New Muster GM, new motto
THERE are no strangers at the Muster; only friends you haven't met yet. That's the motto of the 2014 Gympie Music Muster and one new general manager Jeff Chandler is excited to go by.
For the past two years Mr Chandler has been in charge of the festival's programming but has this year he will lead the event in what he hopes to be "a year of consolidation".
He said the appointment of the 2014 board has brought stability to the core of the Muster's organisation, with fresh faces included in the mix.
New chairman Jonathan Weller, taking the place of former chairman Glen Smith, would benefit from the Muster experience of Gympie businessmen Carl Green and Craig Doyle, while realtor Nathan O'Neill and tourist development manager for Destination Gympie Region, Andrew Saunders, added a variety of knowledge to the board.
"There's confidence back in the office," he said.
Mr Chandler, who has been an artist manager for more than 35 years and currently represents Australian country music favourite Sara Storer, said there were plenty of ideas floating around for the Muster, but the key this year would be making sure the event is manageable and stable.
He said his past two years of hands-on work with the Muster had taught him a lot about the "overall" management of the music festival, which he feels "so much a part of".
There's no real surprise the Muster is close to Mr Chandler's heart - he's been to almost every Muster since he went there with James Blundell in 1988. During the past three decades, Mr Chandler has been at the core of much of Australia's country music family, having represented Tommy Emmanuel, Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daley and Beccy Cole. He said this year's Muster would bring Aussie talent back to Main Stage domination.