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Beach, barefeet and Bach… this is how to do classical music in North Queensland!

The Australian Festival of Chamber Music 3 mins read
Beach, barefeet and Bach... this is how to do classical music in North Queensland!



The Australian Festival of Chamber Music continues to create unique experiences for visitors, and this year, it’s a special island concert that combines

whale watching with classical music!


Organisers of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM), which takes place in Townsville-Gurambilbarra from 26 July to 4 August, are inviting holiday makers to try something different this year - a taste of music in the tropics (and some sand between their toes 🏝️)! Images here


AFCM is a world-class, internationally acclaimed classical music event, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Nowhere else in Australia can music lovers see such exceptional international and Australian musicians performing in small groups over 10 days. More than 35 musicians will converge on Townsville-Gurambilbarra including 11 international musicians with many making their Festival debut.


The tropical setting, laidback seaside vibe and the friendliness of the musicians, volunteers and local community all contribute towards delivering a unique and memorable visit. If lazy days under the famous North Queensland wintersun combined with the world’s finest classical music, is a holiday dream, then relax, and here’s how to book!


In his third year holding the artistic baton, acclaimed UK violinist Jack Liebeck has created a program that features two world premieres, traditional and contemporary music, conversations and deep dive discussions that take chamber music well beyond concert halls.  


This is particularly true for the special event taking place on Tuesday 30th July.


Each year the middle Tuesday of the Festival is a rest day for most of the 35+ musicians, and on this day the Festival takes the opportunity to showcase the region’s beauty by presenting a concert on a tropical island.


Last year it was Orpheus Island, this year it is the majestic Magnetic Island-Yunbenun.  This very unique day starts with a stunning cruise across Cleveland Bay into the open water for some whale-watching (it is peak migration season at that time), before arriving at Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island for a short stroll to Peppers Blue on Blue Resort for brunch and a delightful concert on the deck overlooking the ocean. Afterwards, guests are encouraged to explore the island with its 23 stunning bays and beaches, magnificent granite rock formations, wonderful walking trails and Northern Australia’s largest koala colony.


Bookings for the Island Extravagance Concert and Whale Watching Tour can be made online here or via TicketShop on 1800 44 99 77.


Across the rest of the 10 days of AFCM, there is joyful music three times a day with Concert Conversations in the mornings, one-hour Sunset concerts in the afternoon and full-length evening concerts most nights. Throw in some Guilty Pleasures (favourite pieces of music from each artist), AFCM Illuminates (intellectually stimulating presentations) and the Festival Garden (a convivial outdoor area offering food, wine and free music) and it is a holiday that sounds like paradise, literally!


“Townsville is surrounded by beautiful countryside and amazing sights like the Atherton Tablelands, Mission Beach, Paronella Park, Magnetic Island and the gold mining town of Charters Towers. We want to encourage visitors to  explore this magnificent region,” said AFCM Executive Director, Ricardo Peach.


“Over 30+ music-filled years, the AFCM has forged an impressive international reputation as one of the best chamber music celebrations in the world, and this year is no exception with Jack creating a fascinating program that is as spiritually and intellectually enriching as it is celebratory; and an artistic line-up that is exceptional and exciting”.



AFCM offers a variety of ticket packages for visitors including full and half-Festival passes (Gold and Silver Subscriptions), three-night holiday packages and single concert tickets. The Festival is also in the process of developing its international trade product, to be ready in May 2024 for sale into the 2025 and 2026 Festivals.


For more information visit


AFCM principal partners include Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and Arts Queensland, and Townsville City Council. The Australian Festival of Chamber Music is supported by the Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland. The Queensland Government supports the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) through Arts Queensland. 


Australian Festival of Chamber Music

26 July to 4 August 2024 in Townsville-Gurambilbarra, North Queensland

Concert tickets, Festival passes and holiday packages on sale now. | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | #afcm


The Australian Festival of Chamber Music acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Townsville – the Wulgurukaba of Gurambilbarra and Yunbenun; and Bindal people. We pay our respects to their cultures, their ancestors and their Elders – past and present – and all future generations. We recognise and value the integral role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people play in our creative and artistic endeavours.



For media enquiries please contact Kath Rose | 0416 291 493 |



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