The Gympie Music Muster is one of those festivals you can be at for one, two or even fourteen days. It's both rowdy and relaxed, and it certainly is an experience you'll never forget. From campfire cook ups around the campsite to boot scootin' in front of the main stage, the Muster has a way of bringing people together, no matter the age.
Our team at OZtrail had the privilege of spending a number of days at the festival this year, and what a time it was. For those who wish to be apart of the Muster madness next year we've outlined a few survival tips and tricks to ensure those first timers get the most out of their time in Gympie.
The weather at the festival can be somewhat unpredictable. The middle of the day can see temperatures reaching 27 degrees and then below 0 at night. So shirts, thermals, shorts, bed socks, jeans and coats are all a must! Oh, and don't forget your cowboy boots and Arkubra hat.
As the evenings tend to fall into the negatives, you'll want a winter appropriate tent and sleeping bag. Swags or all-season tents like the Fast Frame series are a great option as their inner is designed to trap in the warmth. For extra protection a tarp can be added to the outside of your tent. Our Kingsford series of sleeping bags are designed to keep you insulated from the elements. Bags like the Cotton Canvas Mega Hooded all feature a flannel cotton inner and draw corded hood for extra warmth. Sleeping on an easy fold stretcher with a FatMat placed on top will also help as it keeps you off the cold ground! Tip: Don't forget to pack duct tape incase of any unexpected rips or holes in your gear.
Though you'll have a good time no matter where you're parked, the campgrounds do stretch out over a few kilometers meaning, amenities, food and the festival entrance will require you to put your walking boots on or catch the courtesy bus in. If you'd prefer to be closer to the action but wish for free camping, you may want to rope off a section ahead of time. This can be done either online or in person and as early as four weeks out from the festival! Prime camping positions are also available but come with a booking fee.
'Clean' amenities may not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of camping, but the Muster team do a really great job at keeping on top of the cleanliness of bathrooms. Portaloo-style showers are provided, and they're actually hot and very clean! Tip: As they're the size of a Portaloo, your change of clothes are very likely to get wet if they're not kept in a waterproof bag when hung on the back of the door.
The Gympie Music Muster is in no way a small festival. There's roughly 20,000 country music fans who turn up each year, most of which camp for the duration. After a few days, your tent neighbours become like family. You'll cook together, party together and lean on each other for supplies. There'll be sleepless nights and rough mornings but the best thing you can do is really embrace the experience as it only comes round once a year!
If you've been to the Muster and think we've missed important tips, please leave a comment below!