Culture-soaked creativity and expert storytellers bring BLEACH* Festival’s 2022 program to life
Unless you’re new to the coast or have been living under a rock, you’re probably well familiar with BLEACH* Festival. For those who aren’t, well, allow us – BLEACH* is the Gold Coast’s premier arts and cultural festival that proudly and passionately champions the incredible artists and performers that make up the tapestry of the shining city. BLEACH* has been no stranger to COVID-related cancellations and, much to the dismay of everyone on the Gold Coast, last year’s festival took a hit. Luckily for us, BLEACH* is back, better than ever and is here to celebrate its 11-year milestone by transforming beachside esplanades, botanic gardens and hinterland hideaways into backdrops for spine-tingling and thought-provoking experiences from August 11-21. We recommend clearing your calendar because the 11-day program has just been released and is packed with a bounty of events and performances for you to enjoy. Let’s dive in, shall we?
The forced year off in 2021 has given Placemakers* Gold Coast – the team behind the iconic BLEACH* Festival – plenty of time to perfect and put together a jam-packed line-up featuring 233 artists, 94 performances and 36 events. The poignant program beautifully balances stories of grand spectacle against the intimate moments that underscore our society, with each piece illuminating a unique part of contemporary Gold Coast. The celebration will be staged across four main hubs, including the beachside haven of North Burleigh, Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, Miami’s hospitality-rich industrial pocket and Mudgeeraba’s hinterland haven. The festival’s colourful corridors will also extend to HOTA, Home of the Arts, Burleigh Brewing and Miami Marketta. BLEACH* Festival launches with a sunrise-soaked First Light performance at dawn on Thursday August 11. This 6:00 am sunrise celebration blends traditional and contemporary First Nation connections, featuring Deline Briscoe, the Yugambeh Aboriginal dancers and Yugambeh Youth Choir.
In 2022 six groups of artists have been invited to practice full-time, in-residence at the North Burleigh Hub. In the lead-up to and during the festival, the community is encouraged to watch art-making in action, as the artists publicly produce new work that is specifically connected to place. Watch on as each group configures their work from inception to creation before it is finally premiered in the second week of BLEACH*. North Burleigh’s vibrant esplanade will also serve as the perfect backdrop for a cultural program packed with unique performances, interactive elements and community connectivity. The young and young at heart are encouraged to take flight into the fantastical, virtual-reality experience inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machines known as VOLO: Dreams of Flight. Groms will also enjoy creating their world with recycled cardboard boxes at We Built This City with the help of spirited site supervisors from Polyglot Theatre. Those curious to tickle culinary desires should look no further than Feast at BLEACH*, a unique opportunity to dine under the stars with an extraordinary meal prepared by the revered Qunadamooka chef – Kieron Anderson. This three-course feast will draw on sacred native flavours and storytelling that will leave you and your taste buds spellbound. Young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are invited to respond to the cultural landscape through art, film, theatre, music and performance as part of Unsettle by Digi Youth Arts and Karul Projects. Other North Burleigh highlights include The Nightline – the chance to answer an old telephone at a dimly lit table, Listening Booth, where locals can record their own story and experience others’ connection to place and Pot Luck, where you are invited to share food in the name of common humanity with people of all cultures.
The Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens will host four sonically-superior evenings of signature outdoor concerts headlined by Opera Queensland and Kate Miller-Heidke. Opera Queensland and BLEACH* are presenting a three-night season of the newly commissioned Home Grown Opera, while the limitless Kate Miller-Heidke concludes the series with a Sunday soiree performance of songs from her fifth studio album. If you’re keen to keep following the music trail, meander to Mudgeeraba and catch a series of unique performances at four distinctly different rural sheds. You will join a talented artist collective in a carpooling convoy from shed to shed, set against the backdrop of rolling hinterland hills.
Miami’s industrial hub will also be home to a slew of promenade performances, daredevil acts and powerful storytelling. Join Moira Finucane of Finucane & Smith to delve into wild arts at Miami’s dimly lit dive bars and distilleries for a curated cocktail of performances at Mi Amor Miami. Detour out to demi-DEMO, where Branch Nebula show off its cleverly-crafted choreography and daredevilry street act that immerses audiences amongst BMXers, skaters, parkourists and dancers. Everybody Now! is inviting attendees to dust off their skates and head to Miami Marketta to participate in Roller Coaster – a mix of skate, story and song that celebrates powerful female voices. Crossing Borders also pays homage to fearless females as it tells the unique stories of nine extraordinary women from across the globe that now call the Gold Coast home. Another Miami program highlight is Bliss, a fun and frivolous performance with a booming backdrop of electronic music coated in a healthy sprinkling of eco-glitter. Last but not least, RADIAL, by Victoria’s acclaimed Back to Back Theatre, will take place in the courtyard of Burleigh Brewing. This award-winning short film features an original electronic score and playfully merges video art, dance, music and fashion to celebrate the diversity of humankind.
This is just the tip of the carefully curated and oh-so-inspiring program that is BLEACH* Festival 2022. Jump online to check out the complete festival program and start planning your way through this spectacular, culture-soaked showcase of the Gold Coast from August 11-21.
This article was written in partnership with our friends at BLEACH* FESTIVAL.