Cotton Tree Park will be transformed into a welcoming and vibrant global village for the Voices of Harmony event on March 23 where multicultural groups will connect with the community through song, story, dance, food, traditional games and activities from 10am to 3pm.

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said people are encouraged to wear orange to the Voices of Harmony event which is jam-packed with a diverse range of multicultural performers originating from Fiji, Africa, Indonesia, Africa, Iran, India, Romania and the South Pacific to name a few.

“To commence the celebration, Kabi Kabi community leader Brianna Hanson will perform the Welcome to Country and talk about connecting to country and caring for traditions,” Cr McKay said.

“This will be followed by the Inspiration Choir who will perform a beautiful Acknowledgement of Country and invite the community to warm up their vocal chords for the day.

“Well known Sunshine Coast based singer-song writer Andrea Kirwin, with Fijian heritage, will entertain the crowd with her feel good island style blend of folk, funk, roots and reggae on the main stage at 10.45am.

“Some people may have seen Samoko perform at the Woodford Folk Festival where he connected the community through a fusion of ancient traditional African and modern Afro grooves and now he will be joining us on the main stage at noon.

“There will be a special performance from the USC School of Music students at 12.40pm who will perform their original anthem written for Harmony Day entitled We Sing One Song.”

Cr McKay said attending the Voices of Harmony day will be like travelling around the world experiencing different cultures at one colourful event.

“Throughout the day people will have the opportunity to sing along to a wide range of world music from Hot Ginger Chorus, New World Rhythm and Cool Harmonies and enjoy a range of cultural dance performances,” Cr McKay said.

“Besides the main stage acts, there will be all-day activities including traditional games, weaving, storytelling, children’s activities, art and crafts, a Global Hub Fashion Parade and display of unique traditional outfits and so much more.

“All this entertainment will certainly create a healthy appetite and we have that covered as well with an array of multicultural cuisines taking people on a cultural feast.

“There is no doubt our diversity helps makes the Sunshine Coast a great place to live and we invite people to visit the Harmony Day ‘Everyone Belongs on the Sunshine Coast’ photo booth to celebrate our region’s cultural diversity.”

Sunshine Coast Voices of Harmony community event

10am – 3pm on Saturday, March 23

Join in the Voices of Harmony celebrations – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Sunshine Coast and Australia home. Wear orange to show your support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.

Join in the conversation on council’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by sharing images and the hashtag #harmonyday.

Sunshine Coast Council, in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Multicultural Network Group, invites the community to wear orange and head to Cotton Tree Park on March 23 from 10am to 3pm for the Voices of Harmony event.

The event will include live performances including Andrea Kirwin, community choir sing-a-longs, cultural dance and performances, workshops, games and an array of multicultural cuisines taking people on a cultural feast around the world.

Members of the Sunshine Coast multicultural community are also invited to display their unique traditional outfits and join in the Global Hub Fashion Parade.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Sunshine Coast Voices of Harmony event is a time to celebrate and reflect on the rich cultural heritage of the Sunshine Coast.

“The Sunshine Coast Multicultural Action Plan highlights our region had a diverse and growing multicultural population, with one in every five residents born overseas, representing 156 countries, 45 faiths and 96 languages,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“It also identifies the importance of recognising, respecting and embracing diverse cultures and striving to strengthen the resilience and prosperity of our multicultural Sunshine Coast.

“Events like Harmony Day enrich understanding and inclusion in our diverse communities.

“By valuing our diversity and providing equal opportunity to all, we are realising our vision for the Sunshine Coast to be Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart, creative.”

Community Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said by participating in Harmony Day, we are celebrating the many cultures who call the Sunshine Coast home.

“The message for Harmony Day is ‘everyone belongs’, reinforcing the importance of inclusiveness to all Australians,” Cr McKay said.

“There is no doubt our diversity helps makes the Sunshine Coast a great place to live and we invite people to visit the Harmony Day ‘Everyone Belongs on the Sunshine Coast’ photo booth to celebrate our region’s cultural diversity.

“We have secured some fantastic live performers and entertainment and I encourage friends and family to come together at Cotton Tree Park to connect, to share, learn and appreciate our communities’ diversity.”

