The Gold Coast’s premier arts and cultural festival, Bleach* Festival, has unveiled its most ambitious program to date; an 18-day city-wide celebration spanning major musical concerts, large contemporary dance productions, giant outdoor spectacles, travelling shows on kayaks and even an epic beach sleepover.
“2018 is a transformational year for Bleach*. For three weeks 29 March – 15 April, Bleach* Festival will bring locals and visitors together to connect and interact through intimate encounters in private homes, as well as large-scale performances on beaches, parks, hotels and gathering places,” Bleach* Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said.
The expansive program of 140 genre-defying events and activities includes 10 world premieres, one Australian premiere and two Queensland premieres; with the majority, completely free to the public.
“In this landmark year, we are thrilled to collaborate with Festival 2018, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games arts and culture program. Bleach* Festival has commissioned and produced 20 of the 160 works that form part of the Gold Coast artistic program,” Bezzina said.
“The opportunity to work with the Festival 2018 organisers was an incredible opportunity for our artists to be seen on the world stage, to engage with artists from throughout the Commonwealth and forge new artistic networks and collaborations.”
Bleach* at Festival 2018 program highlights from 4 to 15 April include the world premiere outdoor music concert The Spirit of Churaki, inspired by the incredible true story of the Gold Coast’s first surf life saver. Two years in the making, this heroic story, largely unknown, features an extraordinary line-up of legendary Australian musicians under the musical direction of Brian Ritchie and cultural collaborator Kyle Slabb set to visuals by acclaimed artist Vernon Ah Kee.
“The local Indigenous community has put their faith in us to tell this incredible Australian story and we know it will etch itself into the hearts and minds of audiences,” Bezzina said.
Rimini Protokoll’s boundary-pushing Home Visit receives its exclusive Australian premiere, inviting 10 every-day locals to open their private homes to complete strangers for a series of intimate living room performances.
Bleach* Festival continues its commitment to presenting ground-breaking home-grown contemporary dance and physical theatre works, including the return of two celebrated works by the Gold Coast’s internationally-acclaimed contemporary dance company, The Farm.
“The Farm’s ground-breaking durational work TIDE sees two fearless performers put themselves at the mercy of both the tide and the compassion of the community as they set up an office on a sand bar at Currumbin Estuary for 49 consecutive hours,” Bezzina said.
“We are also proud to present The Ninth Wave; an evolution of The Farm’s 2016 Helpmann Award nominated end-ofdays work The Last Blast, set against the stunning backdrop of Surfers Paradise beach.”
Additional dance-theatre highlights include the Queensland premiere of Restless Dance Company’s promenade work Intimate Space; an explosive experience from Fiji’s pre-eminent dance company, VOU; and Quiet By Nature, a moonlit kayak tour with a difference.
For the more adventurous, Wave Fields offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend the
night sleeping on the beach, wrapped in a blanket of sound created by internationally
renowned artist Lawrence English.
Locals unafraid to take centre-stage will relish the opportunity to perform in Yes, We Dance! – a joyous participatory performance experience that pairs 10 everyday Gold Coasters with professional choreographers and an ensemble of hundreds of community dancers.
“Bleach* Festival welcomes participation and exchange, inviting you to feel challenged, inspired, connected and proud,” Bezzina said.
“As the world focuses its attention on the Gold Coast in April, this is our chance to say to the world, ‘THIS is our Gold Coast!’”
The three-week festival kicks off Thursday 29 March with a free all-ages opening night party at Bond University, headlined by musical juggernaut and masters of fun, Melbourne Ska Orchestra.
Bleach* Festival 2018
Various locations throughout the Gold Coast
29 March – 15 April 2018