Push to bring more musicians to regions wins Heywire
KIRSTEN Butters has been named 2015's Southern-Queensland Heywire winner after a passionate submission to bring more touring musicians through regional Australia.
The 22-year-old said after growing up between Gladstone, Dalby and Toowoomba she had seen how vital it was to give young people a chance to go out without the need for drugs or alcohol.
Heywire is run by the ABC to provide a platform for regional Australians to have a voice.
As the Southern Queensland winner, Ms Butters will travel to Canberra to discuss her passion.
"I'm excited to go to Canberra; I'm excited for people to pay attention to all the issues involved in living in rural areas, but this one resonates with me," she said.
"I entered because there are a lot of big issues in regional Australia that need to be heard."
A passion for live music led Ms Butters to study photo-imaging before hosting a photography exhibition from events at theGrid: Hybrid Arts Space in Toowoomba.
She said after the exhibition, she was disappointed to find out Toowoomba's Easterfest music festival had been cancelled.
"Easterfest was the only massive festival people travelled here for," she said.
"It's gotten worse: fewer bands are coming through to places outside of the capital cities."
Annual music festival Soundwave announced last week the festival had been cancelled.
"No one really looks at not getting music here as an issue but it's what keeps me going, I'd been to Soundwave every year since I was 15," she said.
"I could have cried when I found out. We're losing major festivals."
Ms Butters was thrilled when Triple J's One Night Stand came to Dalby while she was a student at Dalby State High School.
"Live music is something to look forward to, bands travel huge distances to play," she said.
"In places like Dalby kids get in trouble because there's nothing to do in town other than the skate park."
She now lives in Maidenwell with her family.
"Music gigs are the only place I feel really truly happy."