Read All About | Buskers by the Lake

Read All About

Get up close and personal with our performers - read what makes them tick; their achievements, trials and tribulations; their creative plans for the future. Updated on a regular basis. Sometimes dark, sometimes gritty, most of the time inspiring!

We've also got tips on what to do and where to go on the Sunshine Coast and touch on the topics on the tip of everyone's tongues.

We can't wait to raise the curtain on the Sunshine Coast and have you a part of the M-A-G-I-C!

Tom Mac’s One-Man-Band

By Pandella Maultby, University of the Sunshine Coast

If you love yourself a bit of country or folk music, then make sure you catch Tom Mac at Buskers by the Lake this August.

Tom is a full one-man band. He sings, plays the guitar, loops, plays the harmonica and recently learnt the didgeridoo.

Read on to get to know about how he started and why he is so passionate about his music.


Tom was born and raised in country Victoria, which whether he likes it or not has heavily influenced his music. He said he likes to consider his music folk, but many of his fans claim it’s more country. When he was 16, he moved to Melbourne which he believes is what influenced the whole “loopy thing”.

Despite having music in his blood, he didn’t begin to really get into the professional music scene until his early-to-mid-20s. He had always been in musicals and choirs and started out doing open mics, but his first real gig was an experience he will always cherish.

“That first gig was definitely the first time I felt proud to tell people what I did … And the funny thing about that first gig is, I also picked up the hottest chick I’d picked up in my life at that point … But that just happened as a by-product, but I really enjoyed the experience of playing and bringing people joy.”

This spurred him on to release some incredible original music, before embarking on a five to six year long hiatus to truly discover himself and rebrand. He has only recently stepped back onto the stage.


Since venturing back into the spotlight, Tom has been working on some new hits, with his upcoming Ep Hearts are Strong. To promote this, he’s also been really wearing his heart on his sleeve by creating personalised song gifts for fans. I recommend heading to his Facebook page to watch some of these heartfelt renditions.

Career Highlights

Some of Tom’s most memorable moments aren’t from performing but instead his experiences being a traveling musician. This story features his favourite guitar, which he doesn’t even understand how it’s still working, after he once used it as a crash pad.

“I was actually knocked off my push bike on the way home at one in the morning in London … A pissed Irish lady opened her door onto the roadside to get out. And I happened to be riding along and broke my finger on the door, did a 180 and fell on top of my guitar … And I split it.”

He patched it up, and then not even a week later, it sustained more damage in transit on his way back to Australia. He said to this day it still works but the bumps and bruises are obvious and extensive.


When searching for inspiration, Tom looks deeper than the surface. His main musical inspirations are Bob Marley and Xavier Rudd, but not just because he enjoys their music. He appreciates their bigger purpose. He aspires to genuinely make a difference and make the world a better place through music and powerful messaging, the way they do.

When asked to bestow some wisdom for fellow musicians starting out, Tom said to make sure you never give up, stay authentic and be different.

“Don't give up, don't think that when you're 24, 25 … You should be famous by now. … Take the slow road, I mean, I had to learn this myself. … I was influenced by this idea of fame, and I think we all are. … Be different. You are different by being yourself, try not to be too much like other people, take influence from them, but be yourself and create your own sound.”

Greatest Dream

Tom said if he allowed himself to really dream then his greatest dream and fantasy would be to perform to thousands and hear his words sung back to him.

“It'd be great to have 20,000 people sing your song back to you. That is obviously my fantasy because not from the egotistic side of it, it'd just be nice that that message has resonated with enough people that you can feel that come back to you. And you know that you've made an impact on the world .”


By Ronan Clarke, University of the Sunshine Coast

A busker is someone who entertains for donations, so please remember – don’t forget to tip!

Buskers by the Lake celebrates the art of busking and what better way to show your appreciation for the artists, than by paying them for their performance!

We want to ensure entry prices to the festival don't impact our buskers' tips, so we keep our entry fees extremely low! At early bird prices, it's only $50 for a family of four for a full day's EXPERIENCE!

Our buskers aren’t being paid by us, but that’s where you come in – because of the money we’ve saved you on entry, we expect you to start saving your cash stash to bring to share amongst your favourite performers.

What is a tip token, you ask? Tip tokens are one of the ideas we’ve come up with to help you help our performers, with each token being worth one dollar to the buskers. You can swap cash or EFT some tip tokens at our information centre and you can toss them their way whenever you see fit, alongside any coins or notes you think they deserve!

Our performers can redeem all of their tip tokens at the end of their performances and it’s through your generosity that our performers can continue on their road to success.

The Sunshine Coast Bucket List ... by Shandyn Lameree

So you’ve come up to the Sunny Coast for 'Buskers by the Lake' and you want to explore, but not sure where to start? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered....

Visit a Sunshine Coast beach

I feel like this one kind of goes without saying - a holiday on the Sunshine Coast without visiting one of our many beautiful beaches, is a holiday wasted! The best beach on the Sunny Coast is a hotly contested topic up here. Locals could easily waste a few hours debating the merits of their favourite beaches. Truly, we’ve got a beach for every occasion. My advice is to visit a few and pick your favourite spot. Some of my faves include Golden Beach, First and Second Bay in Coolum and La Balsa.

The Hinterland

Waterfalls, walks, stunning views, amazing eats and cute little boutique shops - the Sunshine Coast hinterland is worth the drive up the mountain. The Hinterland is its' own unique escape, where you’ll be transported to a lush green sanctuary. Make sure to pack your walking shoes and visit one of our iconic walks. The Kondalilla Falls walk will take you to some stunning rock pools hidden away in a valley where you can take a nice dip before finishing the circuit.

Visit a Sunshine Coast brewery

We’re the Sunshine Coast for a reason! Can you name a more iconic duo than a beautiful sunny day and a cold beverage? Then it's no wonder we’ve seen an explosion of micro-breweries appear over the last couple of years on the Sunshine Coast. One of our most iconic has to be Your Mates in Kawana. Your Mates Brewery has been a labour of love for two local mates and their iconic pale ale Larry has recently been picked up nationally by Dan Murphy’s and was voted number 4 in the GABS hottest 100 Aussie craft beers. Your Mates brewhouse is found right near the festival in the Kawana industrial area and designed for the whole family with a choice of affordable foods, drinks and a fenced playground for the littlest family members.

Climb a Mountain

The Sunny Coast is a pretty picturesque location and the best place to view it is at the top of one of our many mountains. No matter your skill level, there is a mountain suitable. If you’re looking for something easy enough for the whole family, Wildhorse Mountain is the baby of the Glasshouse mountains and is 1.4km return. It's still a mountain though and has enough incline to get those muscles working. This handy guide will take you through all the local mountains and skills needed to get to the top. If you're a fitness fanatic you can always try the five in one day challenge.

Whatever it is you plan to experience, ENJOY! And if you don't have time to extend your stay past the festival this time 'round, we'll see you next time! 💙✌