Bleach* Fes­ti­val and Fes­ti­val 2018 join­ing forces rep­re­sents top news for Gold Coast arts lovers, with a breath­tak­ing pro­gram of events on of­fer

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - NEWS - SALLY COATES

The Com­mon­wealth Games will bring ath­letes from all over the world to our city, but it will also bring in­ter­na­tional artists from 50 coun­tries, cul­ti­vat­ing a bub­bling cul­tural caul­dron un­like any­thing we’ve seen be­fore.

When Bleach* Fes­ti­val and Fes­ti­val 2018 join forces, in­cred­i­ble things can hap­pen – and it all be­gins in one week to­day.

“Bleach* is a won­der­ful lo­cal fes­ti­val – ob­vi­ously I don’t need to tell lo­cals about that though,” Fes­ti­val 2018 cre­ative co-or­di­na­tor Kate Fells says.

“From day one when we were plan­ning the arts fes­ti­val com­po­nent of the Comm Games, Bleach* has al­ways been there as lo­cal fes­ti­val part­ner.

“We’ve cer­tainly re­ally drawn on them for lo­cal knowl­edge and what they’ve done be­fore but also things they wanted to do in this spe­cial year.”

While Bleach* will be cham­pi­oning events such as The Spirit Chu­rakai, The Ninth Wave and Yes We Dance, both parties will col­lab­o­rate on acts from all over the Coast, com­bin­ing Bleach* Fes­ti­val’s in­sider knowl­edge and GC2018’s in­ter­na­tional reach.

The re­sult is a hugely di­verse line-up of en­ter­tain­ment and cul­ture.

“Peo­ple have to come to Main Stage at Surfers Par­adise,” Kate says.

“There are dif­fer­ent shows ev­ery night and peo­ple just need to look at the pro­gram and see what they love.

“It might be Meg Mac and great fe­male artists in Elec­tric Lady, or get a bit ad­ven­tur­ous and see African artists you’ve never heard of from the Young African Com­mon­wealth, dance to mas­sive per­cus­sion at The Big Bang – and that’s just one stage. It to­tally de­pends on what you love, but I’d re­ally en­cour­age peo­ple to look at the pro­gram.”

With more than 100 free acts and thou­sands of artists, and per­for­mances tak­ing place all over the Coast, there are no ex­cuses not to get in­volved – from NightQuar­ter at He­lensvale to the main Surfers and Broad­beach stages down to Burleigh Heads and Palm Beach.

“This is a once-in-al­ife­time op­por­tu­nity for all of us work­ing on the fes­ti­val and Comm Games,” Kate says.

“It’s a re­ally ma­jor sport­ing event but also it’s a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional arts fes­ti­val right here on the GC.

“In par­tic­u­lar the way that the GC has re­ally em­braced the fes­ti­val, every­one is cre­at­ing unique shows and art­works that are spe­cial to this place.

“It’s not in the­atres it’s in wa­ter­ways, parks, beaches.

“This is the time to cel­e­brate, to party, to en­joy and to ex­pe­ri­ence all the dif­fer­ent cul­tures.”

But even af­ter the fi­nal day on April 15, Kate is con­fi­dent the cul­tural residue will stick to the Gold Coast and help it grow even more.

“I re­ally hope it will have a big im­pact,” she says.

“There’s a grow­ing im­pact in the shift of cul­ture on the GC, it’s slowly be­com­ing some­where artists want to live.

“Au­di­ences are open to things.” For the full pro­gram visit­ti­val2018

Fes­ti­val 2018 co-cre­ative di­rec­tor Kate Fell is urg­ing arts fans to check out the big pro­gram.

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