Kate Bush was just 19 years old when she topped UK charts for four weeks with her debut single Wuthering Heights. She was the first ever female artist to achieve the UK number-one spot with a self-written song. Since that year (1978) she’s released some 25 UK top 40 singles and ten studio albums (all of which reached UK’s top ten) and solidified her reputation for delivering eclectic and experimental music as well as theatrical performances.
And perhaps there’s none more theatrical as her performance in the seminal video that accompanied Wuthering Heights. And it’s that song and that dance which is the catalyst for the Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever, which this year comes to the Gold Coast for the first time ever.
The inspiration for the Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever was in 2013 when UK performance artists Shambush took their wuthering flash mob act to greater heights with The Ultimate Kate Bush Experience, gathering 300 Kate Bush impersonators and turning a pleasant Sussex park into a wily, windy moor. The video of that event went viral and inspired Gold Coast girl and now Berliner Sam Wareing to create her own Berlin event.
Sister events have popped up all over the globe and July 2016 saw 20,000 women, men and children don red dresses and gather in parks to dance en masse to Kate Bush’s classic Wuthering Heights.
This year, Gold Coast gets its own event thanks to Lights Out and Dance co-founder and local marketing and events consultant Karleen Harrington.
“I love to dance and I love Kate Bush and Wuthering Heights so I was both excited and jealous when a girlfriend was posting pics about a Melbourne event on Facebook last year,” Karleen told Blank Gold Coast.
“When I noticed there wasn’t one on the Gold Coast, I decided that we needed one and I would arrange it.”
“The world needs more fun that can include the whole community, allow us to connect with our inner child and just have some fun,” Karleen said.
Gold Coast’s Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever takes place on Saturday 15 July from 2.00 – 4.00pm at The Arts Centre Gold Coast’s Evandale Lake. It’s a massive interpretive dance workshop followed by an en masse dance. It goes without saying that you have to dress for the dance.
“We’ll have a DJ who will play the song for us, along with some other music. We’ll have our dance leader Diana from Dance Skool who will go through the dance steps for everyone, we’ll do two to three practice sessions, take a break and then at 3.00pm well regroup and do a complete run through of the dance,” Karleen explained.
“We all need to find inclusive and fun ways to come together as communities around the world and connect with each other and have fun, regardless of race, religion, sexual persuasion, gender,” Karleen said.
The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Mark Buckley Photography, Dance Skool and Bordertown Films have all helped to make this inaugural event possible.
“I’ve had so much feedback and interest from so many people in the community. There’s been plenty of men and women alike who just adore Kate Bush,” Karleen said.
So, get out your red dresses (with bishop sleeves, of course), red stockings, hair flowers and black waist scarves. This is Wuthering Heights, baby.
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The Most Wuthering Heights Day Ever hits Evandale Lake on 15 July from 2.00pm with an after-party from 4.00pm in The Arts Centre Gold Coast Basement. The after-party is ticketed ($12 online / $18 door). Get all the details at fb.com/mostwutheringheightsdayevergoldcoast or theartscentregc.com.au.