The glitter strip’s premier festival is famous for enlisting the coast’s natural wonders – beaches, waterways and hinterland – as unconventional stages for music, art, theatre, circus and song. And the 2019 program doesn’t disappoint on that score.
Canals and creeks will ring to the ethereal sounds of Water Songs, which is a magical musical concert series that sees a band of roving performers serenading from jetties, private waterfront gardens and canal-side public parks.
Burleigh Beach will be a major hub for the festival with a massive line-up of live entertainment across the 12 days, and a first for the event: a pop-up beach bar. It’s also where you can catch (and harass) The Cleaners – a comical pair of janitors battling to keep themselves and their suspended living room clean while the public catapult mud-filled balloons at them.
Fans of B-grade horror films and the nostalgic days of the drive-in will love Throttle – a stunt-studded live performance staged by theatre collective The Farm at Mudgeeraba Showgrounds. The audience will play a pivotal role in the production – turning up in their cars, tuning into the radio to hear the performance, lighting it with their vehicle headlights and viewing through their windscreens.
Landmarks created for the 2018 Commonwealth Games have been enlisted as event venues, too. The Gold Coast Aquatic Centre will host Landing – an absurd swimming carnival-slash-political spectacle that focuses on the country’s current immigration policy.
HOTA – Home of the Arts – will be the setting for Bleach The Gold Coast Festival’s pinnacle event: a powerful, open-air performance of Verdi’s Requiem by Opera Queensland and the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra.