Press Release


Brisbane Welcomes Coochiemudlo Island Festival To Its Shores

South East Queenslanders of all ages are invited to unwind where the music meets the sea at the inaugural Coochiemudlo Island Festival – Queensland’s newest COVID-SAFE, family-friendly and bespoke island experience which takes place from 12 – 9.30 PM on Saturday, 8 May 2021.

Presented by The Ministry For Fun ( a not-for-profit collaboration by Coochiemudlo Island businesses) and Brisbane record label 4000 Records, Coochiemudlo Island Festival is a grassroots endeavour that aims to bring communities together and lift spirits in the wake of the challenging year that was 2020. Taking place in the enchanting Mudlo Gardens on the picturesque shores of Coochiemudlo Island, a short ferry ride from Brisbane city, punters are invited to leave the concrete jungle and their everyday worries behind and enter a well-kept secret island paradise.

A slower-paced, whimsical world awaits with a stacked line-up of Queensland talent taking to the stage. Leading the bill is one of the Gold Coast’s favourite sons and the ultimate King of Chill – Bobby Alu. Serving up a slice of thumping soul, funk and reggae inspired hits are co-headliners Chocolate Strings, while the remarkable Karl S. Williams will be delivering his signature fusion of blues, roots, folk and Americana with a twist. Fellow locals Adele & The Chandeliers, Ruby Gilbert, The Holy Rollercoasters and local island band Red Belly Black are also aboard, along with Brisbane surfgaze quartet, The Double Happiness, whose song Coochiemudlo inspired the creation of the festival.

“As the world continues to battle covid-19, we here on the island wanted to do our part to bring some joy to the local community. Some like-minded individuals and businesses formed The Ministry For Fun, and soon after we happened upon The Double Happiness’ Coochiemudlo song. From there the idea to host a festival on the island was born,” said Ministry For Fun spokesperson and festival organiser, Paul Rockach.

“Coochiemudlo Island Festival is a celebration of life and every aspect of the festival – from the line-up to the activities – was curated with happiness in mind.”

Aside from live music, the festival will play host to artisanal market stalls and entertaining activities like face painting, a treasure hunt, artist demonstrations and more, ensuring there is something on offer for all ages and interests. With free entry for children under the age of 14, the event is also a budget-friendly day out for families.

“I love that this festival is a chance to bring happiness to everyone who comes to the island and for the community to share a small piece of their paradise home,” said 4000 Records’ John Russell. “We’ve booked a broad live music line-up which I can’t wait to enjoy in the gorgeous surrounds of Mudlo Gardens. This will also be the first festival I can bring my infant daughter along to, so it will be super fun to have a boogie, go for a swim and relax with the whole family.”

Easily some of Coochiemudlo Island’s biggest fans, The Double Happiness are looking forward to returning to the idyllic isle to perform for audiences and explore.

“Coochiemudlo Island Festival is our dream gig. We can’t wait to surf the ‘low waves’ of Coochiemudlo and make our song about the island an infectious ear worm for everyone who joins us,” said The Double Happiness’ Meg Welchman. “Coochiemudlo’s vibe suits the world’s current slowed pace. Stopping to take it all in, less rush and less intensity. It’s an eccentric little island and a very likeable one.”

An outdoor event adhering to covid-safe restrictions, there are a limited number of tickets available for the inaugural Coochiemudlo Island Festival.* To spread the joy even further, a livestream of the event courtesy of Stageit will be available worldwide.

“As one of the most fortunate places in Australia and indeed the world with regards to the impact of covid-19, we are keen to share the love with people overseas who are still in lockdown, and will be offering a global livestream of the event under the banner Sending Smiles From Under Southern Skies,” said Paul.

“The idea is that people based in South East Queensland can come along and celebrate life with us here on Coochiemudlo Island while also being able to share the experience (via the online stream) with their friends and loved ones who are based elsewhere. We want to send a smile and wave to as many people across the globe as possible.”

An idyllic family-friendly day out complete with sun, sand and sound, tickets to the inaugural Coochiemudlo Island Festival on Saturday, 8 May 2021, are onsale now. $59 adult tickets (and free entry bookings for children under 14 years) are available at

Event Organisers Paul Rockach and John Russell, as well as select artists, are available for email and phone interviews upon request.

