Groovin The Moo



Back in 2003, two friendly Newcastle neighbours (a high school teacher and a statistician) came up with an idea over a few drinks; a music event, but different. The music would be great of course, but it would also be something that the local community could be part of. It would be an event for everyone, serviced by local groups, with the main focus being on fun, connection and affordability.

Fast forward to Saturday 24 April 2005, Groovin the Moo’s first show and inaugural year. After setting up at the Gloucester Showgrounds (NSW), 1,400 people streamed through the gates to see the Screaming Jets, Killing Heidi, Evermore, Grinspoon and a bunch of local Newcastle bands. What a special moment, seeing your idea come to life.

Groovin the Moo returned in 2006, taking to Maitland (NSW), Albury (NSW) and Darwin (NT) and featured its very first International act, Gomez (UK) alongside Aussie legends Hilltop Hoods, The Herd, Faker and more.

After only just two years, in 2007, Maitland GTM saw its first sell-out show, with Silverchair and The Black Keys (USA) headlining. This same year, GTM visited Albury one more time with the likes of Grinspoon, Sneaky Sound System and Xavier Rudd.

In 2008, Maitland sold out again. GTM also got to see how much Northern Queenslanders loved to party when the show went to Townsville (QLD) bringing along The Presents, The Potbelleez and Spiderbait.

The GTM family grew in 2009 and expanded to Bendigo (VIC) in addition to returning to Maitland and Townsville, but it didn’t stop there. In 2010, two new shows were added – Bunbury (WA) and Canberra (ACT). With an epic selection of bands always present on the bill, the GTM team worked hard to deliver three weekends of magic and mayhem.

GTM didn’t slow down over the course of 2011, 2012 and 2013, focusing on ensuring that every show continued to grow and be bigger and better than the previous year.  The hard work paid off, with the line up continuing to grow and the events selling out nationally each year.

In 2014, long-laid plans of expanding into the Adelaide Hills region (SA) came to life as GTM took to Oakbank. The following years, 2015 and 2016 saw the tour continue at this pace, touring across five states and a territory over three weekends, each year!


In 2017, South Australians descended on Wayville, making the state’s agricultural Showground the new home for their local GTM. 2018 provided the opportunity to consolidate and reflect on how the music, culture and community of each region is knitted together to form the rich tapestry that is a GTM show.

Last year, we reigned in a “commoonity” far and wide from across the world. With both local and international acts, patrons and team members, GTM is always a time to remember. We found a new home in the ACT and gave ourselves a fresh start in an established venue!


It’s been quite the journey so far, sometimes it still feels as though the festival has only just begun, such is the fresh energy that the GTM community brings to this festival, all eager to grow something of their own. The GTM community includes our audience, artists, team members, suppliers and stakeholders – it is one we love, have much to thank for and would not want to change in any way, shape or form.


Images: Jack Toohey and Danny Howe, 2018

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