When people flock to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, it won’t just be athletic prowess that inspires and entertains.
Festival 2018 will be a bold program of arts and cultural events, held across the same 12 days as the Games. The festival will feature a mix of highly acclaimed contemporary music, breathtaking dance and physical theatre and Indigenous music and art.
And the Festival takes place beyond the City of Gold Coast too. Townsville, Cairns and Brisbane City will all host satellite events. On the Gold Coast the festival will span the length of the city – from Helensvale to Coolangatta with two major festival hubs in Broadbeach and Surfers which will operate both day and night.
Organisers today announced a bunch of acts locked in to play the Queensland Stage, which will be located on Surf Parade, Broadbeach. Around 5000 people are expected to witness daily performances. Peter Beattie, Commonwealth Games Corporation Chairman also announced a strategic partnership between Festival 2018 and Bleach* Festival.
He said Festival 2018 is about promoting the Gold Coast to the world, but also about ensuring that local artists are promoted not just as part of the Comm Games, but to national and international audiences.
“One of the legacy compoents of the Commonwealth Games that we’re determined for, is that young artists have an opportunity to perform not just to their local audiences, but that their careers blossom into international stars,” Peter said.
“We’re also formally welcoming and joining forces with Bleach* Festival,” he continued.
“Bleach is a legend in itself. Once this event is over, in terms of performance, Bleach* essentially carries on that legacy. The relationship with Bleach* and the Games is fundamentally important.”
As well as two major stages at Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise, Festival 2018 will also spill out onto the streets and artists will be part of the entertainment around the venues.
“When you have a major event like this with large numbers, there’s always a delay in leaving,” Peter said. “Entertainers will enrich the whole experience. People coming into and out of venues will share in this whole entertainment program.”
Kate Miller-Heidke was confirmed as headliner for the event, performing in Cairns and the Gold Coast with a string quartet as well as long-time collaborator guitarist Keir Nuttal.
Mau Power was also announced to play both locations as well as Brisbane.
Hailing from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait and with proud heritage from the Dhoebaw Clan of the Guda Maluilgal nations, Mau Power was born and raised in the ‘Aylans’ and still lives in the Torres Strait. He’s the first rapper to ‘break out’ from the region and for many years he’s been guided by two cultures – Indigenous culture and hip-hop culture – with the art of story telling providing the link between the two.
“It was really exciting,” he said of being approached to perform. “Once I knew that this was happening and that I was going to be on the lineup – I got really excited.”
“It’s what I’ve been working for for many years – to be able to do bigger shows in Australia to rep not just our region but the country itself,” he said.
AUSTEN will bring a totally different sensibility to the stage for Festival 2018 – blending hook-laden art pop with spacious synths. She has two acclaimed singles and a national tour under her belt and has just come off tour with The Kite String Tangle. AUSTEN called the Gold Coast home while studying and is also excited about being included in Festival 2018 programming.
“I think having my kind of music and I guess, that aspect of the Queensland music scene represented in an event like this is really special,” she said. “When you think of a festival like Festival 2018, there’s a lot of theatre, but you don’t think that indie pop music is going to be a part of it – it’s cool to have that aspect happening. And it’s especially cool that it’s me,” she told Blank Gold Coast.
Jungle Giants and Karl S Williams were also included in today’s lineup announcement.
Festival 2018 runs 4 – 15 April 2018 as the arts and culture program of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
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Festival 2018 first lineup announcement – Queensland Stage, Surf Parade, Broadbeach
4 – 15 April, 2018
Kate Miller-Heidke, 14 April
Mau Power, 9 April
Jungle Giants, 12 April
Karl S Williams, 9 April
AUSTEN, 5 April