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Surfers Paradise Festival 2013

Home > Gold Coast > Nightlife | Music | Free | Festivals | Family
by Susan Jackson (subscribe)
Gold Coast Explorer since Jan 2010. Always on the lookout for fun, family things to enjoy with my four kids.
Event: -
Easter in Paradise

Surfers Paradise 4 weekend long Festival of free community events is now in its 4th year. Entertainment, music, art & food are the 4 pillars of the festival. The calendar of events begins on Wednesday 27 March, 2013. To celebrate the start of the Surfers Paradise Festival, there's a Street Parade of colourful lanterns with marching bands and acrobats, bringing together community groups and school children. The parade will make its way through Surfers to the official opening of the festival on Surfers Paradise Beach, where a fireworks event marks the start of the festival. The route is from Neal Shannon Park to the Surfers Paradise Foreshore from 6pm.

"Brrr on the Beach" Ice Skating

ice skating Surfers Paradise
Image courtesy of
Surfers Paradise Festival website
The start of the festival on Wednesday 27 March also sees the opening of "Brrr On the Beach" an ice skating experience which runs through to Sunday 21 April. Here's your chance to ice skate on the foreshore of one of Australia's most famous beaches.

The 18m coastal ice rink is located on the Foreshore between Cavill Mall and Hanlan Street and will be open to skaters Monday to Friday 2pm 9pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 9pm. The cost is $10 for 15 mins. Give it a go, skating's great fun.

Australian Street Entertainment Championships

Surfers Paradise Australian Street Entertainment Championships
Image courtesy of

The 4 day Easter weekend (Fri 29 Mar to Mon 1 April) sees Surfers hosting the Australian Street Entertainment Championships. Pavement performances and stage presentations from jugglers, acrobats, magicians and musicians from around the globe, are lined up to entertain the crowd. The competition takes place on Friday 29 March to Sunday 31 March from 10am daily. The Grand Final is on Sunday 31 March from 4pm 7pm and Showcase Day is Monday 1 April from 10am. The High Street, Cavill Mall and Surfers Paradise Foreshore are the locations to head for to see the street artists.

Sounds of Sunset & Beachfront Markets

Sounds of Sunset offers the fresh sounds of jazz, blues and soul music all against the backdrop of Surfers Paradise Beach, at the Beachfront Markets. These are taking place in April, on: Wed 3, Sun 7, Wed 10, Fri 12, Sun 14, Wed 17, Fri 19, 5pm 8pm, at the Foreshore, from the end of Hanlan Street. If browsing markets is something you enjoy, don't miss this one, as there's a host of stalls with lots of different things to catch your eye.

One Way Street Party & SIPfest

Another market opportunity, this time it's a street market with one off vintage fashions in a laneway style art and music festival. Alongside the market, will be live bands, art projects and fashion. The One Way Street Party takes place in Neal Shannon Park, Alison & Appel Streets on Saturday 13 April from 1pm to 8pm and is calling out to all "shakers, movers and laneway groovers".

Sipfest, movies in Surfers, film festival Surfers
Image courtesy of Surfers Paradise Festival website

The after dark addition to the One Way Street Party is SIPfest. It's featuring a program of premium Australian short films from the country's best young directors. The official welcome and overview of 2013 films takes place at 6.30pm so grab a beanbag and enjoy a night of the new. Films are of any genre - comedy, drama, animation, thriller, are all on the giant screen. Watch and then vote for the People's Choice Award via text message. Presentation of awards is at 9pm.

Active & Healthy Offerings

I am a great fan of the GCCC's Active & Healthy program. There will be a number of free group activities happening around Surfers under the Active & Healthy banner throughout the festival, including:

Tie Dye - Shoshana at Aspiral Designs will be hosting the Tie Dye workshop at the One Way Street Party on Saturday 13 April from 1pm 8pm, in Appel Street. Her no mess spiral tie dye technique is a fun way to die your own white garment, for $6, or pay $9 to tie dye a supplied pillowcase.

Circus Workshop - We have also tried the "Have a Go Circus" at a previous holiday event. It's a circus arts workshop which teaches you how to juggle, use poi, hula hoops and spinning plates and a bit a clowning around. It on Surfers Paradise Beach (end of Hanlan Street Volleyball Courts) on Monday 1 April from 10am 12 midday.

Dine Out with a Difference

Sunset River Cruise
Wyndham Cruises take to the Gold Coast Waterways for a Twilight Cruise on Sat 30 March and 6 April from 6.30 8.30pm. This Sunset River Cruise will cruise the Broadwater on an exclusive cocktail cruise. Don't forget your camera for night shots of Surfers. Tickets cost $59pp and departures are from Tiki Village. Contact Wyndham Cruises for more info. Read a review of their lunch cruise here.

Lunch at Altitude
The "Skypoint Longest and Highest Lunch" Q1 takes place at Skypoint Observation Deck in the Q1 on Friday 19 April 12.30pm 3pm. It includes a 3 course lunch, beverages and live entertainment and costs $89pp. At 270m above the streets of Surfers, guests enjoy 360 degree views of the Gold Coast whilst enjoying lunch at altitude.

A La Carte in the Park
This event offers great food, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment with a music menu that includes the Royal Australian Navy Band, David de Vito one of the finds from the 2011 Australia's Got Talent and Liam Burrows, another finalist and a junior jazz sensation. The date for this is Sunday 21 April from 12 6pm in Lionel Perry Park. It's all about food, wine, friends and live music.

Spooks behind the Sparkle and a Photographic exhibition

Ghost Tours
For the "Spooks behind the Sparkle" join a Surfers Paradise Ghost tour for an after dark ghost tour of the area. Tours are by lantern light, from Cavill Mall Visitors Information Centre. Ticket prices are Ad $25, Ch $17. Visit the website for info and bookings.

Photographic Exhibition

Helen Isabella photography
Image courtesy of Helen Isabella

"Surfers Paradise RSL" are hosting a free event, featuring the images of Gold Coast Photographer Helen Isabella on Saturday 13 April, from 7pm 10pm. Entitled Resistance - a story about Birds, Death & Marriages...and Love, it's a series of "haunting portrait images" mixing optical and digital photographic effects.

Fireworks Spectacular

Surfers Paradise Festival looks like it's pretty much got all the entertainment you could ask for covered in this annual festival for all the family. Saturday 20 April sees the sky light up with the Seafire Fireworks Challenge at 7pm 8.30pm. This fireworks spectacular is the result of teams of "Queensland's best pyrotechnicians" as they go head to head in this popular family event as the fireworks displays are set off. There will also be fire twirlers with flaming pois and firesticks. There's plenty excitement head down to the beach near Hanlan Street to watch.

Surfers Paradise Fireworks
Image courtesy of Surfers Paradise Festival website

For a full calendar of events visit the Surfers Paradise Festival website.

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Why? For a great program of free events over the Easter holidays
When: 27 Mar - 21 Apr 2013
Where: Surfers Paradise
Cost: Mostly free (there is a charge for selected events)
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