Revealed: First big act for AFL grand final at Gabba
The Brisbane Lions are on song for a historic AFL grand final appearance at the Gabba - but the Queensland Symphony Orchestra is already tuning up for the Big Dance.
In a grand final first, the QSO is the first act locked in for the October 24 blockbuster, The Courier-Mail can reveal.
The orchestra, which recently released stirring classical renditions of the Lions and Gold Coast Suns anthems, will add a note of culture to the sweaty showdown as part of a star-studded Queensland-flavoured entertainment line-up for the first AFL decider ever held outside Melbourne.
The AFL is yet to reveal the full program but it's understood Brisbane band Sheppard, famed for its hit Geronimo, could be starters along with Queensland tourism ambassadors Busby Marou.
A big-name rock act - possibly Wolfmother - is also believed to be in the mix, with AFL officials working furiously over the long weekend to lock in performers.
It had been hoped Queensland icons Powderfinger would reunite for a grand final comeback in their home city but frontman Bernard Fanning ruled it out.
The QSO will perform pre-match entertainment to warm up the 30,000-plus crowd expected at the Gabba.
Orchestra chair Chris Freeman said it would be the first time its musicians had appeared at the Gabba in front of what would be its biggest-ever audience.
"The AFL Grand Final is one of the great international sporting events and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra is delighted that its world class musicians will be a featured performer," he said.
"It is also fitting that Queensland's orchestra participates in what will be a line-in-the-sand event for Queensland. This is a moment for the state to shine, and for the mighty sound of our orchestra to resound around the 'Gabba and to the millions that watch this event live."
QSO double bassist and Brisbane Lions fan Paul O'Brien said only one thing could make the appearance more exciting.
"If Brisbane can make the grand final, and hopefully win, it would be absolutely incredible," he said.
The AFL is expected to release full details of the entertainment line-up this week.
Originally published as Revealed: First big act for AFL grand final at Gabba