Harmony Day coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Sunshine Coast Voices of Harmony community event

10am – 3pm on Saturday, March 23

Join in the Voices of Harmony celebrations – a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Sunshine Coast and Australia home. Wear orange to show your support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.


·         Welcome to Country.

·         Andrea Kirwin, an earthy blend of folk, funk, roots, reggae and soul infused songs from the heart.

·         Samoko, a fusion of ancient traditional African and modern Afro grooves.

·         Join community choir sing-a-longs with Hot Ginger Chorus, Inspirational Choir and Cool Harmonies.

·         USC School of Music perform the Sunshine Coast Harmony Day Anthem.

·         Enjoy cultural dance performances and music from Indonesia, PNG, Fiji, Persia, Africa, Tonga, India and many more.

·         Join a workshop, play traditional games from around the world, hear stories and discover customs.

·         Men, women and children are invited to display their unique traditional outfits and join in the Global Hub Fashion Parade.

·         Local stallholders will provide an array of multicultural cuisines taking people on a cultural feast around the world.

Join in the conversation on council’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by sharing images and the hashtag #harmonyday.

Caloundra Music Festival brings the music and the benefits

Future funding for the Caloundra Music Festival which attracts 30,000 attendees over four days will be considered by Sunshine Coast Council at Thursday’s (February 28) Ordinary Meeting.

An independent tourism report on the 2018 Caloundra Music Festival confirmed a 17% growth in attendees since 2016.

The festival generates more than $4 million in economic benefits for the region and an additional $1 million for Queensland.

Division 2 Councillor Tim Dwyer said the Caloundra Music Festival had been providing significant benefits to the community, music sector and economy on the Sunshine Coast since it started in 2007.

“Since the Festival began, a number of other music festivals have started on the coast demonstrating the health of the industry,” Cr Dwyer said.

“The festival’s growth and our community’s pride in it, combined with high levels of attendee satisfaction ratings, has proven the value of having a music event like this on the Sunshine Coast.

“Recent nominations in the Queensland Music Awards for Festival of the Year – two years in a row – is also testament that this is not only an event for our region but also for South East Queensland. 

“As an all ages, family-friendly event, Caloundra Music Festival ticks the social, economic, community and cultural boxes, reflecting our vision to be healthy, smart and creative and provides a platform for high calibre local, national and international talent.

“Quality live music played alongside spectacular geography, showcases the Sunshine Coast as a destination while delivering direct economic impact and tourism benefits.”

At today’s Ordinary Meeting, council will consider referring an operational budget of $250,000 to the annual budget process for three financial years (2020/21-2022/23).

Caloundra Music Festival 2019 will be held from October 4-7.


Since it began in 2016, Horizon Festival has cemented itself as the premiere arts and culture festival for the Sunshine Coast, and council today (January 31) committed to supporting the festival for another three years.

The 10-day festival sees the region comes to life in a celebration of arts and culture, engaging locals and attracting visitors from across the country.

Council has committed $665,878 to the festival each year until 2022.

Arts Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said Horizon Festival had provided significant benefits to the community, arts sector and economy on the Sunshine Coast.

“I’m extremely pleased at what the Horizon Festival has achieved and excited by the festival’s future possibilities for our region,” Cr Baberowski said.

“The first three years of the festival have proven the value of having an arts and cultural event on the Sunshine Coast, for both the arts sector and for audiences.

“Delivering the festival wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment and passion shown by our local and visiting artists – they are the reason people choose to attend festivals.

“Winning a 2018 Australian Event Award, for the Best Achievement in Marketing, Communication or Sponsorship is also testament to the great team we have working on the festival behind the scenes.

“This is not only an event for our region but also for South East Queensland and it ticks the social, economic, community and cultural boxes, reflecting our vision to be healthy, smart and creative.

“We aim to put the Sunshine Coast on the map nationally and globally and we are well on the way to achieving that goal.

 “Horizon Festival is a key deliverable of the Sunshine Coast Arts Plan and I look forward to seeing the festival continue to grow over the coming years.”

Festival facts

·         More than 128,000 people have attended the festival since it began, with 22.3% of those from outside the region.

·         2235 artists engaged, including 370 First Nations artists and 330 artists with a disability.

Supporting the future festival delivery, council has developed the Horizon Festival Development Plan 2019-2023.

The plan will aim to establish the festival as a premier arts event on the national calendar, provide pathways for local artists to develop content, skills and networks, provide locals and visitors with unique arts experiences that engage and inspire, showcase the Sunshine Coast as a sophisticated cultural destination alongside spectacular geography and deliver direct economic impact and tourism benefits.

Horizon Festival 2019 will be on from August 23 to September 1.



10 DAYS | 130+ ARTISTS | 20+ VENUES | 50+ EVENTS

Rush Festival is set to ignite the #GympieRegion again in 2018 with two jam-packed weeks of creativity and family fun!

In 2018, Rush is all about grass-roots arts, local creative culture, heritage and eclectic performances for every age, interest and taste!

See local, national, and international touring artists, world class performances, and much more at this year’s Rush Festival!

For more details,


Do you love Woodfordia? Then you will ?our 7th annual Maleny Music Festival where you will see over 75 acts over 3 days starting the last weekend in August 2018.

The Maleny Music Festival offers a profound sense of community connection where your whole family can enjoy the friendly vibe of mostly homegrown artists.

This 3 day weekend festival is filled with supremely talented musicians, artists, workshops, sessions, licenced bar, childrens’ venue, street performances, food stalls for all tastes, camping and which promises many new experiences and performances to suit many tastes including folk, world music, rock, dance, comedy, poetry, cabaret and showcasing all the incredible local talent.

Our venue is cosy, spacious, and easy to navigate plus caters for all weather conditions.

Our food is healthy, tasty and diverse, our music and entertainment is nourishing, fun and world class, our arts are eclectic and engaging and our community is oh so fine.



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Single day passes are available, as well as season tickets. Camping is also available. Visit this link for more information and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to stay informed.



Here is a brief overview of whats on the menu this year, stay tuned for more news.

Rob Longstaff returns from Berlin for this year’s Festival to join us for the first time. Rob is an exceptionally talented folk, rock, blues, and whatever musician who gets you into the moment and usually dancing your socks off.

Also on the bill this year:

? Fred Smith Trio from Canberra
? Kelly Brouhaha from Adelaide
? Hardey McMurrick Two from Perth
? Nicole Brophy
? Steve Tyson & The Train Rex
? Jesse Morris Trio from NSW.

Returning from last year we have :

? Kevin Bennett
? Martin Pearson
? The Fergies
? Dan Horne
? Barleyshakes

And returning from the previous years:

? The Hillbilly Goats
? The Jar
? Cloudstreet
? Barry Charles
?The Karen Law Family

From Brisbane we have:

? Cigany Weaver
? Estampa
? Getano Bann
? Zumpa
? Lizzie Flynn & The Reckoning
? Tin Star
? Sadie & Jay and East Of West

Add to that Sunshine Coast bands include

? Bearfoot
? Canta La Tumba
? Carnaval

Plus acts not yet announced certainly makes our Early Bird Price a bargain to not miss out on. Stay tuned for more announcements

The Maleny Music Festival is presented by volunteers and has been proudly supported by Woodford Folk Festival, Hotel Maleny and the community of Maleny.



This year you can choose which days camping you want and add it to the ticket price. There are also a limited number of powered sites.


Brisbane Festival has unveiled a program brimming with big-name acts, more world premieres
than ever, and a spectacular new light-and-laser show on the river that will see Brisbane
illuminated for 22 days of celebration this September.
There will be almost 600 performances – 100 of them free – of almost 70 shows across 17 venues.
More than 1,000 artists are involved.

