By Maise Cunningham and Levi Ormiston
Up to 20,000 attendees enjoyed a retro revival yesterday as Palmwoods celebrated the fourth annual Time Warp Festival.
Locals were “blown away” by the success of the event, which saw the town centre transported back to the 1950s.
Over 100 hot rods and 250 motorbikes lined the streets, while rockabilly bands played on the main stage and pin-up girls competed for the title of “Miss Time Warp 2018”.
Event organiser Ben Jamieson said the festival was a “ginormous success” for the local economy.
“The trade that local business did through town was probably enough to tie them over for three months,” he said.
“Just putting them in front of a crowd like that, exposing their businesses to people and demographics they never see, it’s just so amazing to be able to offer that.”
As co-owner of Rick’s Garage, Mr Jamieson said the Time Warp Festival was developed in 2015 as an extension of the institution and to “showcase what Palmwoods has to offer”.
The festival’s debut drew a mere crowd of 1500, while last year just over 10,000 people ventured to the Hinterland town.
Originally designed to give the business more exposure, the success of the event saw it grow at an “enormous rate”.
“I think it’s just [down to] people embracing that kind of era,” Mr Jamieson said.
“There’s a lot of interest around it on the Sunshine Coast and broader.
“We had some people bring their cars down from Bundaberg, there were people who travelled from Sydney and Melbourne to come up to the event, so it’s very humbling to hear that sort of stuff.”
Since its second year, the Palmwoods Community and Business Association has assisted with convening the event in order to reach a broader audience.
Spokesman Mark McCafferty said the “good vibe” event attracted both young and old.
“In a small town, they’re more insular than they are in a big town,” he said.
“It really is just a way to either get them involved in the event or come to the event, both of which are positive for the community.”
Councillor Jenny McKay said the event has multiple benefits.
“It’s social – it brings the community together – and it’s also good for the economy to have people from out of town come in and experience the hospitality of Palmwoods,” she said.
As an attendee since its inception, Councillor McKay said the event was well-suited for the town.
“Something like the rockabilly is really suitable for Palmwoods because it takes a little bit from the past, brings it into the present and is a great opportunity to grow it into the future.”
Mr McCafferty also noted the fundraising benefit for community groups such as the Palmwoods Rural Fire Brigade and the Palmwoods Scout Group.
“We make sure that everyone gets a little bit of money on the day to help their organisation do what they do,” he said.
Mr Jamieson is now preparing for next year’s Time Warp Festival and said he’s already fielding phone calls from other community groups that want to get involved.