Gold Coast arts and culture enthusiasts have been hanging out for the much-anticipated release of this year’s Bleach* Festival program—promising to add a dazzling creative dimension to April’s sports-driven Commonwealth Games alongside the broader GC2018 arts and culture program, Festival 2018.
Our golden gal Louise Bezzina at the helm and in teamwork with GM Matt Wilson, were tasked with producing a program befitting of international eyes and by gosh they’ve knocked it outta the park. With Bleach* Festival looking bigger than Ben-Hur and of depth, quality and diversity that we’re unlikely to see again in this capacity, it’s time to get excited, peeps!
With over 140 arts and cultural events popping up across the Coast—including various international and Australian premieres, majority of which are free—this year's Bleach* is set to go down in the history books. Add to that a 10-day food, music and indigenous culture festival hosted by the team at NightQuarter, and we’re frothing.
Key activation sites from Coolangatta to Currumbin, Burleigh, Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise, Mudgeeraba, Helensvale and everywhere in between, will ensure April's festivities are accessible to both visitors and residents across the city. So, if you were thinking, “I’m staying home, traffic will be a nightmare” then there goes that excuse.
We suggest you pour yourself a wine, peruse the mind-bogglingly packed schedule here, start highlighting your faves and making a plan of attack for Thursday 29 to Sunday 15 April. To get you started, here are five kick-arse events we’ve got on our radar, and we suggest should be on yours too.
Sleep Overnight On Burleigh Beach With Wave Fields
If you’ve always fancied a night sleeping under the stars (and we’re not talking about that one time at Schoolies…), Bleach* is hosting what will quite possibly be the Coast’s biggest and coolest ever coastal camp out. Wave Fields is happening over two nights (Friday 6 and Saturday 7 April) on the sands of Burleigh Beach, with 200 stargazers tucking into their swags while drifting off to dream land to the stirring multi-dimensional sounds of internationally renowned artist, Lawrence English. With a light supper, warming drinks, plus brekkie and coffee supplied the following morning; this world premiere will be a connecting experience to remember.
Catch 12 Days Of Free Live Acts On Broadbeach’s Queensland Music Stage
The Queensland Music Stage will light up the streets of Broadbeach throughout the Commonwealth Games. Popping up on Broadbeach’s Surf Parade (Wednesday 4 to Sunday 15 April), the main stage will see a swag of talented musos, including our very own Amy Shark, ensuring Broady is absolutely heaving and the place to be for visitors and locals alike. Also on the agenda are Kate Miller-Heidke and producer Paces teaming up with local duo Lastlings. For a full rundown of nightly shows, keep an eye out for updates here.
Intimate Living Room Performances With Home Visit
If you’re one of the lucky few to have enjoyed the rare pleasure of attending Bleach*'s previous Hotelling performances, you already kinda know where they’re going with this one. Perhaps a little less risque (though we can’t be certain), Home Visit Australia will see 10 every day Gold Coast locals open their homes to intimate groups of 15 people at a time. Anticipate living room performances that touch on big issues effecting today’s society, all fused with moving personal stories. An Australian premier, we’re seriously intrigued to check this one out!
NightQuarter’s 10-Day Foodie & Music Fiesta
Northerners and those with easy access to the new extended light rail would be crazy not to take advantage of the buzzing 10-day long food, music and indigenous culture festival happening at NightQuarter. With NightQuarter situated in close proximity to many official venues and the athlete’s village, it was a no brainer to pump up the volume and keep the party rolling throughout. We’ve been tempted with teasers including a Kupmurri bush tucker food experience, native cooking demos plus weaving and dance activations in the Jimbelung Space Indigenous area. In addition to long lunches, gardening workshops, botanical mixologist and cheese maker masterclasses, and a ridic live music line up in the Paddock—all wrapped up with NightQuarter’s signature carnival atmosphere. For a full round up of what’s happening from Thursday 5 to Thursday 19 April (noon to 9pm), hit the website here.
49-Hour Performance Spectacle On Currumbin Creek—TIDE
TIDE (Sunday 8 to Tuesday 10 April) is an outdoor performance that’s equal parts grit and perseverance as it is straight up performing arts brilliance. Created by The Farm, a local artistic group who wows crowds at Bleach* with every passing year, TIDE will see two fearless performers battle the rising and falling tide that engulfs their sandbar ‘office’ stage. Enduring 49 hours in the elements (don’t forget the sunscreen, boys!), they’ll rely on the interactive help of spectators to swim or SUP out supplies to keep them nourished while they complete their mission. Captivated? You should be!
Image credit: Bleach* Festival 2018