THE quality of the music was second to none and the ambience of sun, surf and soul lived up to the expectations of punters at the sixth annual Caloundra Music Festival.
But organiser Richie Eyles said it was the quirky elements, from the intimate Green Room gigs to the creation of a piano bar, that would stay with people forever.
More than 20,000 people poured through the gates during the three-day event.
Mr Eyles said ticket sales surpassed the record 18,000 set when Powderfinger performed to a sell-out crowd as part of their farewell tour in 2010.
Despite a crowd of more than 8000 on Saturday night for headline act John Butler Trio, Mr Eyles said police and security officers had not reported any incidents.
"I actually saw police dancing and smiling in the crowd. It's a great vibe when everyone can feel good together," he said.
"Watching John Butler Trio was just a surreal experience.
"He was playing a guitar solo and the audience was mesmerised and it was really quiet, it was a beautiful performance on a calm night and a sea of people, so that was a highlight for me."
One of Mr Eyles's "pet projects" was the Piano Bar, where a little jam session by a lone pianist soon turned into an impromptu collaboration of 10 that was large enough to rival the main stage acts.
Elements of the music festival and the inaugural Fringe Festival, which ran from September 21 to October 1, overlapped with great fanfare.
Busking Festival winners Hoo8Hoo and Juzzy Smith played to a crowd of more than 7000 on Sunday night just before headliners Noiseworks took to the stage.
The Green Room Unplugged allowed 100 lucky punters the chance to win an intimate audience with some of the festival's biggest names by being judged the best-dressed in photos taken by volunteers during the Fringe Festival.
Mr Eyles said now that the music festival had been "nailed", the "real future" lay with the Fringe Festival.
A small army of volunteers with a zero-dollar budget had pulled the Fringe Festival together, he said.
COMBING OVER THE FRINGE
- The 11-day Fringe Festival, in conjunction with the Caloundra Music Festival, delivered a wide range of free activities and performances
- It was spread from Bulcock Beach through to Kings Beach