BLEACH*, Carla from Bankstown and free live music – things to do on the Gold Coast this weekend
After a two-year hiatus, BLEACH* Festival is set to make a triumphant return this Thursday, ready to kickstart 11 days of live music, dance, culinary experiences, performance and art. If you’ve never been to BLEACH* before, let this be the year you embrace this homegrown festival and soak up everything it has to offer. If you’re still looking for something to fill up your calendar this weekend, there is a bounty of events, including the Lifeline Bookfest, La Fiesta South American festival, cocktail classes, live music, vegan markets and AFL clashes. There’s a lot to see, do and explore, so let’s not waste time chatting about it, hey? Diaries at the ready – here’s everything you should be doing this weekend from Thursday August 11 to Sunday August 14.
Fly, sing, listen and wander through BLEACH* 2022: The Gold Coast’s much-loved contemporary arts festival, BLEACH*, kicks off on Thursday. Ground your feet in the sand and celebrate the festival’s opening with First Light, a smoke ceremony with the Yalanji and Yugambeh people at 6:00 am on North Burleigh Beach. Free events over the weekend include flying through the de Vinci-inspired virtual reality experience Volo: Dreams of Flight, listening to soulful stories from local identities at Listening Booth, taking an evening stroll through the North Burleigh foreshow lit up by incandescent suspended sculptures at Light Flower and sharing a plate of food with new friends at Potluck. You can also learn the art of botanical dyes, witness the artists in residency at the North Burleigh Hub and listen to country-folk artist Emily Grace Taylor on Saturday at 7:00 pm. Fans of opera are encouraged to purchase a ticket to Home Grown Opera in the Botanic Gardens, and those looking to experience a First Nation’s dining experience should head to Feast At Bleach*. Last, but certainly not least, Kate Miller-Heidke is bringing her sublime tones and haunting lyrics to the Botanic Gardens on Sunday.
Stock up on page-turners at the Lifeline Bookfest: Find truckloads of second-hand book bargains from every genre for as little as 50c at this year’s Lifeline Bookfest. Carrara Markets will come alive with paperbacks and hardcovers for every type of bookworm, offering up children’s books, history, fiction, thrillers, fantasy, romance, biographies, sci-fi, mystery, travel and health from 8:00 am-3:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Savour in the tastes and sounds of South America at La Fiesta: It’s time to take a journey south of the border at La Fiesta Taste and Sounds from South America! This annual South American Festival is coming back to Broadwater Parklands on Saturday for a day of dancing, delicious food and cultural performances. There will also be arts, crafts and performances to keep the little ones entertained. The best bit? La Fiesta is completely free to attend, so grab your dancing shoes and get ready to boogie.
Slay and serve some fierce energy with Carla from Bankstown: Australia’s favourite entrepreneurial drag queen Carla From Bankstown is bringing her signature pink smoky eye, sass and hilarity to the Gold Coast for the one-day-only Supercharged Drag Spectacular on Saturday at Atrium Bar. Guests can enjoy a ‘Slaytrium Bar’ cocktail on arrival, followed by two glorious hours of bubbles, a decadent grazing-style menu and, of course, a little something sweet to finish – mini panna cotta desserts dripping in 100s and 1000s. The M.A.C glam squad will also be on hand to ensure everyone feels and looks fab-u-lous. Ticket sales close at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, so scooty that booty and email [email protected] to reserve your spot, stat.
Become a cocktail connoisseur at this masterclass: Get your friends together for an unforgettable experience of sipping, shaking, stirring & muddling your way through thirst-quenching delights. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you and the gang can gather at The Collective in Palm Beach for a creative cocktail-making masterclass. Over three hours, you can choose two cocktails from the extensive list of delicious classics and signatures before the experienced cocktail mixologists guide you through making your very own creations. Tickets are $55 per person and can be purchased via Eventbrite.
Dance along to free live music from Mansionair on The Lawn: There’s something about sitting back and soaking up live tunes that makes life seem that little bit lighter. Add a cold drink and some delicious snacks into the equation, and you have a recipe for a good time. Garden Kitchen & Bar offers just that, a chance to sit in the sunshine, listen to some live tunes and revel in the good vibes with your mates. You can start your weekend on a high note by dropping low and shaking off the work week with free RnB tunes on Friday night from 5:00 pm. From there, head to The Lawn for a sensational free DJ set from Mansionair on Saturday night. With millions of views and listens across Spotify and YouTube, the Sydney artists have a string of hits under their belts, including ‘Easier’, ‘Falling’, ‘Hold Me Down’, and house-music banger, ‘Strangers’ with Dom Dolla. Finally, if a Sunday sesh is more your style, then you won’t want to miss an afternoon of live music from Gold Coast boys, the Mckenzie Band. Let them soundtrack the sunset while you sip on a beverage and enjoy a snack or two from the delicious legends at Container Kitchen.
Enjoy a taste of the Barossa in Byron Bay: Crystalbrook Byron’s restaurant Forest is joining forces with some of the best wineries in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales for a month-long series of long lunches and cellar door pop-ups. This weekend, Barossa beauty Whistler Wines will visit the venue for a long lunch, wine tasting flights, and charcuterie boards. Say buon appetite and grab your ticket before they sell out!
Explore Stradbroke Island on this vibrant Arts Trail: From Friday August 12 until Monday August 22, you’re invited to ferry over to Stradbroke Island and explore the Straddie Arts Trail. Stretching over the three townships of Goompi, Pulan Pulan and Mooloomba, the trail features cultural experiences, pop-up galleries, community events, art talks, art trivia, talent shows, feasts, music and more. There is a range of free and ticketed events on offer. Check the website for the most up-to-date program and to grab your tickets.
Attend this open home with a theatrical twist: A House, A Home is your chance to experience the intimacy of a home as a site for circus artists to interact with the ordinary in extraordinary ways. Intimate, surprising, and delightful, this show transforms a small warehouse space into a house, allowing you to experience circus up close. Tickets to this 50-minute show are $35 and can be purchased online for both Saturday and Sunday.
Treat yourself to some cruelty-free eats at these vegan markets: Whether you simply want to reduce your consumption of animals, learn more about veganism or enjoy a place where you are spoilt for vegan food options, we recommend heading down to the Broadwater Parklands in Southport on Sunday from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Entry is free, and you are more than welcome to bring your pooch, throw down a picnic blanket and enjoy some delicious vegan eats.
Catch the SUNS vs Geelong Cats clash at Metricon Stadium: Don your finest red and yellow scarf to support Gold Coast SUNS when they battle it out against the Geelong Cats at Metricon on Saturday afternoon. The first bounce is at 4:35 pm, though we recommend heading out earlier when gates open at 2:30 so that you’ve got plenty of time to do all the essential pre-game rituals. You know, like finding your seat, getting a pie, scoping out the best hot chips and revving up the opposition with some well-timed quips. Some tickets are still available, so grab yours and get set for this epic match.
We do our best to remove cancelled events but be sure to check the organiser’s own event page for the most current updates.