Big program for Cairns Festival’s 60th birthday

Sixty years never looked so good!

The 2022 Cairns Festival celebrates its Diamond Jubilee year by turning on all the glitz and glamour fitting for a 60th birthday bash.

From 26 August to 4 September, the annual Cairns Festival will showcase local, world-class national and international music, theatre, art, film, and comedy, highlighting the rich cultural identity of this vibrant Tropical North Queensland city.

With events including awe-inspiring and fully immersive light shows, a Grand Parade and fireworks display, and a full program of ticketed and free events for the whole family, Cairns Festival is a celebration of the beauty and culture of living where the sun and sand meet the city.

Spanning 10 days and across multiple venues, Cairns Festival is the biggest arts and culture event on the Cairns calendar.

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the well-loved Festival provides a platform to engage locals and visitors through a diverse range of entertainment befitting a 60-year celebration.

“This is a big year for Cairns Festival,” Cr Manning said.

“Sixty years is an extraordinary achievement for an event that had humble beginnings as the Cairns Tourist Festival in 1962, before being rebranded the following year as Fun in the Sun.

“Through the years there have been a few name changes, but what has remained steadfast is community’s support, which has grown the festival into a staple fixture on the regional Queensland events calendar, drawing thousands of people to our spectacular city.

“With six decades of memorable moments to spur us on, the 2022 Cairns Festival program builds on past successes, includes old favourites and incorporates some exciting new features and concepts, including a spectacular immersive laser and light experience to kick off 10-days of festivities.”

Opening on Friday 26 August, the Cairns Esplanade will light up with the Festival’s inaugural immersive laser and light experience, Reef Light, which is supported by Festivals Australia.

This extraordinary light and laser journey will provide a magical simulated under the sea experience, designed to make a dramatic statement about Cairns, its colourful lifestyle and its strong connection to Australia’s most incredible natural underwater asset, the Great Barrier Reef.

The Grand Parade on Saturday 27 August will harness all the glitz and glamour of a Diamond Jubilee, with the streets to come alive with the traditional street parade and live performance.

Look up on Saturday 3 September to catch Patricia Piccinini’s monumental artworks, Skywhale and Skywhalepapa, two awe-inspiring hot air balloons floating above our beloved Cairns, in partnership with Cairns Art Gallery and NGA.

Cairns City Library façade will light up with its annual projection, this year celebrating the work of local renowned textile designer and artist Francoise Lane.

Her compelling artworks are inspired by her connection to the Torres Strait Islands and her exploration of visual storytelling.

This exciting projection will light up the library every evening of Cairns Festival from 7pm-11pm.

Cairns Festival will also present a series of ticketed performances and shows for all ages, including the launch of the Cairns Festival Heat Pack – a multi-pass pack to three selected shows over three iconic venues. Catch Truth Machine at The Court House, Le Coup at CPAC Theatre, and Aftermath at Tanks Arts Centre, and save on ticket prices with a soon to be released package deal.

Another highlight will be the return of Amy Shark to Cairns with a performance at Tanks Arts Centre, while The Court House will house the 60th Exhibition, an interactive display celebrating the vibrant history of Cairns Festival’s 60 years through imagery and film.

Keep an eye on Cairns Festival website and social pages

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