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12 days of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, and more
If you thought that the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games was all about sport, and that all the action was located on the Gold Coast, you'd be dead wrong. While the sports, athletes, and venues of the 21st Commonwealth Games are undoubtedly the main events, people all over Queensland can join in the celebrations with Festival 2018. You're invited to 'take the plunge' with a range of art, music, theatre, comedy, and cultural events across the Gold Coast and Brisbane from 4 to 15 April 2018, and most of the events and activities are FREE.
The Festival Hub, Brisbane. Image from festival website
There is a huge program of diverse events across a range of venues, with something to tickle the fancy of everyone. You can see the full program of Brisbane events here but below are some of the festival highlights. These are really just the tip of the iceberg:
Once again, South Bank is at the forefront of celebrations. The Cultural forecourt is the Festival Hub where things kick off on Wednesday 4 April for the Festival First Night.
The Orbit Stage and Satellite Stage will present a huge range of musical talent including Pub Choir and the legendary Don Walker on Thursday 5 April; Heart Music and Cheap Fakes on Saturday 7 April; Blak Friday (13 April), with a showcase of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists; and Alex the Astronaut on Saturday 15 April. And did I mention that all this musical entertainment is FREE?
String Symphony features Leon, a four-metre-tall light based puppet. Participants can pull on the strings to make Leon move. Presented by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre you can meet Leon from Friday 6 April at 5pm to Tuesday 10 April at 10pm.
Megafauna features more giant puppets, this time three ancient Australian mammals. Look out for them at various times from Friday 6 April to Sunday 8 April and from Saturday 14 to Sunday 15 April.
Other Festival Venues Brisbane's City Botanic Gardens will showcase Botanica, a contemporary art exhibition with workshops, activities for the kids and talks by artists. These are FREE but bookings are required for some workshops. Bookings will be available soon online here.
Festival 2018 has partnered with the Gold Coast's popular Bleach Festival to showcase more than 160 events over 12 days. Action will be centred on Broadbeach, Surfers Paradise and selected locations across the Gold Coast. You can see the full program of events for Broadbeach here, Surfers Paradise here and other locations here. Once again the following recommendations are just a small taste of what's going on.
Surfers Paradise Six venues around Surfers Paradise will bring you everything from interactive installations and dance to theatre and great music. The opening night (Wednesday 14 April) will see FREE performances by Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project, and The Cat Empire.
At Appel Park, you can see giant crocheted sea urchins. You know you want to. Urchins will be drifting and bobbing over the Gold Coast Waterway throughout the festival. It's FREE.
If you think you've got what it takes in the karaoke stakes then line up at a microphone on Surfers Paradise Beach for Giant Sing Along every day of the festival.
Once again, it's FREE.
Across the Gold Coast Museum of the Moon presents a hovering 7 metre-wide moon sculpture that shows the moon's surface as it really is - right down to detailed craters from NASA information. See it at Southport's Chinatown throughout the festival. It's a FREE event.
NightQuarter Festival will see food markets, workshops, dance and theatre take over Helensvale from Thursday 5 April to Saturday 14 April. $3 entry. Kids under 12 FREE.
The Squad street theatre performers will roam the coast, presenting their physical comedy and circus for all to see throughout the festival. It's FREE.