IF THEY play it, campers will come.
That was the hope of Caloundra Primary School when it decided earlier this year to offer its grounds for visitors keen to hear and see Caloundra Music Festival stars.
And what a plan it has been.
The rows of tents at the school are all the proof anyone needs.
School Parents and Citizens' vice-president Heather McDuff admitted she was surprised at how successful the venture had been in its first year.
"It was slow to start, but it has got bigger as the weekend has gone on. Hopefully it will snowball as the years go on," Ms McDuff said.
"I think next year will be bigger and better."
Ms McDuff said the school had only 61 bookings at the beginning of the week, but by Friday night, 130 people had registered.
"Even when we had small numbers, we thought we would run with it and see what happened," Ms McDuff said.
About 250-300 people are expected to pitch tents over the entire weekend.
Ms McDuff said that it was good the venue was close to town, and was an affordable accommodation option, particularly when others were booked out at this time of year.
And it is right next to the stop for the festival's free buses.
Festival-goers Bobby Crot and Jackson Dupé travelled all the way from Armidale in northern New South Wales. The duo, who have been to several festivals including Peats Ridge, Big Day Out and Woodford Folk Festival, said they had enjoyed the Caloundra festival so far.
"It is nice because at Woodford you find yourself so far behind, but here you are so close and the crowd isn't pushed up," Jackson said.
"It is pretty relaxed in that it starts in the afternoon. You can go to the beach in the mornings."
Maroochydore's Kayne Filer, Sam Wyness and Lewis Elliot, too, made the most of the opportunity for a relaxing weekend camping, with music close by.
"We like camping. It is more
relaxing and a lot cheaper," Kane said.
"It is a chance to do something a bit different and out of the routine you do at home.
"It is nice and convenient when you can walk home and you don't have to worry about a designated driver."
The quality of the bands on offer at the festival made the whole experience enjoyable, with the headlining acts not the only standouts.
"It was so good last night," Lewis said yesterday. "We came to see the headlining acts, but when you just see random bands and you find that you like them. That is great.
"Like last night we found a band called Galactic.
"They flew in for the weekend from New Orleans."
THE SCHOOL CAMPING FACTS
At Caloundra Primary during the Caloundra Music Festival
$33 a night for adults
$29 a night for children
Close to the venues
Close to free festival transport
It is camping
It is camping
FUNDRAISING FOR WHAT?
Air conditioning for the school