BEFORE going to air last week on the X Factor program, Mackay singing sensation Damien Agius had a final live performance at Hughenden’s 21st annual Country Music Festival over the weekend of July 28 and 29.
The 18-year-old won several categories, including Adult Australian Bush Ballad, Adult Country Rock and Adult Gospel, before taking top prize as Overall Senior, with a winner’s cheque of $2000.
Winner of the 2012 Mud, Bulls and Music talent quest, Mr Agius is a two time graduate of the CMAA Australian Academy of Country Music and has been guest act alongside Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Amber Lawrence, Harmony James, Catherine Britt and many more.
In January this year the talented teen took part in his forth Tamworth Country Music Festival where he played regular gigs and was proud to take part in the Carter and Carter Shine showcase.
About 300 people attended the three-day Hughenden festival, including one couple from Victoria who travelled specifically for this event to see what North Queensland musicians had to offer.
But they weren’t the only ones to travel distance.
With relatives in Hughenden, it was an easy decision for Indigenous Country Music Band Mop and The Dropouts to travel north from their Brisbane home for the 21st anniversary festival.
Mop and the Dropouts have been around since the late '70s and have played up and down and around the country. Formerly the Magpies, they have played with greats like the Webb Brothers who started the Gympie Country Music Muster.
But the star moment of the day surely went to three year old Jolene Ross when she went up to collect her trophy.
The youngster won the prize for the Youngest Contestant, the Junior People’s Choice Award and, along with her sister Justine, the Encouragement Award for Juvenile Contestant.
Described as having real talent, this face could be one to watch in the future.