In a coup for Queensland, Brisbane Festival will premiere eight brand new works, involving
major commissions from some of Australia’s leading companies including Circa, Dancenorth
and Legs on the Wall.
Program highlights include two major Riverstage music events bookending the Festival on the
opening and closing nights and headlined by homegrown heroes Ball Park Music and Violent
Soho; two semi-staged concerts of Benjamin Britten’s masterpiece Peter Grimes, starring worldleading
Australian heldentenor Stuart Skelton; and #CelebrateBrisbane River of Light – a nightly,
all-ages, free river show that will ignite the city with a visual feast of luminescence and life.
In a first for Brisbane Festival, the massive program is presented in three distinct acts – one for
each of the three weeks of activity from 8 – 29 September.

“Each act has its own explosion of story, and each opens a window to the world that will
entertain and enlighten,” Brisbane Festival Artistic Director David Berthold said.
The first week alone offers almost 30 different productions in 15 venues across the city, including
favourite Festival hubs Treasury Brisbane Arcadia, home to The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent; the
fringe-fueled Theatre Republic at Kelvin Grove’s QUT Creative Industries Precinct; and live music
mecca The Tivoli.

Act One revolves around ideas of home, memory and gender. Amongst the signature events is
Memorial, an epic theatrical experience that gives exquisite life to each of the 215 dead
soldiers named in Homer’s Iliad. It stars the legendary Helen Morse and a community chorus of
215 choreographed by Circa’s Yaron Lifschitz, with music by Golden Globe nominee Jocelyn
“This spectacular new Australian work, featuring a massive chorus drawn from the Brisbane
community, will be a snapshot of the city in 2018,” Berthold said.
From the United States comes Home, in which a house is built magically onstage, seemingly
from nothing, before becoming a celebration of all the things that make a house a home. By
the end, the audience becomes part of a joyous house party.
Equally monumental is Qweens on King, an inner-city garden party that will see eight real-life
same-sex couples tie the knot in a public ceremony officiated by Gai Lemon.
“The King Street area in Fortitude Valley registered the highest YES vote in the marriage equality
postal survey in all of Queensland, so it’s an appropriate place for a public celebration like this,”
Berthold said.

Another guaranteed crowd-pleaser is Festival favourite Strut & Fret, who returns to The CourierMail
Spiegeltent with LIFE the show. It’s a world premiere for Brisbane Festival, showcasing the
extraordinary capabilities of the human body, from contortion and aerials to fire-breathing and
feats of incredible strength.
Additional Act One headliners include Australian TV favourite Hugh Sheridan and friends in the
return of 2016 smash-hit California Crooners Club; Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project; the return
of Brisbane Festival’s hugely successful free concert Symphony For Me, which sold out within
minutes in 2015 and 2016; and Katie Noonan’s Elixir, Michael Leunig and The Camerata in
Gratitude & Grief, a unique combination of spoken-word poetry, sublime music and live

Act Two of the Festival casts the individual against the giant forces of nature, fate and society,
in thrilling expressions of circus, dance and music.
Highlights include two world premieres, En Masse by Brisbane’s internationally renowned Circa
in one of their biggest shows yet, and Dust by Australia’s leading company for dance
innovation, Dancenorth; while national treasure Rhonda Burchmore joins guest star Rob Mills in a
sexy and sassy new show, BANG! BANG!

Act Three – the Festival’s final week – delivers a fierce and fun climax, including mind-bending
scary movie homage HORROR; the colourful children’s opera The Owl & The Pussycat; and the
world premiere of Man With The Iron Neck from Australia’s leading physical theatre company,
Legs on the Wall. Eskimo Joe teams up with Brisbane chamber Camerata in QPAC’s Concert
The 22-day celebration crescendos Saturday 29 September with Brisbane’s much-loved
fireworks celebration Sunsuper Riverfire igniting the city skyline for its 21st anniversary year. This
year’s super fun soundtrack is themed on Sci-Fi and Superheroes.
“We hope this festival is altogether alluring and will bring us all together, breathing as one, as
we witness artists from here and around the world working at the very limits of their imaginations
to blow our minds,” Berthold said.
“This year’s Brisbane Festival is truly Brisbane’s Festival. Visit each of the three acts and you’ll be
rewarded six-fold – we invite you to join us and celebrate Brisbane this September.”
For the full program of theatre, dance, music, circus, comedy, cabaret and family
entertainment, visit


And we are off and running with 10 jam-packed days of arts and culture across the Sunshine Coast! We have hand picked a selection of events held across the first three days of the festival.

