Cooly Rocks On is Australia’s largest rock ‘n roll and nostalgia festival that hits the beachside suburb of Coolangatta on Thursday, June 9th to Sunday 13th June 2021. The all-encompassing festival celebrates rock ‘n roll, swing and rockabilly music on multiple stages scattered between a swoon-worthy collection of vintage cars.

This event is a must-do on the Gold Coast event calendar with five action-packed days of entertainment. Make sure you bop along to the live music, stroll through the vintage markets, peruse over 600 classic cars and see who takes out the Miss Rockabilly crown for 2021. There are multiple stages for live music, swing dancing workshops to join in, retro fashion, a beachfront bar and an entire precinct dedicated to Elvis! Download the Cooly Rocks On mobile app for event information, playing schedules and maps.

swing dancers

Cooly Rocks On really is the festival you don’t want to miss!

But don’t just take our word for it, hear first-hand from two of the festival’s most avid fans about what makes Cooly Rocks On so unique and why this event holds a special place in their hearts.


Miss Vena Cava is a holder of a number of titles, predominantly in the professional tattoo and pin up arena. This year she will be battling it out against seven other finalists in the Miss Rockabilly Pageant at Coolangatta Hotel on Thursday, June 10th.

cooly rocks on pin up
What do you love about Cooly Rocks On?
Cooly has a significant history that is unique to the area. Although it typically centres around classic car culture there’s also a really incredible dynamic to the people it attracts. It’s not just ‘Rev heads’, it’s a real community of people from all walks of life. I would anticipate this is why it’s so popular. Everyone is welcomed as part of the community and there’s a real appreciation and respect for everyone regardless of age or experience. This is what brings me back time and time again – it’s the community attached to the event that really drives Cooly Rocks On.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?
With such an electric atmosphere, you can understand that one day is simply not enough time to do and see it all. Throughout the years, Cooly has hosted some incredible stage talent and this year is no exception. This year I’ll be looking forward to watching Ella Fontaine and The Sugarshakers perform, dancing at The Harvest Ball, getting around to all the classics cars on display and watching as much of the swing dancing as I can. I’ll finish it up by spending a small fortune at the markets I’m sure.


Peter Tully will be heading up a Classic Car Run with the SCARAB (Still Rockin’ And Cruisin’ And Boppin’) Car Club, showcasing the best private vehicle collections in Australia. They’ll depart from Goodwin Park at 11am on Thursday, June 10th, and Peter will lead the vintage cars to the newly opened Gold Coast Motor Museum in the beautiful Gold Coast hinterland.

classic cars
What do you love about Cooly Rocks On?
This year marks the twentieth year that my wife Anita and I have attended the festival. It was around then, that we started to learn Rock & Roll dancing. A few years later, we bought the first of our two classic 1970s Valiant Chargers.  We joined the S.C.A.R.A.B. Car Club soon after, and I took over as President about 12 years ago. Although we live in Robina on the Gold Coast, we have booked an apartment in Coolangatta each year, as it’s so convenient to access the music venues, dancing and cars that way.

What makes Cooly Rocks On a special event for you?
As President of the S.C.A.R.A.B Car Club, it is especially great for me to organise the Annual CRO/SCARAB Thursday car run each year. This year the destination is the new Gold Coast Motor Museum. Our members look forward to it each year, as we have met like-minded people from all over Australia on these cruises, many of whom cruise with us each year!


cooly rocks on friends

Be sure to check out the three main events at Cooly Rocks On 2021…


After a sell-out success in 2019, the highly anticipated Harvest Moon Swing Ball is back! On Friday 11th June the Elvis Marquee is the place to mingle and make memories celebrating the original swing era of the 1940s. After entering via the red carpet, expect VIP treatment and plenty of dancing to the tunes of Lucky Seven.


While reserving all your energy for swinging on the dancefloor, take a stroll amongst the ever-popular Vintage Markets that line the beachfront of Coolangatta from Thursday 10th  to Sunday 13th June. With over 200 stalls selling nostalgia wares, vintage finds, retro goods and memorabilia, you’re sure to find something as a valued keepsake from the festival. Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat from one of the food stalls too!


Between all the rockin’ and rollin’ there is one stand out drawcard to Cooly Rocks On – the epic cars. The Shannon’s Show ‘n’ Shine lines the streets with over 600 cars from the 50s, 60s and 70s era ranging from classics, customs, hot rods and muscle cars. These pride and joy vehicles come from all over Australia to be shown alongside Coolangatta’s spectacular beachfront for the annual festival. So get down there on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th June to admire these beautiful machines. The grinning owners are always more than happy for you to take a snap and chat about their most prized possessions.

So put the dates in your diary and get down to Coolangatta for Australia’s biggest rock ‘n roll nostalgia festival, celebrating the music, fashion, memories and moments of the 50s, 60s and 70s. For the lowdown on other local attractions, accommodation and restaurants in and around the festival site, click here.

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