Can you believe it’s nearly been a year since Bleach* Festival took our breath away (again)? Well, it has. And by the look of this year’s program – hot off the press – 2018 is going to give all the previous year’s events a run for their money.
Running from 29 March to 15 April, Bleach* Festival is a city-wide event that encourages – nay, demands – that all Gold Coast culture vultures, music lovers, performance aficionados and wonderful weirdos get out of the house for two weeks of glorious play that sees our incomparable cityscapes converted into stages, and audiences transformed into participants.
This year’s Bleach* Festival will coincide and, at times, collaborate with the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games’ Festival 2018, and is set to be a sight to behold. With the whole world watching, here is a little of what you can expect from one of our City’s most beloved events in 2018:
DANCE lovers will get the chance to experience everything from the most ancient to the most contemporary with an eclectic program that sees dancers from The Farm caper around Surfers Paradise Beach for an apocalyptic party like no other in ‘The Ninth Wave’, while the Fijian artists of ‘Vou’ will take over the parklands with their unique and acclaimed blend of traditional and modern Pacific Islander dance. ‘Yes We Dance’ is bound to be a crowd favourite, starring ten everyday Gold Coasters, each with extraordinary ways of expressing themselves through dance. If you missed the wildly successful ‘Tide’ in 2015, where two office workers carry on their duties on a sandbar, now’s your chance to see a reworked version of it in the Currumbin Estuary. Experience the Hilton Surfers Paradise as never before on the travelling adventure that is ‘Intimate Space’, and travel back to Fiji when ‘Vou’ hit the Paddock stage again, along with traditional and contemporary musicians for ‘Bleach* at NightQuarter’.
The streets of the Gold Coast will be filled with MUSIC as some of the finest local and visiting musicians sing, play and chant their way into the hearts of onlookers. ‘Bleach* Electrified’, ‘Southport Live at the CBD Street Party’ and ‘Queensland Music Stage’ will see epic line-ups of contemporary talent including Busby Marou and Kate Miller-Heidke, while ‘The Spirit of Churaki’, ‘An Evening with Kev Carmody’ and ‘By The Beach’ will allow festivalgoers to explore some of the country’s best Indigenous musicians. ‘Song to the Earth’ invites audiences to wander among a forest of musicians as Australian string ensemble DeepBlue, master percussionist Dr Michael Askill, and 50 remarkable local young musicians create a euphoric musical experience under the night sky. ‘Coast Acoustics Music Festival’ is being swept up in Bleach* fever this year as well, while ‘Dangerous Song’, described as “in inter-species choral work” is likely one of the more original acts you’ll be able to check out. ‘Bob La Castra and the Martini Club’ will take listeners back to a bygone era with their blend of jazz, soul and Latin tunes.
ARTS & THEATRE has never looked so good, from the large scale puppetry and musical extravaganza of ‘String Symphony’ to from-tacky-to-art nostalgia of ‘Super Souvenir’. Visitors to the Gold Coast will be taken by surprise and delight when they are greeted by ‘The Welcome Party’, a colourful, quirky, go-lucky gang on a mission to provide you a personalised welcome party! ‘Wave Fields’ invites guests to have a snooze in a soundscape created by celebrated artist Lawrence English, while ‘The Language of the Wind’ is a sound installation which combines a series of incredibly rich and moving soundscapes of local songlines, correlating to Indigenous notions of place. ‘Quiet by Nature’ takes guests on a historical kayaking tour, while ‘Home Visits’ keeps locals within their private residences for an intimate show. Music, performance, art and food combine in the best possible way for ‘Feast on Fifth’, while ‘Truth to Power Café’ engages people from all walks of life on a level playing field, whilst celebrating the power of free speech, joyful artistic expression, and political activism. Photographs will also get their moment in ‘SEALEVEL – The Art of Awareness’, a personal photographic project documenting the ocean at sea level.
Bleach* Festival runs from 29 March to 15 April 2018. Check out the full program at bleachfestival.com.au.
Festival 2018 has also announced its program, some of which includes Bleach* Festival events. Get the Festival 2018 low-down here.
IMAGE: TIDE (c) Darcy Grant