Opening Ceremony and Celebration

Join us at Cotton Tree this afternoon in celebration of the First Peoples of Australia and experience String Symphony as it lights up the park. BYO picnic blanket, enjoy snacks from food trucks and make yourself comfortable for the evening’s entertainment. MORE INFO

Date: Fri 24 Aug  |  Time: 4pm – 8pm |  Venue: Cotton Tree Park 

Countdown to the Woodford Folk Festival

With less than a week before the start of the 32nd annual Woodford Folk Festival, the transformation of the site, one hour’s drive north of Brisbane, from lush parkland to Australia’s 67th largest town is almost complete.

This year, over 400 artists, speakers and performers, over 200 food and craft stalls, 220 visual arts workshops and 2,700 volunteers will join thousands of ticketholders to call Woodfordia, as the 500-acre festival site is known, home.

In Tent City, the temporary accommodation hub for campers without their own tent, close to 1,000 tents are standing and there’s room in nine other campgrounds for plenty more.

Following their biggest ever attendance at the 2016/17 event, the organisers behind Australia’s largest gathering of performers made the decision to cap numbers to this year’s event in order to preserve the atmosphere and comfort level of patrons.

To further improve/enhance the festival experience, a state of the art shade structure has been installed on parts of the main thoroughfare on which the Parlour Venue sits, along with entry to the Sacred Labyrinth, Chill Hill as well as numerous stalls.

Woodford Folk Festival General Manager Amanda Jackes says while 120, 000 trees have been planted on site over the years, organisers haven’t been able to provide enough shade for patrons on the streets of the festival proper until now.

“This year we’re working with Cave Urban to trial an installation which we hope will be rolled out on other streets in further years,” she says.

“We hope it will be great respite from the sun for some lazy shopping and dashing between venues to follow your new favourite festival performer.”

Another exciting addition to the Woodford Folk Festival site this year is the introduction of Chill Hill, a new chill out space located on the hill at the start of the road to the Amphitheatre, marked by a distinctive Hammock Hut.

The Hammock Hut is a bamboo shade structure 10 metres high, 20 metres long and between 8 and 12 metres wide, draped in hammocks and decked out with all the cushions and comfort patrons need to relax during the six day event.

These new initiatives will no doubt be welcomed by ticket holders, 70% of whom, according to the latest survey data, have visited the festival before.

Following feedback from patrons at last year’s event, the RFID payment system will return this year free of charge for purchases at the festival’s 35 bars as well as at food and merchandise stalls, the Festival Shop and the General Store.

The reusable cup system is another initiative from the 2016/17 Woodford Folk Festival which will carry over this year at not cost to patrons, preventing more than 250,000 cups from entering landfill.

Deputy General Manager Michael Peterson says reusing cups is the one of the most sustainable ways our patrons can help to minimise our impact on the environment.

“Woodfordians are some of the most eco-conscious festival patrons around”, he says.

“We’ve found they’re always willing to contribute in new ways to deepening the festival experience.”

Several other changes to the way organisers deliver the event were unveiled earlier this year, with the sale of all tickets only available online and the introduction of a vehicle pass.

The 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival runs between 27 December and 1 January.

The full 2017/18 Woodford Folk Festival programme is available online here.

The Queensland Government, through Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support the Woodford Folk Festival as part of the It’s Live! In Queensland events calendar, highlighting Australia’s best events in spectacular destinations.


For media enquiries contact:
Jasmin Midgley, Media and Promotions Manager“>

Now in its 32nd year, the Woodford Folk Festival has become known around Australia and internationally as a leader in contemporary and traditional arts programming.

The Woodford Folk Festival plays host to an aggregate audience of 132,000 at a dedicated 500-acre festival site known as Woodfordia, one hour’s drive north of Brisbane. Held every year between 27 December and 1 January, the 6-day festival is Australia’s largest gathering of performers and presenters.

More information coming soon on how you can be part of this very exciting project

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Creativity, Community, Culture