Sounds Like… Groovin the Moo

Groovin the Moo utilises community art
Groovin the Moo revellers with a teepee made as a community art project in 2018 IMAGE: Jack Toohey

This is the first in a four-part series looking at the broad community benefits of Music Festivals in the Townsville region.

Groovin the Moo is Townsville’s only annual opportunity to catch a huge line-up of some of the hottest contemporary music acts.

While there’s always plenty of hype about the highest energy artists, the biggest production spectacles, the funniest costumes and the approximate amount of glitter to the nearest tonne; what is often overlooked is the swelling community pride behind the scenes.

As soon as you walk through the gates at Groovin, you will be greeted by a beaming volunteer and surrounded by a cheerfully eclectic array of artwork. This artwork is lovingly produced; and its purpose is so much greater than adding a pop of colour to a fence-line or marquee, although it does do that very well!

Abbie Richardson is one of the people coordinating artwork for this year’s Groovin the Moo. Abbie runs Positive Possibilities, a disability support service that helps people gain independence and build life and social skills.

Abbie’s arts and crafts group has been busy painting and collaging some huge flowers for Groovin the Moo this year.

“We’ve done these big paintings with an old record in the middle and sheet music around the outside, which the girls have painted to make a flower,” said Abbie.

“I took three of the girls for a walk down the road the and they asked the signage company if they had any old signage they could donate,” Abbie said.

The donated coreflute became the backing for the flowers.

Community Artwork for Groovin the Moo 2019
Positive Possibilities: Kara Rowling, Jana Connolly, Kate Pemberton (front). Amy Monkhouse and Tyler Kirby with their artwork for Groovin the Moo 2019

“On the way, they were very nervous about chatting to someone they’d never met, so we role-played and rehearsed what we would say, and they were so proud of themselves afterwards.”

Abbie and some of her girls will also be volunteering at Groovin the Moo, handing out maps and information as punters arrive.

“I’ll be taking at least five girls to volunteer on the day. Quite a few of them are people-people – they love to interact with others and it builds up their confidence and their sense of accomplishment.”

Another group has been busy creating chandeliers from recycled plastic bottle caps for GTM.

Ann Burke’s Art Circle, which draws people from organisations like the Endeavour Foundation, Kith & Kin and Disability Services, has been stringing hundreds of lids together.

“They love having their work in such a public space,” said Ann of her collaborators. “When the members of the group see it somewhere, they’re quite ecstatic.”

The Art Circle will receive free tickets to Groovin the Moo in exchange for their efforts.

“A lot of the members can’t afford to go to different things around town as they have limited funds,” said Anne. “They get pretty excited when they’re offered free tickets.”

While you’re scream-singing along to Hilltop Hoods, getting nostalgic with Regurgitator and snapping your 63rd #GTM2019 selfie, be sure to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful artwork in the background. It’s been crafted especially for Townsville by people in our own backyard, and it’s impact will extend far beyond Festival day.

Groovin the Moo Townsville will be held Sunday, 5 May 2019 at the Murray Sports Complex. Tickets are available from


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