Raunchy rides and cliffside concerts – five must-see events at BLEACH* Festival 2021

Raunchy rides and cliffside concerts – five must-see events at BLEACH* Festival 2021

Ready your glad rags – BLEACH* Festival is back and she’s ready to party! This year, the city’s pre-eminent multi-day arts and cultural event is celebrating its impressive ten-year milestone with a jam-packed program of art, live music, cabaret, theatre, dance and stories across three main hubs including Burleigh Heads, Southport and Mudgeeraba. As an extra-special treat, there will also be performances in the cultural corridors of HOTA and Dust Temple in Currumbin. This year’s festival runs from August 12–22 and whilst we firmly believe the entire festival program is well and truly worthy of the spotlight (you can check that out here), we’ve cherry-picked some of our must-see events for your viewing pleasure.

BEACONS, North Burleigh Heads, August 13 and 14
Picture this – you and yours sprawled out on a rug on North Burleigh Hill. You’re bathing in the last light from the setting sun, when suddenly you hear a drum beating from somewhere above you. Then trombones. Saxophones and a giant tamtam join in the chorus. It’s enchanting, it’s mesmerising – it’s BEACONS. This world-premiere sonic meditation perched on the rugged cliff face of North Burleigh headland has been years in the making and will be led by percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson and sound artist Lawrence English, alongside Brisbane musicians in collaboration with musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime happening. Tickets are $35 per person, grab yours here.

Image Credit: Tristan Eduoard
Briggs, Burleigh Heads, Saturday August 14
Those who have experienced one of Briggs’ live shows before will know that earholes near and far are in for a treat on August 14, when the much-loved performer takes to the stage for a free show in Justins Park – yes, you read right, free! Born and raised in Shepparton, Briggs has, in the span of a decade, made his mark as one of the country’s most diverse talents in media, music and comedy. From an ARIA-dominating rap career, to regular stints in LA writing rooms, to his most recent role as founder and director of his own Indigenous hip-hop record label, Bad Apples Music, Briggs is a formidable force and he’s bringing it all to the stage in this sensational showcase of Australian music. Tickets are free however in this new-world order, you must register in advance here.

Image credit: JosephMayers and Emma Maye
Bliss, Dust Temple, Friday August 20
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of catching a performance by Betty Grumble, you know. For those who haven’t, well let’s just say that nothing is off-limits – and we really do mean nothing. Bliss, curated by the brilliantly talented performer, is a genre-blending mix of electronic music, queer performance art, DJs and new media. Sometimes, the best and most memorable experiences are the ones we least expect and Bliss by Betty Grumble is guaranteed to be one of them. If you dare to open your mind and jump feet-first, jump over here for tickets.

Image credit: Michelle Grace Hunder
First Light, Burleigh Heads, Thursday August 12 
The soulful singer Emma Donavan will be joined by the Yugambeh Choir, Myora Stone and Yugambeh Dancers to mark the first sunrise of BLEACH* Festival at First Light. Find a spot in Justins Park, Burleigh Heads to witness this very special event, which will officially commence the ten-day live program. With a performance featuring both fire and song, you can expect an unmissable experience as dawn breaks on Thursday August 12.

Image credit: ArtWork Agency
Southport Hub, August 19 to 21
We love a two-for-the-price-of-one deal but three-for-the-price-of-one is even better! The Southport Hub will be a melting-pot of weird, wacky and wonderful experiences with Tower Divas, She Predicted The Colour Of The Season and The Double Backed Beast included in the same ticket. If you’re in the mood for something a little transcendent and otherworldly, Tower Divas features the enchanting vocals of Yolngu songstress Gambirra Illume, Maori sonic weaver Whaia, and Korean-born vocalist and improviser Sunny Kim. If post-punk metal is more your vibe, She Predicted The Colour Of The Season is right up your alley. The psychedelic installation celebrates the outrageous couture creations of the Brisbane-based visual artist Justene Williams and last, but by no means least, is the wild world of Renny Kodgers in The Double Backed Beast. This is the first ride in history to combine adrenaline mechanics with deep massage and intimacy technology. Intrigued? You should be! The experience itself is one-on-one but even if you’re not in the hot seat, you can still enjoy the ride from the audience.

Still thirsty for more? We love to see it! Mosey over to the BLEACH* Festival website to peruse the program in all its jam-packed glory. 

This article was created in partnership with our friends at BLEACH* Festival.

To find out more about what’s on in the Gold Coast, head to our Event Guide.


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