Get up close and personal with some of our 2021 performers - read what makes them tick; their achievements, trials and tribulations; their creative plans for the future. 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 for you to 'Discover the Undiscovered'! 💙✌
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 that entry to the festival is accessible to as many as possible, so we keep our entry fees extremely low! 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. We include tip tokens with your entry to kick start your tipping and you can toss them their way whenever you see fit, alongside any coins or notes you think they deserve! You can even swap notes for tip tokens all from the convenience of our information centre.
Our performers can redeem all of their tip tokens at the end of their performances and it’s through your generosity that our event can continue and our performers can continue on their road to success.
Emma Tomlinson has been a part of the music industry since she was eight years old, performing at a lady’s lunch with her little songbook and mic stand. This was the day that she met Cindy Jensen, creator of Buskers by the Lake, and Cindy said to Emma that she’d love for her to perform at her busking festival.
Tomlinson first performed at what was previously known as Buskers by the Creek back in 2015 and is happy to see it make its debut on the Sunshine Coast this year after COVID.
“It’s actually so cool I have to say considering how COVID has massively impacted our industry and how we seek work through musical events such as festivals. Being able to have this opportunity to perform at a music festival that is for buskers specifically is insane,” Tomlinson said.
“Now six years later here I am again but now its Buskers by the Lake and I have an upgraded sound with both vocals and a keyboard,
“That same year I was on X-Factor, braces and everything. They flew me to Sydney but I got two yes’s and two no’s as they thought I was too young, but that didn’t stop me. I kept auditioning for The Voice and The Voice Kids and even Young Talent Time when I was little as well.
“At 18 years old I started picking up gigs and that was all continuous practice.”
Tomlinson compares her singing career to learning to drive, stating that when she was eight years old and just starting out she was on her L plates and she’s kept learning and progressing in her career since then.
Last year Tomlinson released two debut singles from her EP Aquarius which was funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund from the Noosa Council.
“The first single I released was called Rosemary and the second one was called Silver Lightning, and then my EP Aquarius which features five songs, one of them I actually worked on with Andy Ward,” Tomlinson said.
“The latest single I released was called Control and a week before that I was in hospital … I do have a new single coming and it’s called Ghost which I’m really excited about.”
The idea for Ghost came from Tomlinson talking to her friend Gabe at university and showing him a track she’d found on a website that that had sample sounds. Her friend then made a beat to the track and the pair finished writing the song that night.
Tomlinson is excited to be able to perform again and is ready to see the new talent emerge and take over the everchanging music industry.
“We’ve got to keep nurturing emerging artists and ensuring that they have that moment of exposure, but they also share their talents and their stories,” Tomlinson said.
“They’re the next generation of music and we need to keep harnessing people’s ideas, peoples stories and peoples songs, not just in the music industry but in all the creative industries. “
Tomlinson credits Cindy Jensen for her support and looks up to her and her work in the community as well as the music industry.
“Having Cindy support me all the way has been the biggest honour. She is the most incredible woman. She’s done so much over the years and getting people together by using a festival like this is just absolutely sensational,” Tomlinson said.
Alongside being a musician, Tomlinson is also an ambassador for Autism Queensland, a cause she holds close to her heart.
“I grew up with my family being on the spectrum and with that sense of understanding I was able to I guess gain that knowledge and understanding of neurological disorders,” Tomlinson said.
“It’s not something that you’re defined by, it’s just something that is a part of you. Being different makes a difference.”
When asked where she sees herself in five years, Tomlinson said that she sees herself exploring her music, releasing an album and hopefully travelling around Australia with her music.
“That’s kind of how I see myself and I guess it’s also really hard to say because you never know where the road is going to take you,” Tomlinson said.
Her new song Ghost is to be released on October 22nd with the launch event being the day before at the Woolly Mammoth Main Stage in Fortitude Valley. You can find Emma Tomlinson on Instagram here, and can also see her perform at Buskers by the Lake on October 30th. 💙✌
In 2016 we introduced Australia to its first ever floating half-pipe. Then in 2019 we brought it back bigger and better.
