MAKING MUSIC: Dominique and Amelia Granturco serenaded Deb Frecklington at the Maclagan Squeezebox Festival.
MAKING MUSIC: Dominique and Amelia Granturco serenaded Deb Frecklington at the Maclagan Squeezebox Festival. Emily Bradfield

Old school music at Maclagan draws a crowd

HOOKED on the squeezebox from just three years of age, Amelia Granturco has played her accordion all over the world, but last weekend she travelled off the beaten track to play in the quaint country town of Maclagan.

Fresh off the plane from the world championships in China, Ms Granturco and her sister Dominique were among 12 accordionists from Accordions Alfresco who travelled from Sydney for the Maclagan Squeezebox Festival on the weekend.

The streets of Maclagan came to life as music lovers from all over flooded to the country town for the only accordion festival in Australia.

The festival in its 17th year drew one of the largest crowds in its history with up to 400 people in attendance.

Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington has been attending the Maclagan Squeezebox Festival since 2012 and keeps coming back for more.

"The Maclagan Squeezebox Festival is just one of those amazing country festivals,” she said.

Ms Frecklington said the festival brought vital funds into the drought-stricken town and helped to lift locals' spirits.

"We're in the grip of one of the worst droughts and the Maclagan region desperately needs more rain ... that's why community events such as this festival are so vitally important for our local region, it brings people into our local economy but it lifts the spirits of the locals as well,” she said.

"This is a wonderful fundraising opportunity too for the Maclagan Hall committee, the local kindy and community groups and that's what's so important about our local regions, all of these small country areas get that extra advantage of that extra money coming in and that's why I'm always happy to support the Maclagan Squeezebox festival.”

The event found its feet this year with some of the highest calibre acts from around the country and people travelling from as far as Bundaberg and Sydney to see the show.

The Granturco sisters were impressed with the crowd and support they had seen at the festival.

"It's inspiring to see so many people supporting the accordion ... we hope we can come back,” Amelia said.

Also headlining the festival was 10-year-old Finn MacDermid from Sydney.

Introduced to the accordion by his grandma three years ago, Finn loves competing and recently returned from a trip to China where he was the only under-12 accordionist representing Australia.  

Check out photos from the event in our photo gallery.


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