The Gold Coast’s live music event of the year will this weekend deliver much more than just music.
Buskers by the Creek yesterday launched its program with a taste of what can be expected for the two-day event which last year attracted more than 10,000 people to the banks of Currumbin Creek.
Cindy Jensen is the brains behind Buskers and the person responsible for pulling together a program which will feature more than 200 acts across 15 ‘stages’. When we chat she can barely contain her excitement at the talent on offer.
“Oh my god,” she gasps as one of the headliners, Space Cowboy swallows just one sword for a photo. He’s the world record holder. He earned that title by swallowing a lot more than just one sword. In fact, Space Cowboy holds the world record for holding the most world records.
He runs freak shows all around the world and when I met him at Currumbin Creek yesterday it’s obvious the friendship that he and his co-headliner, Lizardman have.
“He is truly a magnificent and unforgettable freak,” he says, of his friend.
“He has spent over 700 hours tattooing his entire body with green reptilian scales (Face included), he had his teeth filed down to sharp points, implants in his face and his tongue split in to like that of a lizard. Not only does he look like a freak he is an amazing performer!
“About six years ago I sent him an email inviting him to perform with me in Australia, he told me that he had seen many of my performances on television and on the internet and he would love to perform with me. We have been working together regularly all over the world ever since,” he said.
Erik “Lizardman” Sprague had a copy of Blank magazine under his arm when we met in person. He previously told me that he became intrigued with the bizarre as a young man and his interest in art developed as he got older – so much so that he left his doctoral program in philosophy to follow his dream.
Even though he’s travelled the world “nearly everywhere but Antarctica,” he’s only been to the Gold Coast once but he says he was “awe struck by the natural beauty.” And when I ask about some of his audiences, he says he’s been collecting stories from the road for some 20 years.
While we chat beside Currumbin Creek, he’s looping chains through hooks hanging from his long ear-lobes and lifting a keg for another photographer there to capture his talents.
Joining us at the media launch were Melbourne-based four piece Scrimshaw Four who are a travelling freak show of a different kind. Four young men, crammed into a small station wagon along with their guitar, banjo, violin and gigantic bass. They’ve made a name for themselves busking around markets in Melbourne and a steady slew of Festivals to their name.
And one of the Gold Coast’s leading fire entertainers was also on hand to show off his skills.
Neal Webb has only just returned from Hawaii where he was researching the roots of fire dancing and capturing footage for a documentary due for release before the end of the year.
His fire skills, usually the highlight of any event, lacked a little lustre next to a dude swallowing swords and another with a pair of scissors in his nose, but I guess that’s what this festival is all about – pitting one talented street performer against another for no other reason than to wow audiences and breathe life into our public spaces.
Buskers by the Creek is so much more than just music. 200 acts will grace 15 stages over the two-day event which will run 10.00am – 6.00pm both days.
And remember, this is a busking festival. Performers will have hats and guitar cases out, so come armed with plenty of shrapnel – hell, why not make it notes – and give back to those who put so much into keeping our streets and malls full of music, fun and freak.
View the whole program, in all its freaky, fancy glory online ahead of the event.
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Buskers by the Creek features some of the Gold Coast’s most active musicians, including Hussy Hicks, Karl S Williams, Katie Who, Jake Fox, Matty Rogers, Kenny Slide, Zed Butel, Ash Perrow, Jackson James, Eleea Navarro, Nyssa Berger, Stav & The Dark, Luke Houselander and Mescalito Blues.