MP’s rockin’ cover impresses crowd
Francesca Mann Who knew WA Upper House Labor MP Darren West could sing?
Mr West surprised hundreds on Thursday when he sang a cover of Eagle Rock at the opening night of Funtavia, Geraldton’s Fringe World Festival hub.
Hitting the stage with a guitar, the member for the Agricultural Region was asked to open the three-day festival on behalf of Minister for Culture and the Arts David Templeman.
After Mr Templeman advised Mr West he could “have some fun” with the speech, Mr West sang the classic Daddy Cool track, replacing the words “Eagle Rock” with “Funtavia”.
It wasn’t long before the crowd were clapping and singing along, clearly loving Mr West’s not-so-hidden musical talent.
Funtavia ran from Thursday to Saturday last week and featured an array of local, national and international acts.
More than 2400 people headed down to Geraldton’s West End on the weekend for the third annual Funtavia festival.
Geraldton’s very own Fringe World Festival Hub featured 70 local, national and international performers in 15 shows from February 8 to 10.
The three-night festival featured something for everyone, from comedy to music and theatre to cabaret.
More than 1700 tickets were sold and 80 per cent of shows were at maximum capacity.
Producer Jodi Reilly said Funtavia had come a long way from when the idea was first tossed around.
“It’s crazy to think Funtavia was little more than just a dream three years ago,” she said.
“Funtavia is now beginning to mean something special to the community of Geraldton.
“So many people came out to experience all the entertainment and fun.”
This year’s Funtavia line-up featured artists from as far away as Ireland to performers found in the region.
Creative producer Julian Canny said the festival was an opportunity for local artists to perform alongside internationally renowned Fringe World acts.
“This year, more than 70 per cent of Funtavia performers were local — something we are extremely proud of,” he said.
“The support for our local shows was insane and showed an enthusiasm to invest locally in our own ability to develop our voice as a region. A real big success was the young kids and adults that designed their own family-friendly show.
“It was great to see young people getting up on stage and we want to explore how we can do that more in the future.”
Funtavia will return in 2019 and the team have already started planning how to make the festival bigger and better.
“The weekend was fantastic — we really feel like it’s starting to find its feet now,” Mr Canny said.
“Now we know we’ve got a bit more support from the community and we’ve got the numbers, we can make some investments in really developing our program to be stronger.
“We didn’t expect the amount of people we got so next year we’ll cater for that a bit more.”
Darren West belts out his version of Eagle Rock at the Funtavia launch in Geraldton.
Rosie Sitorus and Kellee Aberg, of Fat Girls in Bike Shorts, hang out in the Sand Bar.
Esther and Will Henderson from The Tins jamming at Funtavia's Sand Bar.
Ellie Honeybone, Sharae Leeman and Aimee Wellman, of Good Intentions, rock the Busker's Stage.
Funtavia punters enjoy food, drinks and music in the Sand Bar.
Marni Facchini and Ellen Norrish.
Kirsty Kipling and Vanessa McGuiness.
City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn, centre, joins some of the local performers from Comedy Allstorts — Family Pack for an improv game.
Kylie Evans and Teagan Goudge.
Funtavia marketing co-ordinator Kym Jefferies rocks merchandise for locally produced show, Fats Girls in Bike Shorts.
Tomas Ford during his show, Pop Craptacular.
Local grandmother Leonie Clarke took Funtavia by storm with her hilarious show, Gran in a Van.
Mary Bourke had the crowd in stitches during her show, I Can Make You Irish.