Love tied up in a Rangebow

By Sonia Isaacs

IT says something of Rangebow founder Wayne Parcell’s vision that after staring down the challenges of his inaugural 2022 festival, he has taken the time to step back, consider his options and decide: ‘You’re right.  Bigger is better!”.

Channelling the best of a ‘you only live once’ vibe with his staunch philosophy of encouraging all to live their best lives, Wayne is back with a bolder and even brighter – if that’s possible – Rangebow Festival across the hinterland from August 10-14.

Based on the 2023 theme of ‘Dream, Love, Live’, the Hinterland communities of Maleny, Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton are coming together under the Rangebow Festival flag in a four-day celebration of community cohesion, creativity, and joy.

Wayne describes how a decades-long career in international hotspots and later as a diplomat he has sought to encourage people to live their best life and to be supported to live fully and authentically.

His aim is that this four-day festival is a stitch in time for a lifelong philosophy that encourages liberation, empowerment and inspiration in the myriad of events, ranging from  world premiere theatrical performances and films to First Nations feasts and dance parties for families.

“What I truly hope is that guests find it not only fun but a wonderful opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and experience something new and exciting!” Wayne told GC&M News.

The 2023 program has responded to community feedback and carefully curated an even more expansive festival.

Wayne said he was thrilled that the festival could offer more events and experiences that would appeal to families and an even broader audience.

He said while Rangebow features a packed and broad program of arts, culture, theatre and music,  he felt the intrinsic connection was a strong sense of purpose that underpinned each element of the festival.

“We positively promote messaging that seeks to encourage and enrich community wellbeing and cohesion, and we aim to incorporate elements of these values into all our events and experiences,” Wayne said.

“We celebrate diversity, sustainability, reconciliation, and inclusion and hold great value in community, expression, and creativity. Having a purpose for our festival as well as the overall fun of it all seems to resonate well with people.”

It is a testimony to the vision and impressive skillset of Wayne and the festival team of volunteers that such a multi-faceted event can be delivered so seemingly seamlessly yet with so much heart and genuine affection for the communities it celebrates.

‘Plant and Party’ on Saturday August 12 from 11am-4pm is an innovative additional to this year’s program that will entice live music fans who also want to do their bit for the environment. It’s a mini music festival where in between acts ‘festival goers’ can get their hands dirty and ‘plant for the planet’ in a specially allocated revegetation zone next to the performance Grand Marquee area. Featuring award-winning artists ‘Band of Frequencies’, bass heavy ‘one man instrumentalist’ Andy V, funk superstars ‘Thump’, talented songstresses Shanleigh Rose, and neo-soul powerhouse Rosa Mack backed by a seven-piece band; this unique experience supported by Barung Landcare gives party goers a chance to extend the habitat of the endangered Southern Pink Underwing Moth by planting Carronia Vine. Naturally this fabulous moth with fluorescent pink colouring will also be a mascot of the Rangebow Festival.

Megan Lee from Barung Landcare said she was excited about the Plant and Party collaboration and how it would be a fun way for people to enjoy great music and connect to the landscape they were enjoying it on while also helping recover a species on the brink of extinction.

“This is a really special and vibrant event just like the entire Rangebow festival! It’s a great combination of fun where people can move their bodies and be uplifted by some great music and then also get inspired by nature surrounding them and help protect our local habitats,” said Megan.

Another big family friendly drawcard will be the ‘Dreamland-Pyjama Dance Party’ hosted by internationally acclaimed rave party event crew ‘Big Fish Little Fish’ on Friday August 11 from 3.30pm-6.30pm. Renowned for providing a fun club like atmosphere for both big ravers and little ravers to enjoy together, this is an inclusive opportunity for families to share the exhilarating fun of high energy dance music DJ’s, lights and lasers in a family-friendly environment. Tickets are on sale now, and for more information, program details and pricing visit

Main image: Festival Director Wayne Parcell