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Written by on November 4, 2022

Perry Street Park has been officially crowned as Australian music’s brightest rising band, after taking out the national ‘Passport to Airlie’ competition at the 10th anniversary of the Airlie Beach Festival of Music last night!

The Brisbane-based four piece beat competing acts from not just their home city but also Darwin, Mackay, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast, Byron Bay and Cairns.

Originally forming through sessions with Benny Nelson (The band’s front-man who was a 2019 finalist in the Passport to Airlie competition) over 2018 and 2019 the boys decided to come out of COVID-19 with a fresh new project and formed Perry Street Park.

“We were stoked to win, the talent pool was so deep this year so we feel absolutely honoured”  they said, when asked about the moment their name was announced. 

Artist: Dande And The Lion

For an up and coming band to be a part of a festival this size is a huge opportunity to get exposure and build the chops for a career in the industry, and now to be crowned the winners and come back again next year is incredible“, front-man Benny adds.

As part of the prize, the band has now secured themselves a place on the main stage line-up at next year’s Airlie Beach Festival Of Music, where this year’s headliners include the likes of The Animals, Eskimo Joe, Rogue Traders, Ben Lee & Jon Stevens.

The Passport to Airlie judging panel included Aussie music legends Sarah Mcleod, Bill Chambers, Innocent Eve‘s Rachel Olsson and Busker By The Lake’s Joel Jensen, and they all agreed it was incredibly hard to choose just one winner from the overall pool of talent, but Perry Street Park were definitely the band that stood out the most across the field.

Artist: Abi Muir

Sarah McLeod also reiterated what a great opportunity the ‘Passport to Airlie’ competition presented for emerging talent, and said she looked forward to the interaction all competitors would enjoy with Airlie Beach Festival of Music audiences this weekend. 

A chance to be heard in a professional environment and to receive advice from established artists – I would’ve jumped at this opportunity when I as young. Feedback from industry professionals goes a long way,” she said.  

Sponsored by Brick Lane and held under the main tent for the first time ever, the night closed with an incredible acoustic set from Sarah herself, including a cover from one of this year’s headliners The Animals, with “House of the Rising Sun”. The tent was packed from the first passport finalist and only grew as the night went on.

In addition to the main stage line-up at the idyllic waterfront location of the Whitsunday Sailing Club, the festival runs a live music program at participating Airlie Beach venues, including Anchor Bar, Beaches, Boaty’s, Fish D’vine, KC’s Bar and Grill, Magnums, Paradiso, Sorrento Restaurant and Bar, Treehouse, and the Whisper Restaurant & Gin Bar at Mirage Whitsundays. 

All Passport to Airlie acts, including Perry Street Park, The Neo, Abi MuirWeathered, Karly JewellDande & The LionSunday Lemonade & Owls of Neptune, can be found at various festival venues over the weekend. 

Festival founder, Gavin Butlin, said it isn’t too late to secure a festival pass.  

“Three-day passes cost $300 and give you access to all venues and events, and if you can’t make the whole weekend there are day passes for $140,” he said. The festival will be running from November 4-6. 

To purchase tickets for the 10th anniversary of the annual Airlie Beach Festival Of Music, or view the full festival program, visit

For updates over the festival weekend, follow @airliebeachfestivalofmusic on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.