Country Stars talent quest set to bring music home

Up to $20,000 in prizes up for grabs in brand new hinterland talent show

By Sonia Isaacs

Maleny Show is set to springboard ‘the next big thing in Country Music’, with a brand new talent quest that has a prize pool heading towards $20,000.
While the inaugural event will kick off at this year’s Maleny Show Friday May 31- Saturday June 1, organiser Col Finley has big plans to develop the concept and eventually showcase a national competition.
Mr Finley said applications were open now for contestants to enter either the junior category (12-17 years old) or open category. He said he was excited to support the region’s rising stars and looked forward to encouraging local talent.
“The prize pool is worth over $15,000, and it includes recording equipment, a distribution deal, media and marketing support, a guitar pack, and an Esson photo shoot. The opportunity to have a professional video clip alone could be career changing,” he said.
GC&M News caught up with Col to find out more about this exciting new venture.
Q: What inspired you to bring this concept to the Maleny Show for 2024?
I am very proud of my hometown and community of Maleny.
And I’m very passionate about helping our future in music by teaching and building a stronger future for our industry.
There is way too much false hope and misdirection in music these days, and I have a plan to educate and bring back transparency to music. I’ve always wanted to bring country music home on a larger scale in the form of a music festival or talent search, so this concept has always been in the pipeline.
It was just waiting for the right time and place.
And the Maleny Show has a great entertainment space that needed to be filled with entertainment, and I saw this as the right place to showcase ‘Country Stars’.
Q: Why do you think this concept will be awesome?
So much about this is awesome! Firstly to be able to give our rising stars a future in any industry and chance to shine, a chance to be seen and heard and perform that is also awesome. But to create the opportunity to possibly help someone fulfil their dreams of being the next big ‘Country Stars’… Now that is really awesome!
Q: Can you give us an idea of the basic format?
So it is a pretty simple process.
If you believe you have what it takes to be the next Country Stars you just have to head to and fill out and pay the nomination fee give us two links of you performing country songs.
From here those links are sent to a panel five mystery industry professional who will select our semi-finalist and then our semi-finalist will perform in from of our judges and live audience
for a chance to make the grand final and the chance to win the largest prize pools.
Q: Who should apply to enter?
Anyone who is not a full-time professional artist.
From those artists who have never done this before to your season talent search artist we are seriously looking for Junior and Senior future stars, who will have the chance to set their careers up and record, release and promote their dreams.
Q: Do you have a larger vision for this event?
The bigger picture is for Country Stars to be a national event held in every state and at the end of each year we have the national final where we announce Australia Country Stars from there it would be incredible to take this concept global.
More information visit