2019 Cairns Festival program revealed

At a glance

  • The program for the 2019 Cairns Festival has been released, with events and activities spread across 10 days from 23 August to 1 September.
  • 2019 program features a range of interactive displays and shows allowing audiences to interact with the arts like never before.

An interactive operatic wheel of death, neon dog poop and love stories submitted by the public played out on centre stage are some of the new additions in the 2019 Cairns Festival.

Mayor Bob Manning, who today launched the 2019 Cairns Festival Program at Cairns Performing Arts Centre, said residents and visitors were in for one of the most inclusive displays of art and culture to-date when Cairns Regional Council presents the festival between 23 August and 1 September.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning (centre) with Passaros do Paraiso dancer Meg Takegami and Miriki Performing Arts dancer Jimmy Savage at the launch of the 2019 Cairns Festival program..

“The 2019 program will offer the Cairns community a chance to interact with the arts like never before,” Cr Manning said.

“So many of the events in the 2019 program are interactive and encourage the crowd to not only be a spectator, but join in.

“The Neon Dog Park will be a big hit for Instagrammers with a colourful displays of neon dogs including neon dog poop that people can touch and interact with.”

Across town at the Tanks Arts Centre the show, You Should Be Dancing, opens with a learn-the-moves segment before ending in in giant dance party for the whole family to enjoy.

In Songs To Die For, Opera Queensland will present ‘the wheel of death’ where members of the audience can spin a wheel with various combinations to hear compositions of over-dramatised deaths from opera’s iconic leading characters.

The 2019 program sees the Festival expand as far south as Edmonton, up to Clifton Beach, Lake Placid and throughout the Cairns City, bringing events to residents in the suburbs.

Cairns Performing Arts Centre comes on board as one of the host venues with three ticketed shows on offer, and the Cairns Esplanade will again form the heart of the festival hosting the Grand Parade and Fireworks, music concerts, free film screenings and more.

The Cairns City Library will once again come to life with City Lights, a state-of-the-art, surreal light and sound projection that has become one of the most loved features of Cairns Festival.

“A definite must-do on the festival program, it’s a mesmerising sight watching the heritage-listed building come to life with larger-than-life, vivid projections bathing the entire building,” Cr Manning said.

The City Lights projection-artwork extends out of the city and into the suburbs with local and visiting artists presenting their own unique spin via an intoxicating display of circus, digital projections, visual arts and original musical works.

“Cairns Festival is one of the region’s biggest arts and cultural programs in the region, attracting over 90,000 locals and visitors across 10 days,” Cr Manning said.

“It is a wonderful occasion that celebrates the people and places we call home, and with most of the events free and family friendly, it’s the perfect time to come together and enjoy our tropical lifestyle.”

Among the highlights of the 2019 program are:

  • Neon Dog Park – Created by Melbourne Visual Artist Carla O’Brien, this is an installation that you can touch and interact with. Showing every night of Festival on the Cairns Esplanade, the installation featuring neon doggies made from LED Neon material.
  • You Should Be Dancing – Head over to the Tanks Arts Centre for this participatory, large-scale, immersive dance party that celebrates some of Cairns’ dazzling dance history. Suitable for the whole family and complete with an opening ‘learn-the-moves’ class!
  • Songs To Die For– Presented by three of Opera Queensland’s leading artists, Songs To Die For is a cheeky nod to the over-dramaticised deaths of opera’s leading characters masterfully entwined with pop classics.
  • I Want To Know What Love Is – Based on 800 anonymous love stories submitted by the public, I Want To Know What Love Is throws a spotlight on long-buried memories, bedroom fantasies, crushes and conquests as secret confessions are theatrically transformed into magnificent declarations, centre stage at CPAC.
  • Festival Friday – Featuring live local music on the Cairns Esplanade from 5pm and extending to The Conservatory Bar and Three Wolves for an after party of adults-only comedy and a music performance from award-winning electric duo, The Ironing Maidens.
  • City Lights – One of the awe-inspiring highlights of Cairns Festival, City Lights is a visual treat for the senses. The City Lights program engages local and national artists to create large scale projection and multimedia installations. Since 2015 the Cairns City Library has been transformed with large scale projections, speaking to the culture, history and lifestyle of Tropical North Queensland.
  • Grand Parade & Fireworks – Head to the Esplanade for one of the biggest community events on the Cairns calendar: live music from 2pm, parade starts at 5pm, fireworks at 7.30pm.
  • Sunday Funday – A wonderful family concert on the picturesque Cairns Esplanade with live local music and headliners Vika and Linda Bull.
  • Circa’s Peepshow – Renowned circus company Circa’s returns to Festival with a thrillingly acrobatic and comically playful show. Expect teetering towers of balanced bodies, extreme bending and devilishly precarious aerials. Tickets on sale through Ticketlink.
  • Carnival on Collins – The traditional Father’s Day finale to Cairns Festival attracts up to 25,000 people to the Cairns Botanic Gardens precinct. Featuring loads of free entertainment for people of all ages and 200-plus market stalls offering local art and craft, produce, plants, food and refreshments.

The full program is available to view online at www.cairnsfest.com.au.

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