Out & about,
See & do

Gold Coast major events guide 2022

Craig Tansley | December 20, 2021

Kelly Slater

The Gold Coast has become a major global and national events destination, with lots of opportunities for locals and visitors alike to experience the best music, sports, arts and food events available anywhere in Australia.

2022 promises to be a huge year on the Gold Coast for major events, here’s the best that you shouldn’t miss, no matter what….


Blues on Broadbeach

Broadbeach, 19-22 May

This is one of Australia’s largest non-ticketed music festivals, and in 2022 Blues On Broadbeach is celebrating its 21st birthday. Be there for the occasion as over 70 of Australia’s best blues artists play for free at over 20 performance areas all across Broadbeach. Last year 20 000 people watched the headliners on the main stage in Kurrawa Park. This year, the likes of Australia’s favourite trumpeter, James Morrison, will play (The James Morrison Motown Experience), as well as other household names like Robben Ford and Mia Dyson.


Cooly Rocks On Festival

Coolangatta, 8-12 June

Get retro at Australia’s largest rock’n’roll and nostalgia festival – Cooly Rocks On Festival, where everything great about the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s is revisited, all beside the beautiful beaches of Coolangatta. Come and see Australia’s best rockabilly, swing and rock’n’roll artists play – and learn to dance to the best tunes at swing, rockabilly and line dancing workshops. There will also be over 600 classic cars in town for the Classic Cars Show’n’Shine event, as well as five days of Elvis – the event is a preliminary round of the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, sanctioned by the Elvis Presley estate. And see Miss Rockabilly and Miss Cooly crowned.


SWELL Sculpture Festival

Currumbin, 9-18 September

It’s become one of Queensland’s best loved outdoor art exhibitions. Now its 19th year, you can see large-scale sculptures in one of the Gold Coast’s best beach settings beside Currumbin Beach. Artworks are integrated on the sand, or along the footpath beside the beach for everyone to see. You’ll see over 50 sculptures, with one of the best backdrops in Australia. There’s also pop-up exhibitions across the Gold Coast, including in Mudgeeraba and Helensvale. Since 2003, over 1000 sculptures have been displayed. And it’s all free!


Gold Coast Marathon

Southport to Burleigh, 2-3 July

It’s now regarded as one of the most prestigious marathon events in the world. The Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast Marathon attracts the world’s best long distance runners to a race that takes athletes all across the prettiest parts of the coast. The 42 kilometre run follows the Gold Coast Broadwater, then goes from Main Beach to Burleigh before finishing back at the Broadwater Parklands in Southport. Though there’s more to it than the main race, there will be eight races to see (or join) across two days, with everything from a junior dash and five kilometre fun run, to the half and full marathon.


Image credit: Blues on Broadbeach

Image credit: Blues on Broadbeach

Image credit: Swell Sculpture Festival

Groundwater Country Music Festival

Broadbeach 28-30 October

Really? There’s a country music festival right on the beach? You better believe it – for this is the country’s fastest growing country music festival, and it’s so close to the waves you can smell the salt. Get down to Broadbeach to see Australia’s biggest country music stars play across 15 stages for three days, all free-of-charge. This year’s headliners include the biggest name in Australian country music, Adam Brand, an artist who’s won 12 Golden Guitar awards at the Tamworth Country Music Awards, and has sold over 500 000 records. There’s 50 artists playing through the streets, parks and venues of Broadbeach.


Swim the Gold Coast

Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise, 28 May

It’s one of the most picturesque swimming courses on the planet, but would you want to do it? Competitors in the 2022 Swim The Gold Coast must do just that, swim the whole length of the Gold Coast from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise (that’s 21.5 kilometres). Taking off from Coolangatta’s main beach, they’ll pass Currumbin and Burleigh Headland before vying for the finish line amongst the skyscrapers at Surfers Paradise. Competitors can swim either solo, or as a duo, or in a team event (with up to six members and the team decides who will swim and for how long).


