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Bleach* Festival 2019

The Gold Coast’s premiere art and culture festival program is out.

Time flies when you live on the Gold Coast and pretty much everything around you is fun. It flies so fast in fact, that’s it’s time for Bleach* Festival again and the recently released 2019 program is bigger and better than ever.

The incredible festival once again combines local, national and international artists in 132 performances over 12 days in music, dance, opera, theatre, cabaret, circus and visual arts and it’s not to be missed (again).

Because fun and cultural stimulation is what we live for, we are here to discuss a few key things you should absolutely not miss at the 2019 Bleach* Festival.

The eighth annual festival runs from April 17th to 28th and signals a new era for the Coast while celebrating our unique culture with a jam-packed program spanning large-scale opera, award-winning dance, eye-popping cabaret, free live music, a thought- provoking political swimming carnival and a thrilling drive-in with a difference. That’s a lot.

Let’s begin by discussing our beloved Spiegeltent, back to dazzle us with its magnificence and a little circus-style show called Limbo Unhinged. It’s by the folks behind Blanc de Blanc and it’ll unleash pyrotechnics, sword-swallowing and aerial shenanigans against a pulsating live soundtrack from April 17th to May 12th. Fun.

Bleach* Festival’s centerpiece event, Verdi’s Requiem, shows on April 27 and, featuring more than 150 musicians and singers, will be performed under the stars, with HOTA’s outdoor stage transformed into a fiery ceremonial sanctuary.

Also premiering in 2019 is Water Songs, a musical concert series that will travel through the Gold Coast’s waterways. Minstrels will perform from the waterfront into backyards and public parks along canals, creeks and channels just doing their musical thing, which is obviously epic.

Townsville’s Dancenorth presents Tectonic, a free 15-minute performance installation staged twice a night and inspired by the plight of Torres Strait communities whose island homes will be consumed by rising sea levels. We hear it’s an absolute must-see.

Bleach* Festival once again welcomes long-time collaborators The Farm, a Gold Coast-based dance theatre company, to present Throttle, a drive-in live-action movie with a difference. It’s a b-grade thriller that plays out in front of an audience who are all safely hidden away in their cars, which sounds like a horror movie in itself to be honest but we’ll give it a whirl.

Closing out the festival will be a concert featuring the delightful Montaigne on Burleigh beach and we are definitely here for that.

That’s all we’re going to chat about for now but let it be known the entire program is filled with absolutely mind blowing performances, all of which you should make time to see.

There you have it, another exciting round of Bleach* Festival is about to begin.

Words by Kirra Smith

Blanc de Blanc

After an epic introduction to the Gold Coast earlier this year, Blanc de Blanc is back in the Aurora Spiegeltent at Broadwater Parklands from the October 5th to November 5th.

A bubble-filled world of fantasy awaits with the burlesque, circus-style show bringing the finest cabaret and acrobatic talents from around the world.

Every act in the show is inspired by champagne and includes elements of comedy, audience interaction and giant balls flying through the air. Think pumping music, acrobats twisting high above the crowd, dancing, singing and a little bit of skin.

The round, circus-style tent is filled with mirrors, a stage placed in the middle of the room and the audience up close and personal.

It’s a giant party like nothing you’ve ever seen before – illuminating and exciting.

Directed by Scott Maidment, who recently worked on Madonna’s Rebel Heart tour, and choreographed by Kevin Maher (of Justin Bieber and Britney Spears fame), Blanc de Blanc has sold out around the world due to its wild, risqué moves.

In reality, words are inadequate to describe the wonder that is the world of champagne cabaret.

Without giving too much away, Blanc de Blanc is a must-see. Particularly if you need a little more excitement in your life. Tickets available here – get in quick!

LOCATION: The Aurora Spiegeltent, Broadwater Parklands
COST: From $55

Scott Maidment

He’s the creative genius who brought us Blanc de Blanc in 2017 and now, Scott Maidment and his production company Strut & Fret, is set to blow your minds again.

His latest production, Deluxe Deluxe, is showing at Home of the Arts until July 27th and you will not want to miss this one.

We sat down for a chat with Scott about bananas, maple syrup and bringing the Spiegeltent back to the Gold Coast.

Tell us what we can expect from Deluxe Deluxe?
Deluxe Deluxe is a crazy mashup of dance, music, cabaret, circus, comedy and good times. 

Why did you decide to debut it on the Gold Coast?
We had such a big response to Blanc de Blanc, people loved it here. We could play it again here another time I think, people keep asking about it. Because of that response we thought, let’s make a new show and let’s start it on the Gold Coast, which not many people do.

What’s the process of finding such incredible talent for the show?
Some of these people I’ve worked with for the last five or six years and some I’ve only just met. It’s kind of a mix of having people you know will be amazing and then throwing in a few new ingredients.

Do you plan the show first and then find the talent?
No, it works the other way. I choose the people and try to make a vibe and then go okay now we’ve got these people, lets make the show.

Why does creating this type of show appeal to you?
I want to make a show that really involves the audience so they’re are as much a part of the action as the performers. It’s not like a play where they’re pretending to be something else, there’s no doubt the audience are as involved in what’s happening on stage as the performers are. I think that kind of real and immediate entertainment is what people want as opposed to sitting at home watching Netflix.

What does it take to bring such an incredible production together?
There’s quite a lot of logistics obviously because people are flying in from all around the world and you’re trying to organise schedules. You have to work and fast and hard but you also want to be crazy and anarchic at the same time. So you need that structure and room to play.

Do you have a favourite act you can give us some insight into?
Somehow the show ended up having a lot to do with bananas, maple syrup and pancakes so obviously that’s very deluxe. 

You gave us Blanc de Blanc last year, how are the two shows different?
The energy is the same in terms of fun and great music but the show, the mix of characters and the entire cast is totally different. 

What’s on for the rest of 2018 for Strut & Fret?
After this we’re doing a show we’ve been touring for five years, Limbo, which is playing for Darwin Festival. The Spiegeltent will come back to the Gold Coast at some stage; I think we’re going to announce that before the end of this year.

What do you love most about the Gold Coast?
Someone sent me a message yesterday, its two degrees in Melbourne and it’s 25 here, it’s the perfect winter and it’s great for the performers to be here at this time of year. It’s deluxe.

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