Coochiemudlo Island Festival is presented by The Ministry For Fun and 4000 Records. The event is sponsored by local island businesses Amity Trader, Curlew Cafe, Consolidated Termite Specialist, Adieu Financial, Redlands Online and Island Homes Real Estate. Our local island partners include Coochiemudlo Artisan Collective, Latin Revolution Sound and Tidy Shots. Our media partners are 4ZZZ and Bay FM.

* If there are government restrictions in place that inhibit the event progressing in May 2021, the event will not be cancelled and postponed instead. Tickets will be transferred & valid for the next event date.



The images below are approved for immediate download and use. More artist, island and festival images available via ‘Download High Res Images’ link.

Coochiemudlo Island Festival - Bobby Alu
Mudlo Gardens 2 by Vivienne Rockach
Coochiemudlo Island by Tempus Media
Coochiemudlo Island Foreshore by Gary Sheehy


Coochiemudlo Island Festival - Bobby Alu

Amidst smooth harmonies, rhythms inspired by a strong family lineage of Polynesian performance, and unassuming grooves that work a gradual, smile-inducing high through even a casual listener, Bobby Alu tunes have a way of sneaking into the subconscious and taking up residence. Though it’s not all palm trees and daydreams from the Australian singer, ukulele-strummer and drummer –there’s a robust energy in Alu’s mastery of traditional Samoan log drums, and a vitality to his songwriting that nods to world, roots and pop intelligence.

Coochiemudlo Island Festival - Chocolate Strings

Brisbane’s Chocolate Strings whip up an assortment of funkedup, soul’d out melodies mixed with Latin rhythms and garnishing it all with a spoonful of grooved out Reggae. A sound made by music lovers to make lovers of music. The lush Pasifika vocal blends of Ofa Fanaika and Nikkie McWalters balance the range of tastes supplied. From the spicy percussive hits of the rhythm section to the silky smooth sax of Josh Appleby, a show’s menu is always sure to please any palate.

Coochiemudlo Island Festival - Karl S. Williams

Wearing his heart on his sleeve creating musical pieces that are vulnerable and transcendent, Karl S. Williams’ genre-defying blend of blues, roots, folk and Americana has earned him praise from outlets like The Courier Mail, The Guardian and Bluesfest Director Peter Noble himself. A talented singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, visual artist and poet, he’s played at many renowned festivals, including Bluesfest and Woodford Folk Festival.

Coochiemudlo Island Festival - Ruby Gilbert

Charismatic and endearing, modern yet nostalgic – Brisbane belle Ruby Gilbert is nothing short of a sonic enchantress. Blending blues and roots stylings with a rock n roll soundbed and her signature Americana-tinged vocals, Ruby has showcased at BIGSOUND, been a Queensland Music Awards nominee and had her music featured on the likes of Channel 7 television show Wanted.

Coochiemudlo Island Festival - The Holy Rollercoasters by Vanessa Van Dalsen

Fusing pop sentiments with a heavy soul sound are Brisbane octet The Holy Rollercoasters. Masters of walking the musical tightrope between serious and silly, this superbly talented troupe have audiences jumping for joy one minute and feeling nostalgic the next. Their latest record Embrace has been described as “an absolute delight,” and this translates to their live performances where they truly shine.

Coochiemudlo Isand Festival - The Double Happiness by Mark Cranitch

Serving up slick sounds that go down like a Pina Colada on a hot summer’s day, surfgaze quartet The Double Happiness inspired the creation of Coochiemudlo Island Festival thanks to their sonic earworm of a track Coochiemudlo. Paying homeage to the jangly guitar sounds of their hometown Brisbane, they recently released their debut album and are popular on the 4ZZZ airwaves.

Coochiemudlo Island Festival - Adele & The Chandeliers

Known by many as the bassist of iconic Brisbane band The Go-Betweens, Adele & The Chandeliers’ leading lady Adele Pickvance is a stalwart of the local music scene. Formed in 2018 when Adele and guitarist Scott Mercer were at Brisbane community radio station 4ZZZ, this match made in pop-punk heaven get hips swaying and toes tapping. 

Coochiemudlo Island locals Red Belly Black turned their mutual love of music into a trio. Whiling away spare hours by covering some of their favourite songs from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s, with a light soul/latin-jazz feel. An eclectic mix of sound, from Damon Riley’s keyboard skills and powerful vocals, Shane Poole’s sunset-smooth guitar and vocals and Deb Muller on lead vocals. Groovy tunes that are made for high tide on the beach at Coochie.








Mimm Steele | Festival Publicist | E: | P: 0402 087 030