Vocal Eruption to kick off upcoming Cairns Festival celebrations

Rowan Anderson


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Crowds will come together for the Cairns Festival IMAGE: Supplied
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Vocal eruption will rise on the front steps of Court House Gallery to kick off the Cairns Festival’s Diamond Jubilee on Monday.

A gathering of local artists and performers, with acoustic musical intruments at the ready, will assemble for a group singalong to the chorus of Kool & the Gang’s 1980 hit song, Celebration.

Starting at 10:30am on Monday August 8 it will be the perfect creative way to signal the upcoming Cairns Festival, running for ten days from August 26 to the September 4.

This year the Festival marks 60 years in a milestone worth celebrating with a record 78 events with over 1500 artists, coming together to celebrate arts and culture in the tropics.

Alongside all the action at Tanks Arts Centre is a full program of events at iconic locations around the city including Cairns Performing Arts Centre, Munro Martin Parklands and Festival HQ at the Court House Gallery.

From a blistering bluegrass circus troupe to magnificent lightshows, world-class comedy, giant hot air balloon sculptures, and an outstanding live music line up, this year’s Cairns Festival will heat up the tropics.

To celebrate the 60th year of the event there will be the biggest program to date with a record 78 events planned.

This year will undoubtedly spark plenty of arts and culture excitement along the way, and we have pulled out our trusty red pens and circled quite a few treats in the Cairns Festival program. Here are 8 events we’re most looking forward to are:

1. Bluegrass, Boxing and Acrobatics - Outlaw showmanship meets neo-vaudeville acrobatics backed by a ferocious bluegrass soundtrack as Le Coup brings you a wild night of entertainment! From sword swallowing to daring aerial feats, tap dancing and acrobatics, this ragtag troupe of traveling misfits astounding audiences as they duke it out against each other and the laws of physics. Le Coup | CPAC | Sept 3 + 4 | $45

2. Under The Sea Immersion - The city of Cairns lights up in celebration of the Great Barrier Reef through a magnificent and immersive sensory light and laser experience. Guests will encounter an impressive light journey that harnesses the magic of the reef and washes the city with a kaleidoscope of colour. Reef Light | Esplanade & Foreshore | Aug 26 – Sept 4 | Free

3. An Orchestra Under the Stars - Following the Grand Parade and Fireworks Spectacular on Saturday 27 August, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra takes over Munro Martin Parklands on Sunday 28 August for its Superfamous show. For all those times you’ve recognised a tune but can’t quite remember what it’s called – this concert is for you. A non-stop romp of excerpts from some of the most famous pieces ever written. QSO – Superfamous | Munro Martin Park | Aug 28 | $35

4. Lies With An Audience - Could you lie in front of an audience? Would you…? In the award-winning social experiment Truthmachine, biometric sensors and live voting systems test volunteers from the audience with the ultimate game of truth. Body responses and polygraphs convert into an intricate symphony of light and sound, while the interrogator probes for the hard, cold truth! Truthmachine | The Court House | Sept 1 – 4 | $19

5. Live and Loud - Musical mania at this year's Cairns Festival is jam packed with some stellar sounds at some of the city’s most iconic venues. Amy Shark and Alex the Astronaut raise the roof at Tanks Arts Centre. The Court House turns in to Festival HQ with a full line up of live artists including Lady Valiant, Ally Row, Kaweyova and Phat Earth Theory , while Festival Main Stage on the Esplanade hosts Hope D, 19 Twenty, and Fat Picnic. Various bands, locations, dates, and tickets.

6. Hypnotic Dance - A rousing aural, visual and sensory trip, created by Amy Hollingsworth and Jack Lister, Aftermath is an electric collaboration performed by Australasian Dance Collective to a blistering original score performed live by the award-winning composer Danny Harley. Aftermath | Tank 3 | Sept 1 + 2 | $30

7. Comedy Central - The grand dames of the Australian comedy circuit Judith Lucy and Denise Scot guarantee to make audiences ask themselves all the big questions while heaving with laughter with their CPAC show, Still Here. One night only, don’t disappoint yourself… Jude & Scotty – Still Here | CPAC | Aug 31 | $69

8. Skyline Sculptures - Patricia Piccinini’s colossal artwork, Skywhales: Every Heart Sings, comes to the Tropical North Queensland skies on September 3. In conjunction with The National Gallery of Australia and the Cairns Art Gallery, the Cairns Festival invites you to bring the whole family to experience first-hand two giant hot air balloon sculptures suspended over the city from dawn.

The full line up of free and ticketed events along with more information can be found here at https://www.cairns.qld.gov.au/festival.

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