9 February 2024

Country music stars to take to the stage as annual festival returns

| Claire Sams
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A woman with long blonde hair and a white hat

Hayley Jensen says performing at Googfest is a “homecoming”. Photo: Kris Severijns.

Get out the cowboy hats and get ready to dance into the evening – Googfest is making its return.

The annual festival will be at Rockley Oval in Googong from 5 to 9 pm on Saturday (10 February).

It will be headlined by ARIA Award-nominated country performer Travis Collins, who will be joined by Hayley Jensen in her Googfest debut.

“My music style really complements Travis – we’ve both got a bit of a country-rock vibe about what we do,” she said.

“It’ll be a high-energy festival, I’d say!”

Ms Jensen is a two-time Country Music Association of Australia Golden Guitar Female Artist of the Year and Australian Idol finalist.

“I’ve seen the festival grow over the years,” Ms Jensen said.

“This year, they’re focusing on country music – this is very exciting for me, because that’s where my heart lies and where my music is positioned at the moment.”

Mr Travis and Ms Jensen will be supported by Canberra-based singer-songwriter Dana Hassall.

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For the first time in Googfest history, event goers will be treated to extended set times, with Mr Collins and Ms Jensen performing for 90 minutes each.

“You try to create an experience that everyone can go on together, so we’ve been working on that,” she said.

“For me, it’ll be a mix of songs from my ARIA number 1 album Breakin’ Hearts and lots of new tunes that I’ve released in the last year.

“We’ve got a few covers in there that I always love to sing.”

Googfest will also feature a variety of food vendors to make sure no one goes hungry, though attendees are also able to bring a picnic to enjoy with friends and family.


Googong will host its annual music festival on Saturday – this time with a country music twist! Photo: Googfest.

For Ms Jensen, the festival also offers a chance to sing on her home turf of regional NSW.

“I’m originally from Canberra, so it’s great to have a connection to a festival in the region,” she said.

“It’s definitely going to feel like a homecoming to me, which I’m really excited about.”

Ms Jensen said Googfest was a chance for the wider community to gather.

“Music, and particularly country music, is really all about community and bringing people together,” she said.

“Live music has such a great way of doing that.”

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Ms Jensen said anyone and everyone was invited to the festival.

“It’s a free event – call everyone you know, bring everyone down,” she said.

“Let’s just make it a really big party and have a great start to the year.”

Buses will connect people from nearby areas of NSW, as well as those living across the border in the ACT.

The buses will depart from and return to Woden Bus Interchange (Platform 1), Jerrabomberra Public School and Queanbeyan Bus Interchange (Platform 4), with further information on depature and arrival times available online.

Attendees who wish to drive can arrive at Rockley Oval via the Wellsvale Drive entrance and follow the traffic controllers to a free designated parking area.

Googfest 2024 will be held on Saturday (10 February) from 5 to 9 pm, at Rockley Oval in Googong.

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