Common People Dance Project

On the Horizon

Image source: Contributed

Deb Caruso previews what’s on the horizon for the Sunshine Coast’s leading Arts and Cultural Festival.

Horizon Festival returns to full force in 2021 with a mind-blowing program that promises to be nothing short of spectacular!

In its sixth year, the Festival will build on its reputation as the premier Arts and Cultural Festival on the Sunshine Coast and transport audiences to an era of cheek and charm, sass and decadence, with 10 days and nights of world class cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, live music and so much more!

While the full festival program will be announced after this edition has gone to print, the sneak peek has me super-excited and you will be too! Visual art, music, theatre, dance, words + ideas, film and creative workshops inspired by the stories and beauty of the Sunshine Coast will surprise and delight people of all ages. There are some big (and cheeky!) surprises planned as well as free community events that are totally world-class and designed to honour and celebrate our local community!

Enough teasing, here’s what I can tell you…

The festival will run right across the Sunshine Coast region from Friday 27 August to Sunday 5 September, find the full festival program here. Subscribers to the Horizon Festival e-newsletter will get first access to tickets, so make sure you jump online and sign-up.

Venues will range from existing event spaces to pop-up performances and open environment immersions including a mix of from Stumer’s Creek, Coolum to Happy Valley and Dicky Beach in Caloundra; and everywhere in between such as Chambers Island, Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens, Cotton Tree Park; Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve in Maleny; and Baroon Lake, Montville.

The festival will take absolute delight in the natural beauty of the region and pay deep respect to the Traditional Custodians of this country; the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara Peoples of the coastal plains and hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast, who are the original storytellers and artists of these lands. A First Nations Advisory Group headed by Curator Lydia Fairhall will deliver heartfelt connections to place and engage the community to honour and understand the First Nations People through emotive and stirring presentations.

The incredible music program will be a beautiful collision of music, people and place, featuring some of Australia’s most loved musicians in intimate outdoor concerts in some of the Sunshine Coast’s most spectacular settings.

Likewise, the visual arts program will have a strong focus on the natural environment from gallery collections to on-site installations with a stunning array of works from some of the finest artists in Australia. Expect engaging installations with lots of opportunity to participate and immerse yourself in the art and the environment in which it is purposefully placed.

In 2020 with the restrictions of COVID-19, Festival organisers delivered what they could in a digital format. This had the added benefit of reaching a global audience and the elements that worked, such as Short Films and Conversation; and Spoken Word performances will continue to have an integrated digital presence with a line-up featuring inspirational stories; hysterical performances and heart-warming yarns.

The Festival Hub will be world-class and unlike anything seen on the Sunshine Coast before! Live music, DJs, food trucks and a fully-serviced bar will service the showcase venue that will be home to breathtaking, sassy and riotous world-class performances. I can’t officially say any more on the brief lest I risk airing dirty laundry (hint hint)

A dedicated kids program will feature an array of shows, activities and workshops for locals and their families to play, make, dance, sing, laugh and learn.

Here’s some events I can tell you about!

The Common People Dance Eisteddfod will see team Sunshine Coast Dance Gladiators go head-on against other regions in a storm of sequins, sweat and spandex in one mighty dance battle-royale.

The brainchild of Rock Eisteddfod rejectee Neridah Waters, Common People Dance Project invites locals of all ages and all abilities to join the polyester and puffy sleeved-crew to participate in fun weekly dance classes that will culminate in the Finals to be held in Brisbane! Term Two starts on Monday 12 July with weekly classes creating a series of over-the-top dance routines to some of the greatest hits of the ’80s and ’90s in homage to the legendary Rock Eisteddfods of decades past. Discover the joy of learning larger-than-life choreographed group routines and lose yourself in OTT dance mania! Registrations are now open for rocking good times!

Another initiative involving the community, “I’ve Been Meaning To Ask You” sees a group of 9 to 13 year olds deliver a riotous theatrical experience full of questions asked by young people, and answered by adults.

Why do you have to go to work? How come adults drink to have fun? Is 50 too old to learn to surf? What was life like before the Internet? The big, innocent and inane questions will be answered inside a theatre-turned-playground-turned-battleground transformed by Generation Up Next.


Watch as age collides with experience in a joyous and revealing one-hour tell-all, where adults take a backseat as a powerful group of local youths  drop some truths… and the mic.


Combining anonymous submissions with high-impact video design, I’ve Been Meaning to Ask You is a theatrical experience unlike any other – a conversation built around three key starting points: what you’ve been told, what you know to be true, and what you want to believe.


Built in collaboration with the award-winning theatre team from The Good Room, a Queensland-based performance collective who use the anonymous experiences of ordinary people to create extraordinary theatre works, I’ve Been Meaning To Ask You will see young and old come together to tackle the big (and little) questions that life throws at us.


Continuing on from a hugely successful Homegrown series in 2020, Homegrown 2021 will again place local artists at the front, providing a platform for sharing the stories important to the people and places of the Sunshine Coast. Following a call out late last year for submissions from locals working in visual arts, dance, theatre and music; four incredible projects were selected from the overwhelmingly high quality of presentations received. Well, just like the rest of the Festival plans, the who, what, where and how will be revealed with the program launch and on the website, social media channels and to e-newsletter subscribers. Keep your eye on our social media pages for exclusive ticket giveaways!


As the saying goes, “keep your eye on the horizon!”

Register Now!

Common People Dance Eisteddfod

All ages and abilities have the chance to groove and prove that anyone can dance up a storm! It’s going to be awesome. There’ll be weekly rehearsals. There’ll be half time oranges. There’ll be dress ups. Grab your crew, bring your mum, or come along solo.

Wed 14 July-Wed 15 Sept.
$150 including a custom-made costume (under 12 yrs is free)

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.

Post a Comment

Want more? Subscribe!

Get the latest news delivered fresh to your inbox!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Want to list your business?

Contact us to find out how! Contact us