Interview: Live Music Hysteria! With Joey McGahey: Halloween Hysteria III


Words + Interview by Shannon-Lee Sloane {The Colourful Writer}


Good Call Live have always been about supporting live music. Because live music is always a good call, are we right? And one of the biggest and most entertaining live music festivals in Brisbane is without a doubt the annual, Halloween Hysteria.

Brought to you by the driven, creative, music passionate mind and head of Hysteria Mag, Joey McGahey, the festival is back and bigger than ever after a few Covid kicks along the way. There ain’t nothing stopping the force of this epic line up! Originally scheduled for October (the month of Halloween of course!) the festival has shimmied its way into April instead and we just know it’s worth the wait.

So who is the head of Hysteria? When did the idea for such an event first enter his mind? What keeps him going through the chaos of putting on an event? Read on and find out! Oh but before you do, go nab yourself some tickets to Halloween Hysteria 2022 right HERE and we’ll see you in the pit!

When did Halloween Hysteria first become a plan/vision in your mind? Did you think about putting on a music festival like this for a long time before it came to fruition?

I started toying with the idea a few years before we the first one on in 2018, I wasn’t looking to put a festival on as such, just a showcase of some of the great talent from Australia and in particular the South-East Queensland region.

What does music mean to you? When did you discover that working with music was your passion?

The earliest music related memory I can think of was just dancing around like a lunatic to Shakin’ Stevens’s Green Door when I was about 3 years old. Everything I’ve done since my teenage years has been music related in some way, from playing in bands and going to gigs of all sizes. It’s been a massive privilege to work in music, despite the hectic ups and downs!

The event, like so many others, has been hit by all sorts of delays, hassles, changes, restrictions due to the way of the world right now. That would obviously affect you a lot, both personally and professionally. What keeps you going? What keeps you motivated to keep bringing people your music festival?

Stupidity maybe?! The music profession as a whole has been decimated, it would have been easier to walk away, but we all have a responsibility to each other, to keep pushing and trying to reinvent ourselves to support all businesses in the industry. We have to keep the cycle moving for not only the artists but the production companies, venues, hospitality workers, creatives, the travel industry etc. The music industry connects to so many other industries which keeps people employed. Even if it keeps you awake on countless nights wondering whether you will get through it or not!

Of all the events you’ve ever presented or been involved in, which one has been a real stand out for you? One you’ll never forget?

This coming Halloween Hysteria, because it has been absolutely chaotic with the preparation of whether it will go ahead or postpone, the line-up changes because of the pandemic etc. This one has stretched us to the absolute limit and if we come out of it ok, it will probably be our greatest accomplishment to date. So many people have been involved in helping us get through these crazy times, the venue, production staff and the artists. 16 year old me would be tripping out thinking we would be working with Spiderbait!



This year you’ve got one stunner of a line up! The big one being Spiderbait headlining! So good! How do you go about getting your line ups together? What is it that you see in a band or artist that impresses you and makes you want to book them?

Each time we have started to book Halloween Hysteria, the line-up changes dramatically from what we planned. There are a lot of moving parts with availability who is available on the date and trying to get answers from a number of booking agents at the same time to piece a line-up together. Clowns have been booked for over two years, they were booked for HH 2020, then we canceled before announcement because of Covid. Then we moved them to Mansfield Rocks, then that got affected by Covid, so then moved them to this HH. With booking Jetboys for 2019, I was so keen to get them over, I messaged my mate JJ Speedball to try and get in touch with them and it worked out. Hoping to get them back sometime soon too!


Joey with JetboysHalloween Hysteria 2019


Halloween Hysteria is THIS WEEKEND! What do you do in the week leading up to the festival? Do you have any relaxation techniques or anything that helps calm the excitement and nerves?

No time to relax this week! But when I need to get work done I put a playlist on, turn it up loud and that blocks out distractions!

What do you love most about music festivals?

Nothing beats discovering new talent when you least expect to. We try our best to add a unique talent each year, and upcoming bands.

What was the first music festival you ever attended? Tell me some memories from that one?

Big Day Out ‘96 at Gold Coast Parklands, Rage Against The Machine opened with Know Your Enemy and Rancid played the same time on another stage and I missed them accidently because I’m an idiot!

What do you hope to bring to those attending your festival? What makes Halloween Hysteria so great?

Unity! I think it will be a great reminder how epic live music is. There will be some people who haven’t seen a band play live for a couple of years, so I hope it’s a reminder to get back out there and support the scene.



This year you’ve chosen the iconic Mansfield Tavern as the home for Halloween Hysteria. It’s a great venue with a lot of history. What do you know about the history of the venue? Have you seen bands there in the past?

I love the Mansfield Tavern, they are a great team to work with and it is a great opportunity to bring these bands to a more regional part of the City, with such a rich history with Rock! The first show I attended after the lockdowns lifted was at the Mansfield Tavern and it was awesome—it felt like there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.

You do not want to miss this one! Halloween Hysteria III – THIS SATURDAY – 02/04/2022 – Featuring Spiderbait, Clowns, King Parrot, Stepson, The Ascended, Harlott, Flaming Wreckage, JJ Speedball, Smoking Martha, Massic, Captives, LOSER and so many more!

Plan your day and night with the set times below!

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