TROY Cassar-Daley has a lot of history with the Optus Gympie Music Muster and that history keeps bringing him back.

He first played at Muster in 1992, met his wife Laurel Edwards at the 1993 Muster and proposed to her backstage one year while she ironed his shirt.

This Muster will be really special, says Troy.

“A 30th anniversary for a festival is huge. That’s a big birthday.

“It’s taken a long time to grow and I’ve been a little part of that.”

“And the Muster has been a big part of my life.”

There are many things about the Gympie Muster that makes it unique compared to other festivals and one is its ability to bring people together.

“Most people don’t realise how many love stories have come out of the place. So many people have told me they met their husband or wife at the Gympie Muster.”

Troy and his wife Laurel are a perfect example of the great love affairs that began at the Gympie Music Muster. But things have definitely changed in Amamoor State Forest since he played his first Muster with the Blue Heeler Band from Maryborough.

“The thing that really has changed for me is that it has swelled to enormous amounts of people. There wasn’t as many people coming when I was first arriving here,” he said.

Troy has the honour of playing the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville this weekend.

He arrived in Nashville on a writing trip on Tuesday to this amazing news and will follow many a country legend that stood in that circle where the microphone is: Patsy Cline, Hank Williams to name a couple.

He will spend three weeks in Nashville working with some “great song writers in Music City” before returning to Australia in time to play at the Gympie Muster.

Last year he took a break from recording in America to fly back for his favourite festival of the year.

“I do a few miles to get to the Gympie Muster. Last year I came all the way back for one gig,” he said.

“This will be three years in a row for me. I’m thrilled to be asked back for the 30th birthday. It’s part and parcel of our love affair with the event.”

When speaking to The Gympie Times, Troy said more light needed to be shone on the money raised for community through the festival.

“Not many festivals contribute to the community the way this one does. (Apex) is very humble about their contribution to the community.

“If people knew what their money was going to when they purchased a ticket to this festival... Not only do they get great county music but they also get to help people through a lot of goodwill.”

“Last but not least it’s a great festival.

“It will always be the old Gympie Muster to me.”

The line-up of national and international talent at this year’s Optus Gympie Music Muster pays tribute to the festival’s history and heritage.

Gympie Music Muster CEO Vickii Cotter said she knew from the very beginning that getting the right line-up confirmed for the 2011 festival was critical.

“Our event attracts such a wide demographic of music fans and those simply seeking the experience,” she said.

“We’ve worked really hard and believe we have a great line-up of sensational talent on offer that will provide something for everyone, of all ages.”

The Optus Gympie Music Muster will be held during the last week of August from Tuesday, August 23 to Sunday, August 28 at Amamoor Creek State Forest.