Now in 2021 in a Sunny Coast first, you get to witness our half-pipe lakeside .... and on fire! 💙✌
The construction will commence on Thursday before the event and take more than 100 man hours and a team of twenty to assemble, transport, unload and position the half pipe into place. And it’s already becoming the hot topic over in the skateboarding world.
Owner of Chiggy's Skateboarding, Mat Chiggy says they can’t wait to put on an epic show.
“I’m feeling very excited and grateful about having this festival move to the Sunshine Coast,” he said. “It's a great festival and it's just what the coast needs.”
Chiggy’s skateboarding will be joining BMX riders, scooter riders and roller skaters in tearing up the floating half-pipe with tricks and flips galore.
One of those BMX riders include Australia’s BMX champion, Alex Hiam. A professional rider for over a decade, Alex took home the Dave Mirra Best Trick title at the 2018 X Games.
“I’ve never ridden my bike off land - a floating half pipe is pretty much as rad as it gets,” said the 26-year-old BMX rider sponsored by VANS, Colony and LUX. “There has only been a few times this has ever been pulled off, so to get the opportunity to carve up out on the water is amazing.”
But of course this all wouldn’t be possible without the help of our amazing sponsors and Event Manager, Joel Jensen. Joel has overseen and executed the operation in previous years and looks forward to dishing up a taste of the action to the Sunshine Coast fans!
“It’s an all day and costly exercise (to get the half-pipe floating) and we definitely couldn’t achieve the dream without the support of our partners AB Crane Hire, Borger Cranes and Gold Coast Barges,” he said.
Fast becoming one of the world’s largest busking festivals, 2021 is set to be bigger and better than ever with more than 300 performers taking to the picturesque lakeside location, including award-winning musicians, world-renowned contortionists, magicians, circus performers and yet-to-be-discovered talents.
The floating half-pipe will feature scheduled shows from 11am on the 30th & 31st of October, with the fiery finale by Energy Entertainments kicking off at 6pm sharp.
Nana’s Pie Band was created by Tyler, Adam and Nash; Sunshine Coast locals who have integrated the coastal lifestyle into their music.
The bandmates have been friends since kindergarten, and reconnected years later to form the group known as Nana’s Pie.
As kids the boys built a trailer that they would use to cart their instruments down to the Ocean Street Markets and would set up outside the pizza shop where they’d be given free pizza by the owner.
Starting off, the boys occasionally busked around the Sunshine Coast and credit it to their beginning.
“It was something we did because obviously we couldn’t get bigger shows. We haven’t been hugely involved in the busking community but it’s something that definitely started us off when we were young lads.”
“I don’t know you at all but you’re appreciating my music … that’s pretty cool. When we play certain songs it’s so amazing to see people really sitting there listening to what you’re doing. It makes you feel good about what you’re doing and pushes you to keep playing music.”
They’re also regular performers at Solbar who are one of the sponsors for Buskers by the Lake. When the band first started performing at Solbar they were all underage so a security guard would follow them around the entire time they were there performing, and it was the person who actually books the bands that made them get serious about their music.
When asked about a particular category their music could fall under, they couldn’t decide on just one, citing folk, indie, rock and country as just a few of their inspirations.
“We haven’t forced the sort of music we play. If you come and see us what you hear is not forced. You can’t really pin it on a genre every song is different.”
Nana’s Pie Band will be playing at Buskers by the Lake and are excited to be performing on a stage again.
“We haven’t played a festival in ages so we’re really looking forward to it.”
“Over the last year if you look at our socials, we’ve grown that over a year. We’re aspiring to go down to Brisbane or the Gold Coat, or Byron if we get the chance. Even if its busking – trying to gain more followers from outside the Sunshine Coast.
“Thank you Buskers by the Lake for supporting live music, and a big shout out to the Sunny Coast, you guys are legends and thank you for supporting us along this journey.
“Come visit the Sunshine Coast – it’s the place to be.”
You can find Nana’s Pie Band on Instagram here, and can also see them at Buskers by the Lake on October 30th. 💙✌
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.
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! 💙✌