Lee Kernaghan & Casey Barnes Added To Groundwater Music Fest's KIX-Start Judging Panel

August 1, 2023 4:52 am in by

Country music legend Lee Kernaghan and chart-topper Casey Barnes have joined the panel of judges for the KIX-Start program, brought to us by Groundwater Country Music Festival.

In partnership with the festival and radio station KIX Country, the KIX-Start competition is now open for entries for the 2023 edition.

“Every year we are blown away with the calibre of new country music talent who enter KIX-Start, and I have no doubt this year will be no exception,” Mark Duckworth, Groundwater Country Music Festival Director and KIX-Start judge said in a statement.

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Duckworth added, “Country music has firmly taken hold across Australia and with it a host of emerging male and female artists. This competition provides the perfect launchpad for those artists to kick-start a bright future, and we are proud to provide that platform.”

In a separate statement, KIX Content Director and KIX-Start judge Justin Thomson continued, “I'm really excited to be working with Lee Kernaghan, Casey Barnes and our expert judging panel to find Australia’s next rising star of country.

“It's incredibly inspiring to see the amount of new country artists coming through. Country music is booming, and it's an important time for new country talent to show us what they've got! We'll be searching the whole country for someone we think is ready to take the next step in their career.”

The KIX-Start winner will win $30,000 worth of music industry expert tools. To start with, the winner will perform at this year’s Groundwater Country Music Festival alongside the likes of headliner Lee Kernaghan, Jackson Dean, Casey Barnes, Amber Lawrence, Asleep At The Wheel, Melody Moko, Hinterland, Loren Ryan, and many more – with a second line-up announcement to be revealed soon. You can purchase tickets to the festival here.

The winner will also open for Kernaghan on his next national headline tour, be the recipient of an exclusive, one-on-one songwriting masterclass with Phil Barton, record a single with Rod McCormack at Music Cellar Studios, win a PR package from Varrasso PR, mentoring from Casey Barnes, a promotion and distribution deal from Play MPE, radio support from KIX Country, a live touring workshop with Dan Biddle and Wheelhouse Agency, and more.

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You can audition for Groundwater’s KIX-Start competition here for the opportunity to change your music career forever. Catch up with 2022 KIX-Start winners Ella & Sienna below.

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