MP’s rockin’ cover im­presses crowd

Geraldton Guardian - - Front Page - Francesca Mann

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.”

Pic­ture: Francesca Mann

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.

Pic­tures: Kym Jef­feries and Francesca Mann

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.

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