Australia’s largest rock ‘n roll and nostalgia festival, Cooly Rocks On, will hit the beachside suburb of Coolangatta for five action-packed days from Thursday, June 8th to Sunday June 12th, 2022. The all-encompassing festival celebrates music, motors and lifestyle of the 40s, 50s and 60s with lots of free, family friendly fun to be had, as well as ticketed events.
Bop along to live music, join in a swing-dance workshop and learn some new moves, stroll through the beachfront vintage markets, check out hundreds of classic and customised cars, attend the pin-up pageant and get serenaded by an Elvis impersonator. But whatever you do, make sure you don’t miss it – Cooly Rocks On is a must-do on the Gold Coast events calendar.
There are multiple stages for live music, dance 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.
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 – 2021 MISS ROCKABILLY RUNNER UP
Miss Vena Cava is a holder of a number of titles in the professional tattoo and pin up arena. In 2021 she took out the crown for Runner Up Miss Rockabilly – a hotly contested pin-up girl pageant showcasing rockabilly style that’s held annually at Cooly Rocks On. She gives us the scoop on her favourite things about this event.
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 think this is why it’s so popular. Everyone is welcome 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’s on top of your list for 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 dancing at The Harvest Ball, getting around to all the classic 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 – PRESIDENT OF THE SCARAB CAR CLUB
Peter Tully is president of the SCARAB (Still Rockin’ And Cruisin’ And Boppin’) Car Club, showcasing the best private vehicle collections in Australia. He and car enthusiast cohort love this event for a chance to connect with other collectors and lovers of classic cars, and show off their gorgeous, old school vehicles.
What do you love about Cooly Rocks On?
My wife Anita and I have attended the festival since we started to learn Rock ‘n’ Roll Dancing over 20 years ago. A few years later, we bought the first of our two classic 1970s Valiant Chargers. We joined the SCARAB Car Club soon after, and I took over as President about 12 years ago. Although we live in Robina on the Gold Coast, we book 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 SCARAB 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!
MARKETS, MUSTANGS AND HARVEST MOON
Be sure to check out the three main events at Cooly Rocks On 2022…
HARVEST MOON SWING BALL
The highly anticipated Harvest Moon Swing Ball is back! On Friday 10th 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 as the dancefloor heats up while fans of nostalgia jitterbug the night away.
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 to Sunday. 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!
SHANNON’S SHOW ‘N’ SHINE
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 900 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 the Saturday and Sunday of the festival 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.
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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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region.
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.