BLEACH* Festival 2020: Stories of this Place

Gold Coast audiences are invited to indulge their appetite for contemporary art and culture in the annual BLEACH* Festival from 12 to 22 November. BLEACH* 2020 will make its mark on the sandy shores of Burleigh Heads, Chevron Island and the springtime landscape of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens with a program of unforgettable storytelling, cutting-edge art, music and First Nations culture, showcasing the extraordinary creative talent and diversity of Queensland artists.

Placemakers* Gold Coast presents over 214 unique experiences by 204 artists that will captivate audiences on beaches, in local parks and gardens and across vacant spaces of the City’s abandoned buildings. There will be fun and fabulous street and block party celebrations, installations, workshops, talks, live performance, cabaret and dance. And, of course there will be plenty of great places to quench your thirst and fill your belly along the way!

Luther Cora, First Light Last Light. Photograph: Maleika Halpin. Courtesy the artist and BLEACH* Festival 2020, Queensland

A moving sunrise ceremony First Light Last Light performed by cultural leader Luther Cora at the Burleigh Bora Dancing & Speaking Circle at Justins Park in Burleigh Heads at 5am on Thursday 12 November will launch the 2020 BLEACH* festivities. Followed by live performance from the Yugambeh dancers and Yugambeh Youth choir. A second ceremony will take place as the sun goes down on Sunday 22 November at 6.20pm.

With inspiration from the new CEO and Artistic Director Rosie Dennis who was faced with delivering a major arts and entertainment event amid the madness of a pandemic, BLEACH* is back with new and innovative ways to celebrate. “2020 was a year where disruption and uncertainty has hovered over communities across the world, keeping us in limbo; stopping and starting our rhythms; separating us from family and loved ones; forcing us to reconsider and reset how we live and opening the door for us to change. It seemed as though a festival of any kind was an impossibility,’ says the undefeated Dennis.

“It was vitally important to me, that here on the Gold Coast, in this culturally ambitious City, we find a way to make our Festival a possibility. I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to do just that, to share this festival, in real life, celebrating our local artists. Bleach* 2020 tells the stories of this place, in this time. “It invites you to be adventurous; step into someone else’s shoes; escape from the everyday with an unexpected experience. So, dive in, boots and all, and have a good time,’ she adds.

Done & Dappered. Photograph: Aaron Chapman. Courtesy BLEACH* Festival 2020, Queensland

BLEACH* 2020 Festival Highlights
Justins Park at Burleigh Heads:
Day and night for the duration of the festival, First Nations artists and cultural leaders from South East Queensland will share stories of culture and place with audiences across traditional dance, live performance, installation, artist workshops and deadly beats. Events include: Dreamtime Travellers, an otherworldly encounter with spirit figures created by artist and educator Rick Roser. A series of Dusk Recitals will fill the night air with the sounds of Queensland musicians including Noonuccal/Nooghie/Kombumerri opera singer Myora Kruger and special guests along with the exhilarating sounds of trumpeter and didgeridoo player and descendant of the Wakka Wakka people Chris Williams, in concert with chamber music ensemble Southern Cross Soloists (SXS). Artist Chloe Ogilvie’s light installations will draw festival wanderers into the ambient and colourful atmosphere of Talgnai Light (to shine). Done & Dappered, a pop-up Barbershop will be offering fresh cuts from a team of young men from Arcadia College who have been learning the trade from barber extraordinaire, Joe Tongi, with guest barber Charles Lomu energised by the tunes of teenage DJ crew from the Audio-G project. See more of what’s in the Burleigh Heads Hub program here.

BULLSEYE, Shannen Jones – The Girl With No Bones. Photograph: Michaela. Courtesy the artist and BLEACH* Festival 2020, Queensland

Chevron Island: Chez Nous on Chevron: One Ticket, Nine Experiences. Book a night of live performance, cabaret, Queerstories, classical music, jazz, poetry, mystifying contortion performance art and other presentations that will be staged across the Island on balconies and in backyards. Explore the line-up here Intermezzo, DNA, Baartzy’s Brew, Ostoorah, Bubble Girl, BULLSEYE, House Party, Light House, Orchid House. For more information about ticketing, bookings and discounts for this mega event click here.

Botanic Gardens: Gather your friends, family and picnic basket on Sunday 22 November to settle in for an afternoon of musical delight in the beautiful surrounds of the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens for Sounds Like Spring, a live performance by the Southern Cross Soloists (SXS) featuring music by renowned female composer Elena Kats-Chernin, who has been dubbed ‘Australia’s answer to Mozart’. Click here for more information.

Bookings are essential for some events. Please check registration requirements for each to be sure you don’t miss out, places may fill up quickly due to Covid-19 restrictions on the number of people allowed in public spaces at any one time. You can sign up to the BLEACH* mail list to receive the latest festival news, special offers and program announcements or visit