UNPLUGGED: Bay comp is a platform for rising musicians
SINCE 2013, Hervey Bay Unplugged has developed some of the Fraser Coast's most recognisable names in the local music scene and beyond.
A brainchild of radio personality Kristian 'Mak' McKenna and Dogwood Crossing front man Tim Earle, previous winners took home a top prize of a professionally recorded EP (extended play record) and cash prizes.
Tim said winning the competition gave the likes of local band SeaNic Sounds and well-known soloists Sam Maddison, Derek F Smith, Tee Hamilton and Leonie Kingdom, to name a few, the stepping stone to reach new heights in their music careers.
"One of the biggest successes has been Leonie Kingdom," Tim said.
"She has gone on to do many great things from publishing one of her songs with Channel 9 for the show Doctor Doctor, taken out the R U OK competition Australia-wide and has had great success on Triple J and continues to play in festival and do great shows around the country."
Tim, who has been performing around the region for more than 15 years, said the concept was originally created to offer more support for original artists across the entire music industry.
After six successive years and a groundswell of community support, the competition has done just that.
"I think the best part about it is that there's so many wonderful artists here and whether they can do three songs or 100 songs it doesn't matter.
"It's open to anyone who wants to give it a go, covers and originals.
"Come and do it! Dip your toes in the water because you're not going to find a more appreciative audience that are there to encourage, nurture and enjoy what every one of the contestants put up."
As Hervey Bay Unplugged only continues to grow, Tim said there's some exciting changes ahead for the 2019 competition with the announcement of a new venue.
The competition was formerly held at the Beach House Hotel.
"As the program has grown in popularity over the years, the need for a larger venue became apparent in recent times and thanks to the Hervey Bay RSL, the Hervey Bay Unplugged family now has a new home to grow with," Tim said.
"We are beyond excited to be working with the Hervey Bay RSL to continue to support our diverse and exciting local artists in achieving success within the industry, and on a Friday night too!"
The launch was held at the Hervey Bay RSL on Monday and the first heat will be held at the Bayswater Hotel on Friday, April 26.
All other heats and finals will follow on at the Hervey Bay RSL.
Prizes are sponsored by Pacific International Music, Ultra Music, Wolfpack Print, The Sign Guys and HIT 101.9.
Register at unpluggedcomp.com or visit Hervey Bay Unplugged on Facebook.