A message from event organiser 8 Ball Aitken...

After eleven years of showcasing Brisbane and South-East Queensland’s talented roots, blues, acoustic, country, and alternative country musicians, we have called it a day. 2015 was our final event. Many thanks to all the musicians who graced the stage, our sponsors, supporters, audience, and everyone else involved in making Brisbane’s Grass Roots Music festival happen for over a decade. 


Grass Roots Music Festival 2015



Sunday 1 November – Mt. Coot-tha Botanical Gardens, Toowong , QLD, 11 am - FREE ENTRY

It started out over a decade ago as a humble TAFE assignment by two event management students at Southbank, planning a theoretical festival, but one grade of ‘high distinction’ and eleven years on, the Grass Roots Music Festival has evolved into Brisbane’s pre-eminent family ‘soul food picnic’ and the highlight of Southeast Queensland’s blues, roots, & alt.country calendar.

Queensland born-and-bred musician (and festival co-founder) 8 Ball Aitken boomerangs his way back to the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens this November 1, kicking off the eleventh year of the 100% original music festival he carefully curates each spring, presenting the Brisbane area’s best and brightest new talent. “I can’t stay away – I just keep on flying back and returning to the magic mountain!” laughs the #1 charting singer-songwriter. Currently promoting his new single, 'Seven Bucks An Hour In A Chicken Suit' with a wild and crazy video filmed in Southeast Queensland, 8 Ball has returned from his American tour just in time for jacaranda season at Mount Coot-tha.

Combining the deep soul roots of the blues and a sweet folky lilt with some country-style guitar fireworks, the festival’s featured performers are blazing new trails into the Aussie musical heartland. Country-folk songbird Hayley Marsten kicks off proceedings, opening the festival with sweet songs and a catchy, up-tempo beat. Brendan Radford, who has toured with some of Australia’s most popular performing artists, presents his own original, soul-searching songs at Grass Roots XI. Indigenous folk-pop group Tigerlily will get the crowd up and bopping along to their happy melodies and soaring vocal harmonies. Presenting catchy, country-inflected tunes, roots-rocker Dana Hassall continues the momentum. Festival stalwart 8 Ball Aitken takes the stage next, playing his hits – and the crowd is guaranteed to be whooping it up on the lush green lawn by now. X-Factor alumna Livi Robins delivers her stirring, soulful anthems next, followed by the bluesey, alt.country stylings of international troubadours the Hussy Hicks. Bringing the festival to a foot-stomping, tub-thumping grand finale, Delta blues cigar-box guitar supremo Nigel McTrustry will ensure that Grass Roots XI winds up on a high note of excitement.

Eager to return to his fun-loving Grass Roots audience, festival host 8 Ball Aitken loves to experience Mount Coot-tha in the springtime. “Spring is the start of the music festival season in Australia – so it’s my favourite time of year, and Grass Roots kicks it off in style,” he notes. With a #1 hit in the Aussie country chart and a #2 hit in the Aussie blues chart simultaneously last year, 8 Ball says that as far as he knows, it’s the first time a crossover artist has ever hit that pinnacle. “The Grass Roots Music Festival has been a springboard to success for many of our featured artists for over a decade now,” he continues. “It is our goal to highlight the best new talent our region has to offer, all in a family-friendly environment where people of all generations can come to the mountain with a picnic, and spend a sunny Sunday frolicking to the music.“

You can catch Southeast Queensland’s up and coming, all- original alt.country, blues & roots musicians performing at the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens bandstand on Sunday, 1 November, starting at 11 am. Best of all, entry is free.

SCHEDULE: 11:00 am – Hayley Marsten;    11:45 am - Brendan Radford;    12:30pm – Hussy Hicks;    1:15 pm – Tigerlilly;

2:00 pm – 8 Ball Aitken;    2:45 pm – Livi Robins;    3:30 pm – Dana Hassall;    4:15 pm – Nigel McTrustry