Californian country star Chayce Beckham to headline Meatstock Bendigo’s smoking lineup 

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


Californian country star Chayce Beckham to headline Meatstock Bendigo’s smoking lineup 

Words by Tammy Walters

From Nashville to Bendigo: American Idol winner Chayce Beckham tops Meatstock's 2024 country lineup

Australia’s biggest barbeque and music festival, Meatstock, announces return and roadshow expansion to Bendigo for 2024. 

2023 saw a staggering 60,000 meat lovers rotate through the gates of the Toowoomba and Sydney Showgrounds, experiencing the best in barbeque grilling, music and culinary competition. This coming series will kick off in Toowoomba on the weekend of 8 – 10 March 2024, making its way to Bendigo Showgrounds the following weekend of 16 – 17 March 2024 and onto Sydney the next month finishing up on 19 – 21 April 2024.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Proudly sponsored by Jack Daniel’s, Better Beer, Heat Beads, and Traeger, the festival centres around the gurus of the grill, with the smell of smoking meats gliding ticket holders through the cookout course. From sticky ribs to beef brisket, Meatstock is both a vegan and vegetarian’s worst nightmare and a carnivore’s haven. The cookout wouldn’t be complete without Butcher and Barbecue Wars, and a Competitive Eating Zone, featuring the sausage sizzle smackdown, burger eating contests and, like the premise of the Sean Evans-hosted Hot Ones, a hot wing challenge.  


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Meatstock (@meatstock)

On the entertainment front, cowboys can brave the professional bull riding ring for a terrifying eight seconds of adrenaline, or physical qualities can be put on show for the Beard and Moe Wars, Mullet Comps, the Dad Bod Contests and ultimate muscle flex, the Strongman and Woman contest. 

But the real standout of Meatstock is on the mainstage where a lineup of superstar country music artists will sizzle.

Headlining the Toowoomba and Bendigo legs is Californian country music star and winner of the 19th season of American Idol, Chayce Beckham. Now living in Nashville, Beckham has become a beloved addition to the US country circuit following in the footsteps of fellow Idol country contestants. 

“There are a lot of alumni that have come out of the show that have been in country music for a long time. Carrie Underwood is a dominating force in country music. Lauren Alaina, Scotty McCreery – people like that who have also come from the show and who have made great careers in country music,” Beckham says.

“But I do feel like it is that thing where you’re like, ‘Oh, what happened to that person’ or Where did they go?’ Not any of those people, but perhaps other winners. So it just feels good to still be working and still be playing shows and putting out music and seeing that people are listening to the music. That’s the most rewarding feeling as an artist is to put out your work and to have people listen to it and to get to go on tour and see people show up.”  

Beckham has just finished an extensive US tour with idol judge and fellow country king, Luke Bryan, a collaboration and friendship that sparked after the show concluded.

“I wouldn’t even say it was on the show [that the friendship began]. I think just after I had gone off the show, I had flown to Nashville and then I was looking for management and I had met with Luke’s manager, Kerri Edwards. Then from meeting with her, she called me and asked if I was free one day because Luke wanted to go take me out fishing,” Beckham explains.

“That was really the first time I ever got to hang out with Luke for an extended time and offset; not on camera or not in Hollywood. So it was cool getting to just hang out with Luke and get to know him really for the first time. And then we both fished for a couple of days. 

“I’d say that was where we really got to know each other. We fished together a few more times and got to hang out and he’s become a good friend and a good role model.”

The tour came at a time of new music releases for Beckham. After his debut single ‘23’ smashed the iTunes charts in 2021, taking out first place during his idol fame and making show history as the first original song to win the competition, this year the superstar dropped four singles. ‘Till The Day I Die’, ‘Little Less Lonely’ and ‘Whiskey On The Wall’ all started building the story of a debut album, with a drop on 1 December, titled ‘This Ol’ Rodeo’ cementing the plans. 

Beckham confirms, “I’m in the process of that right now and it’s been an interesting process for me, just because I guess I should have thought it was coming, but I didn’t really see it coming when they asked me to do [an album]. So it was kind of one of those things where I was not caught off guard, but just a little nervous making and writing your debut album and putting something together and picking songs and writing songs. It’s a whole process. So I got to experience that this year and then hopefully we’ll be announcing stuff about that project soon. 

“But right now we’re still in the works of it but it’s been an awesome experience getting to write and build a project from scratch. It came together really nicely and I’m excited to put a name on it and put it out for the world.”

The upcoming album draws from all crevasses of Beckham’s background, including the almost-fatal car accident he was in two weeks before entering the life-changing American Idol experience. Beckham made the effort to deep dive into the sorrow, the joy and everything in between. 

“I wanted to touch on everything that I feel like an album should touch on, which should be a full journey of pain and happiness and suffering and joy and there should be songs that touch on everything in between. You just draw from real places and stuff that makes you feel something and I can honestly say every song on there is a song that made me feel something and that’s why we picked them,” he says.

“Whenever you’re picking from 30 or 40 songs and you have to boil it down to a dozen or 15 songs, that’s a really hard process and it’s cool to think that we had that many songs to work with and whatever we got is what everybody thinks it’s the absolute best of all those. So that’s what we want to do; just put out the best music possible for everybody. If it were up to me, we would just release everything, but you know that costs a lot of money. So I think that that whole process of writing from past experiences and picking out songs from past experiences and then pulling them all together in a pot and trying to pick the cream of the crop really gave us an awesome project to work with.”

Australia’s Biggest Barbecue Festival Meatstock is heading to Bendigo in 2024

Chayce Beckham is hopeful that the album will emerge before his Meatstock appearance, his first time to Australia and on a lengthy flight.

“I never thought that I’d be able to tour the entire United States and get to go to Canada and play in Mexico so getting to come to Australia, it’s a first and when we got the opportunity everybody was very excited to go. We’re really excited to be coming down,” he says.

His headline slot is highly anticipated with the music lineup rounded out by another idol alum, 2009 Australian Idol third place holder and X-Factor tryout, James Johnston, who is fast becoming a promising country artist on our shores, Casey Barnes, The Wolfe Brothers, Fanny Lumsden, Amy Sheppard, Zac & George, Lane Pittman and The Buckleys.

Tickets to the rodeo-esque ruckus are on sale now. 

Meatstock takes place 16 – 17 March 2024 at Bendigo Showgrounds, Bendigo. For ticketing, pricing, and more information, head here