The Bluewater Fling is organised by the Mackay & District Pipe Band

The Mackay & District Pipe Band has been bringing the rich sound of the pipes and drums to the people of the Mackay region since 1926. In honour of the founder of its home city, John Mackay, the band proudly wears the crest and ancient tartan of Clan Mackay.

The band pronounces its name in the correct Scottish fashion: Mackay rhymes with sky, and not with day – the Pipe Major says so, and everyone knows the Pipe Major is always right. The members of the band are volunteers who give their time freely.

History of the Blue Water Fling

The event is the brainchild of Deb Orr, a 30 year veteran of the band and for many years the band’s Pipe Major.

In 2005 the band staged a Celtic show at the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre (MECC), titled The St Andrew’s Day Concert. This event was completely financed by the Pipe Band and proved to be a success. This was staged annually for the next nine years.

With the goal of presenting a broader cultural experience and to encourage other pipe bands to visit the area, the decision was taken to move the event outside and rebrand it as The Mackay Fling. In 2015 the first Fling event was staged at the Soundshell, located in the Mackay Botanical Gardens. The following year the event was moved to it’s present site and was rebranded The Bluewater Fling.

In 2019 the band secured significant sponsorship from the Mackay Regional Council to expand and develop the Bluewater Fling into a major event.