From humble beginnings on the Gold Coast’s southern beaches, Bleach Festival has grown into a whole-of-city celebration that combines art, music and cutting-edge theatre.
From Fun Run at Surfers Paradise – which explores the relationship between sport and art, to the world premiere of Frank Enstein at the Cultural Precinct to the special cultural stories of Churaki Hill, this year’s event is no different.
Bleach* Festival will run from 31 March – 16 April at dozens of venues across the city taking in Helensvale, Greenmount, Mudgeeraba, Surfers Paradise, Paradise Point, Bundall and lots of locations in between.
Bleach* Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina says more than 20 local and national arts companies will feature in the diverse program with a heap of participatory arts projects included (did someone say jam session with Ash Grunwald?).
“Bleach* is a festival of place,” Bezzina says.
“It’s an honour to be working on the Gold Coast right now with a growing, youthful and energetic arts community, who are not afraid to take risks and who share a sense of inspiration from our physical surroundings.”
Kicking off the program is Frank Enstein, made by Helpmann Award Nominees The Farm, alongside Co3 Australia. It runs just two nights when it has its world premiere at The Arts Centre Gold Coast, retelling the classic tale with magical dance-theatre at its core. Frank Enstein takes place 31 March and 1 April.
“We are particularly proud to be commissioning new work from many of Australia’s smaller, innovative companies like The Farm and Co3 Australia,” Bezzina says, adding that The Farm have been part of every Bleach* Festival since they re-located to the Gold Coast four years ago.
The Farm’s co-founder Grayson Millwood believes Bleach* is one of Australia’s most distinctive arts festivals, showing incredible courage in programming cutting edge work.
“There is an energy and momentum on the Gold Coast – a feeling of being unencumbered by cultural baggage, and genuine support from Bleach* Festival and the City of Gold Coast make it a great place to create,” Millwood says.
In another first, the Spiegeltent is coming to the city for Bleach*. The tent will be located at Victoria Square in Broadbeach for the duration of the Festival and will host the champagne cabaret Blanc de Blanc.
Following sell out seasons in London’s West End, Sydney Opera House and Brisbane Festival, the latest Strut & Fret production is a place where champagne sparkles, eyes glimmer, and the salacious and delicious combine for an evening of unparalleled pleasure. Tickets are already selling fast. A preview night takes place 29 March and then the show runs 30 March – 16 April.
But it’s not all theatre when it comes to Bleach*. Outdoor performances, visual art and interpretive story-telling also feature strongly.
Here are some of the other program highlights:
Churaki Hill | 1 and 2 April
Local Aboriginal man Churaki became renowned for carrying out daring rescues in the surf at Greenmount in the early 1900s, just as the surf bathing craze first hit. By the 1930s Greenmount Headland was referred to as Churaki Hill but sometime in the intervening years the name fell into dis-use. Churaki Hill pays tribute to this legacy by celebrating a rich lineage of saltwater people, closely linked to these waters and with a connection to the spirit of the Churaki story. Internationally acclaimed projection artist Craig Walsh will shine a light on those beloved saltwater people, who will watch over passers-by.
Fun Run | 8 April
Artist Tristan Meecham will run a gruelling 42.2 kilometres on a treadmill live on stage, right in the middle of Surfers Paradise, while supported by hundreds of community performers and athletes, a cheeky Emcee, a fleet of Fun Run dancers, a booming soundtrack and some very special Gold Coast guests. There’s dazzling lycra, shiny muscles and bouncing pom poms from 3.30pm under the Surfers Paradise sign.
Wired at Paradise Point | 9 April
Combining the talents of circus, highwire and wire-walking, Wired at Paradise Point will take place at 2.30, 3.30 and 5.00pm with live music between each performance.
Highly Sprung | 15 and 16 April
A new, outdoor trampoline spectacle will bounce its way into Broadbeach combining acrobatics, dance, physical theatre and music into an irresistible collision of performance and playground.
Following each performance, the stage becomes a public playground for the audience, who can kick of their shoes and become part of the Bleach* Festival cast. Highly Sprung is created by Legs On The Wall who have performed all over the world, including at the opening night of the London Cultural Olympiad in 2012.
Performances are at 10.00am, 1.30pm and 4.30pm.
On the music front, Bleach* has a unique mix of touring artists and local musicians included in the program. Here’s some of the highlights:
Saltwater sessions, with Dope Lemon, Ash Grunwald, Tia Gostelow and Emily Wurramara at Coolangatta, 1 April.
Varsity Daze sees a live Friday night soundtrack from The Ruiins, Th’Fika and Austen, while three illuminated humanoids land on Varsity Parade, 31 March.
Live at Bond, 2 April features Bobby Alu.
Surf Safari Feast at Palm Beach, 8 April will feature Yes Sir Noceur, Wet Fish, Jackson James Smith and the Coolangatta Ukulele Players.
All the way from Canada, The East Pointers will play Mudgeeraba Community Hall, 9 April.
Peruvian salsa dura orchestra Sabor y Control will hit NightQuarter on 15 April (with Samba Blisstas in support) and a percussion workshop before the performance. And then will back it up on 16 April at Bleach* at Burleigh with Benny D Williams and Slip on Stereo.
The Bleach* program is enormous and there’s no way to capture every single event here.
For more details click here
Please remember to keep us in mind for all of your buying, selling, renting or property management needs – you can make contact via the following means:
Drop in: 2 Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
Phone: 07 5592 1464