Gold Coast Film Festival 

Across the Gold Coast, 20 April – 1 May

You never know where you might see a film at a pop-up cinema at the Gold Coast Film Festival: perhaps it’ll be down a Southport laneway, or on a boat, or up within the Coast’s mountainous hinterland? The Gold Coast Film Festival has been running since 2002, and reinforces the Gold Coast’s position as one of Australia’s leading film-making destinations. Each year around 20 000 attendees can see over 100 films, and industry panels, parties and special events, which includes SIP Fest, an annual short film competition which transforms Surfers Paradise beach into a beach cinema. Guest speakers have included the likes of international TV star, Simon Baker, and Australian movie and TV icon, Sigrid Thornton.


Coolangatta Gold

Coolangatta to Broadbeach, 8 – 9 October

One of the world’s most prestigious ironman events was actually invented by a movie producer looking for the ultimate finale to a movie. That film, Coolangatta Gold, was filmed on the Gold Coast in 1984. Since then the Coolangatta Gold has become one of the world’s most challenging endurance events in the surf. The planet’s toughest ironmen must swim, run, and paddle board and surf ski for 32.4 kilometres, from Coolangatta to Broadbeach… and then back again! What was one huge race has now become a weekend celebration. Check out this year’s event to see if seven-time champ Ali Day can keep his magic run going.


Image credit: Gold Coast Marathon

Image credit: @slsaustralia

Image credit: Gold Coast Film Festival

Gold Coast Open

Burleigh Heads, 20 April – 2 May

The Gold Coast has had a long, proud history with competitive surfing since the sport first went professional in the 1970s and it’s set to continue in 2022. You’ll have your chance to see the planet’s best surfers take on the best local talent at two major surf events this year. The Gold Coast Open is a three-day event held at world-renowned surf break, Burleigh Heads, which will include live bands, skating events and sunrise yoga sessions.


Gold Coast Challenger Events

Snapper Rocks, 7 – 15 May

The Gold Coast has had a long, proud history with competitive surfing since the sport first went professional in the 1970s and it’s set to continue in 2022. You’ll have your chance to see the planet’s best surfers take on the best local talent at two major surf events this year. While The Gold Coast Challenger will be held at the world’s most famous point break, Snapper Rocks, where you’ll have the best vantage point to check out the planet’s best surfers right in front of you.


Gold Coast 500

Surfers Paradise, 28 – 30 October

This event is so much more than a car race. It’s a three day carnival of live music and glamorous parties, which attracts over 200 000 racing fans. Postponed in 2021 because of Covid-19, 2022 promises to be the biggest year ever. Queensland’s largest car event is held on a three-kilometre-long street circuit which weaves its way through the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise, like something out of The Fast And The Furious. There’s two days of practice sessions and time trials before the main race: a winner-takes-all marathon for 100 circuits of the track. It’s the season finale for the 2022 Super Cars competition.


BLEACH Festival

Across the Gold Coast, August

You can’t miss this – for it’s one of Australia’s leading contemporary arts events and it truly celebrates the Gold Coast’s most exciting artists, whose works highlight the scenery of the region. There’s everything from Australia’s best musicians performing at stunning locations, like the Gold Coast Botanical Gardens, or on the beach. And there’s block parties, dinners held out under the stars, pop-up art installations, outdoor films and pop-up bars on Burleigh Beach with local DJs spinning the tracks. You’ll feel the magic just as soon as the local Yugambeh dancers open the event with a dawn performance of fire and song on Burleigh beach.


Guns N’ Roses Concert

Metricon Stadium, Carrara, 24 November

It’s not every year that one of the world’s biggest ever bands (and certainly, its most iconic) plays at the Gold Coast. But in 2022, Guns’n’Roses will bring their aptly named Larger Than Life tour to the Gold Coast for the first time (as part of a national tour, which includes otherwise only capital cities). Illustrating how the Gold Coast is seen as a global events destination, Axl Rose and the boys will bring the hits from their 35-year career right to the Gold Coast for die-hard fans.

Image credit: Metricon Stadium