Eye on the Horizon Festival

Image source: Contributed

Prepare yourself for ten days and nights celebrating the cultural vibrancy of our region as the Horizon Festival returns in 2022. Deb Caruso previews the dynamic program for the Sunshine Coast’s leading contemporary multi-arts festival. 

Horizon Festival returns to connect, delight and disrupt with a ten-day program connecting people, arts, culture and place with showstopping and evocative performances in music, visual art, theatre, dance, words and ideas from 26 August to 4 September. 

Evocative and thought-provoking performances in magical locations; celebrations of homegrown talent; visual art and workshops to engage and enchant; and a dedicated program connecting us with First Nations artists, the Kabi Kabi and Jinabara peoples.

The Opening Ceremony will celebrate our region’s oldest living culture through songs, language, ceremony, art, dance and music with a meaningful and magical performance as the sun sets at Cotton Tree Park. 

The closing day of the festival will also see local and national First Nations artists deliver a Dawn Awakening in a stunning multi-arts celebration of remembrance, dreaming and ritual directed by Lyndon Davis as the sun rises over Stumers Creek in Coolum. 

You will dance, laugh, cry and wonder of the magic that will take place in the festival’s first Wonderland Spiegeltent! Think a fantasia of fun and jawdropping acrobatics in a showstopping and intimate space that sets the stage for side-splitting comedy or soulful singers belting out much-loved classics. 

Wild showmanship meets neo-vaudeville when the daring Le Coup present their astounding world class acrobatics, flying trapeze and playful antics. Featuring a live soundtrack by bluegrass band Father Grant and The Blunt Objects and singer Mary Murderess, the artists fire each other up to the highest level of entertainment. Bigger & Blacker is a comedy cabaret by Steven Oliver with his pal Michael Griffiths on keys and harmonies in a show that’s a bit of a rap, a bit of a sing, a bit of a tap and a lot of shaking his ring! Judgement must be left at the Spiegeltent door.

After something more wholesome? Circus Wonderland presents A Neverland Adventure which will bring the fantasy world of Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the Pirates to life with astounding feats and hilarious antics. 

The sublime Kate Ceberano will bring her signature soulful sounds to the Spiegeltent for one night only! The voice of a generation will play her hits plus songs from her latest ARIA Top 5 album, Sweet Inspiration for an electrifying evening. 

Outside the Spiegeltent and by the water at Cotton Tree, The Spiegeltent Garden will be pumping with the hottest beats from acclaimed DJ, vocalist and music producer DÉ SAINT. + the Metro Collective providing the perfect pre-show warm up. Turn up early, grab a drink, some food and enjoy the sunset.

The Common People’s Dance Eisteddfod returns with its all-abilities immersive dance experience of over-the-top dance routines to the greatest hits of the eighties and nineties. Wearing sequinned armour, shimmering tights, and wielding hairspray, these suburban gladiators will dance to the death to win – and will have you tapping your two left feet all night! 

Horizon Kids at the Wonderland Spiegeltent offers a daily garden full of paint, glue and beanbags – and a tent full of circus, music and comedy. From 9am-noon daily, little artists can get giggly and grubby with self-guided arts activities and installations; or join a hands-on workshops on flower art, raft-building, clay play or paint with Wildlings Forest School. 

School of Rock meets Beastie Boys and the Spice Girls in a rebellious party playlist delivered with Babushka Kids: Right to Party; Justine Clarke and her band will bring all the favourites; and  Holey Bin Amoley! will have you in stinky stitches with their ridiculous, bin-loving silliness. Art for Bubs by New Dreaming Art and Didgeridoo Music Therapy fuses art, music (didgeridgoo) and culture for a beautiful bonding experience. 

Homegrown will showcase projects that have been in the works for the last six months including Guyu and friend Mr Pelican – a Dreamtime story by Kabi-Kabi educator and artist Aunty Hope O’Chin; Sand will premiere a new contemporary dance work exploring relationship between body and landscape; and Eddie Ray – Silence of the Jams is equal parts movie and live music gig with some of the region’s best playing live alongside
a ‘save the world with music’ movie. 

Don’t miss performances by the Sunshine Coast’s most underwhelming synchronised swimming club, The Sinkers, who are everyday locals not in sync but very engaging with refreshing entertainment and humour; Looks Like a Tourist will be popping up at a tourist destination near you with 50+ community members in inflatable orange suits exploring the behaviours and impacts of tourism; the experimental pharmacy of political medicines will be dishing up Medicament for your Predicament; and The Playlist captures the stories of Coolum residents and visitors and their connection to the local area.

Music will be all about celebrating place with a number of intimate open air performances that will also be live-streamed for a wider audience. Butchulla songman Fred Leone and experimental contrabassist Samuel Pankhurst of duo Yirinda will be at Baroon Pocket Dam; First Nations superstar Cloe Terare brings her sweet, sour, pretty and brash R’n’B/pop vibes to Dicky Beach; Emily Wurramara and Andrea Kirwin will move the Maleny Community Centre; Blak Social will energise Eumundi with a roster of entertainers; and Bankfoot House, Glasshouse Mountains will host
a beautiful musical experience with Songs Of Gaia, an ode to Mother Earth.

The Visual Arts program will offer interactive and innovative art experiences from gallery collections to on-site installations with a stunning array of works from some of the finest artists in Australia. From Kabi Kabi Connections at Cotton Tree and Country is Calling at Mary Cairncross Reserve; to Listen More, Not Spoken For in the Maroochy Regional Botanic Gardens and What Did you Say? – an engaging talking tree at Cotton Tree Park?! The Mystery of Being Here will explore the largest career survey of Sunshine Coast-based artist, Peter Hudson; Phototropism by Amanda Bennetts and Warwick Gow will disrupt our notion of the photographic image; The C Word by Kim Shoenburger will explore recurring motifs that surface when faced with uncertainty.

There is also an abundance of Workshops, a Field Trip Symposium, Storytellers Festival, and many more moments in art and culture that will instil a deep sense of connection to community and pay deep respect to the Traditional Custodians.

Something truly special is on the horizon. Check out the full program!

Image: Steven Oliver: Dylan Evans Photography

About the Author /

[email protected]

Deb has 25+ years' experience providing strategic communications and brand reputation advice to clients in the government, business and not-for-profit clients. She is passionate about Noosa and is an active member of her community, providing PR to Slow Food Noosa and other clients. Her passion lies in working with small businesses to help them succeed. She is planning to release the Tastes of Noosa cookbook with Matt Golinski in 2019.

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