Quality acts boost REAF’s reputation
Karratha’s seventh annual Red Earth Arts Festival came to a close in the town centre last Sunday afternoon.
Friends and families enjoyed live music from Perth band the Galloping Foxleys, jumbo games, market stalls, a pop-up bar and food vans.
REAF kicked off on Friday, September 16, with thousands of people descending on the Karratha town centre for a night of fun and entertainment.
The intersection of Sharpe Avenue and Warambie Road was closed to traffic and turned into a hub of activity as punters enjoyed live music, a puppet parade, food and market stalls and roving performers.
The popular REAF Junior event sold out so quickly, and a second show was added to the program on Saturday, September 17.
Children and families were entertained by Hoot and Hootabelle from the popular ABC kids’ show Giggle and Hoot, as well as a performance by Fatt Matt and the Lunar Circus troupe.
There was also face-painting, children’s rides and a pop-up cafe for mums and dads.
Karratha ABBA fans dressed up for tribute band BABBA’s dinner show at the Tambrey on Saturday night.
In their first Pilbara show, BABBA played all the ABBA classics that had the audience dancing all night.
For their third REAF 2016 appearance, Lunar Circus put on a spectacular show on Sunday, September 18, at the aptly named Lunar Sensation tent — a pop-up venue on Hampton Oval in Dampier.
Lunar Circus performer Matt Yates said REAF was a great event.
“(There was) something for all of the community,” he said.
“Good to see a vibrant Shire wanting to make a difference with arts in the community.”
As Lunar Circus act were on the trapeze, contorting and juggling, comedians Mikey Robbins, Bev Killick, Dave Callan and Akmal Saleh were providing laughs for audiences at the Wickham Recreation Precinct.
The all-star comedy line-up brought the hilarity to the Lunar Sensation tent the following night.
Callan danced, Robbins acted as MC and Killick did impressive impersonations of Tina Turner.
Headline comedian Akmal Saleh ebbed and flowed through his routine but kept everyone laughing as
he interacted with the crowd and told stories from his life and time on Channel 10 reality program I’m a Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here.
Returning to REAF was comedy hypnotist Matt Hale, who put volunteers under his spell at the Tambrey last Wednesday and the Wickham Recreation Precinct last Friday.
Hale said he had “so much fun” in Karratha and would love to be a part of REAF 2017.
“The audiences and people taking part were just so up for and so much fun to work with,” he said. “It was just fantastic to part of such a worldclass event in a remote location.”
Karratha town square was filled with the sounds of the Perth Symphony Orchestra playing classical versions on modern hits last Saturday night.
Hundreds gathered at the Karratha quarter with picnic rugs and camping chairs as Sophie Foster and End of Fashion frontman Justin Burford accompanied the orchestra, singing hits such a Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, Adele’s Skyfall and more.
The arts festival is one of Karratha’s biggest events, with eight performances and activities spanning 10 days.
Mayor Peter Long said the festival provided the community with arts and culture one would only expect to see in a metropolitan area
“From an incredible performance by the Perth Symphony Orchestra to motocross stunts in the centre of town, REAF has once more lived up to its reputation as an entertaining and diverse festival that brings out the best in our community,” he said.
“We are already looking forward to next year’s edition and the ways we can continue to grow this annual calendar highlight.”
Sophie Foster with the Perth Symphony Orchestra.
Dave Callan, Bev Killick, Akmal Saleh and Mikey Robbins.
Acrobats of the Lunar Circus.
Precarious antics from the Lunar Circus.
Juggling at the Lunar Circus.
Dave Callan performs at the Lunar Sensation Tent in Dampier.