TOP ACT: N.Brahj performing at a recent El Grande music festival. The event will be held in March.
TOP ACT: N.Brahj performing at a recent El Grande music festival. The event will be held in March. Luka Kauzlaric

2. El Grande Festival

A GLADSTONE rock music festival will bring two Aria-winning artists, a band that has just finished a tour through Europe and another that has made the iTunes rock charts with the likes of INXS and the Foo Fighters.

The El Grande Festival will be held at the Grand Hotel on March 21 and 22.

Organiser Tim Price said they expected a crowd of 600 each day.

Mr Price described the line-up as a "very high calibre".

"(Fellow organiser) Nathan Bedford and I were figuring out what it is what the Gladstone people want,'' he said.

"It's not just a case of what's hot right now in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, but what people are talking about in Gladstone."

VIP tickets are on sale now and the line-up will be released by January 19.

General admission tickets will be on sale from January 22. Visit elgrandefestival.com or Facebook.

WHEN: March 21-22.

WHERE: Grand Hotel.

MORE INFO: elgrandefestival.com.

PARTY TIME: The Workforce International Gladstone Harbour Festival Parade.
PARTY TIME: The Workforce International Gladstone Harbour Festival Parade. Mike Richards

3. Gladstone Harbour Festival

THE biggest event in Gladstone at Easter will be back in 2015, but with several key changes to the program.

The raft race, street parade, junior queen, talent quest, amusement rides and stalls will see thousands flock to the Gladstone Marina.

Organisers promise to have the same amount of fun and activities crammed into a shorter schedule from Wednesday, April 1 to Sunday, April 5.

In previous years the event has been held from the Sunday before Easter until Easter Saturday.

"By adding the Sunday to the program it will be a better opportunity for people to come to the region and enjoy the harbour festival over the whole Easter weekend," Gladstone Festival and Events co-ordinator Abi Galbraith said.

She said she still expected up to 70,000 people.

"We don't think the numbers will decrease because of this," she said.

Another change to this year's program includes the removal of the Jazz 'n' Shiraz event and Battle of the Bands.

Local bands can compete in the Talent Quest.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 1 - Sunday, April 5.

WHERE: Gladstone Marina.

GET INVOLVED: Forms for market stallholders are available at the festival website. All entry forms will be available on the website in a few weeks.

GREAT CATCH: Emma Daley hooked a 0.885kg parrot/ tusk fish at the Boyne-Tannum Hookup event on Boyne Island.
GREAT CATCH: Emma Daley hooked a 0.885kg parrot/ tusk fish at the Boyne-Tannum Hookup event on Boyne Island. Luka Kauzlaric

4. Boyne Tannum Hookup

THERE will be $300,000 in prize money and prizes at this year's Boyne-Tannum Hookup.

The annual fishing competition attracts thousands to the region and will be held in the June long weekend.

Boyne-Tannum Hookup committee president Jeff Amos said they had added another competition to the list this year.

"A week before the event we're going to go fishing and tag and photograph three different fish," he said.

"They will be put in the Gladstone harbour estuaries and if anyone catches them, we'll give them $5000."

It'll be a big party, being its 20th birthday.

"We've got special guests for cooking and filleting demonstrations and a boat display," he said.

"We're a family organisation - the kids come down and meet celebrities, go on the rides and have fun.

"Normally on a weekend dad goes fishing, but on our weekend, mum, dad and the kids will all go."

WHEN: June 5-7.

WHERE: Bray Park, Boyne Island.

GET INVOLVED: Registrations are open and are at a discounted price until January 31. Visit the Boyne Tannum Hookup website for more information.

GLAM TIME: Col Chapman and Cheryl Little at a GLNG Mayor’s Charity Ball.
GLAM TIME: Col Chapman and Cheryl Little at a GLNG Mayor’s Charity Ball. Christopher Chan

5. Mayor's Charity Ball

GLITZ and glam will be coming to Gladstone as the Mayor's Charity Ball returns.

For the third ball, organisers Variety Queensland said they would bring entertainment never seen before in Gladstone.

Variety Queensland's Carly Quinn said four charities would benefit - MAD Camp, the Country Women's Association, ZONTA and Variety Queensland.

"The mayor is very excited about this event. She loves the fact that the community comes together to support charities."

There will be a three-course meal and selected beer, wine and soft drinks.

This is the first year it has been held at the renovated Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre and organisers are expecting to have a crowd of 500.

Also to be organised by the Variety Queensland this year is the Old Bags Lunch, and the popular Variety Charity Ball will return but as a high-end food and wine event.

WHEN: May 30.

WHERE: Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre.

TICKETS: On sale February 1.

Seventeen Seventy in the Gladstone region, on the Discovery Coast.
Seventeen Seventy in the Gladstone region, on the Discovery Coast.

6. 1770 Music Festival

AGNES Water resident and musician Maurice Nicholson wants his region to be known across Australia.

This year he is organising the first 1770 Music Festival.

The three-day event will host acts from several genres, including dance, rock, heavy metal, country, blues, reggae and indie.

"In Agnes and Seventeen Seventy it's paradise," he said.

"This event will give a chance for the rest of Queensland and Australia to come here."

Mr Nicholson looked forward to showcasing local and national talent.

"We've got so much talent, in Australia, who don't get exposure at a festival, so we're going through hand-picking what we think is festival quality of Australian acts," he said.

He expected the line-up to be announced by March.

WHEN: November 27- 29.

WHERE: Seventeen Seventy

7. Australia Barra and Basstasstic Tournaments

BARRAMUNDI fishermen who are keen to wet a line and win a prize can hook into a fishing competition this month.

The Australian Barra and Basstasstic Tournaments will host an event on January 16-18 at the Awoonga Dam.

The tournament has teamed up with Awoonga Caravan Park, which is offering all families discounts on accommodation.

For the weekend only mums and dads will have to pay, as the kids can stay free.

Anyone else will get a 10% discount on all accommodation.

Organiser Russell Nowland said it was a catch, photo and release lures-only tournament.

"There's plenty of barra getting caught in the dam. A 93cm was caught there yesterday," he said.

Competitors will need a camera and a brag matt.

WHEN: From January 16-18.

WHERE: Awoonga Dam.

GET INVOLVED: Nominations open Friday, January 16. For more information visit the barrabasstasstic.com website or their Facebook page.

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