Bleach* festival connects audiences to coastal celebration

The annual Bleach* multi-arts festival has kicked off tonight on the Gold Coast.

In helping to launch tonight’s opening of the Bleach the Gold Coast Festival, Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said the 12-day event would be held over several locations, including stunning beaches, streets and parks.

“The annual Bleach* multi-arts festival makes the most of the Gold Coast’s boundless creativity and local talent,” Ms Enoch said.

“This year’s festival will continue to push creative boundaries and tell amazing stories through theatre, dance, contemporary music, opera, installations, circus and other public events.

“More than 500 artists have been engaged this year, who will present world premieres, new commissions, site specific productions and collaborations across various art forms.

“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of Bleach* to the Gold Coast arts calendar. I am pleased the Government has been able to support this wonderful festival with $600,000 in funding for 2017-2020, and another $60,000 for the world premiere of Water Songs; a series of concerts being held this year, set on the waterways of the Gold Coast.”

Bleach* has attracted more than 470,000 people since its inaugural year in 2012.

Minister Enoch said this year’s line-up of events would delight audiences with incredible arts and cultural experiences.

“This year, the festival is partnering with Townsville-based Dancenorth to present Tectonic, a combination of sculpture, movement and sound inspired by the culture of Poruma Island in the Torres Strait,” Ms Enoch said.

“Dancenorth, one of the longest-running contemporary dance companies in Australia, creates work that is seen locally and tours nationally and internationally.

“Audiences will also see the world premiere of Throttle, presented by Gold Coast-based company The Farm for an experience all about cars.

“Bleach* will present a spectacular production of Verdi’s Requiem under the stars in a collaboration between Bleach, Opera Queensland and Griffith University and featuring more than 150 performers.”

Minister Enoch thanked outgoing Bleach* CEO and artistic director Louise Bezzina for the festival’s ongoing popularity and success.

“In a credit to Louise and her team, Bleach* beautifully captures the energy and spirit of the Gold Coast, connecting to communities and attracting thousands of attendees each year,” she said.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said she was expecting strong visitor numbers at this year’s Bleach* Festival.

“Bleach* has grown from strength to strength since 2012 and this year it will be bigger and better than ever,” she said.

“Growing iconic events like this is a key part of our strategy to create more tourism jobs on the Gold Coast.

“The fact that this year’s festival is shaping up to be the best of all time is a great testament to the enduring legacy of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

Artistic director Louise Bezzina said the 2019 program focused on Queensland talent.

“There is such a strong and proud program of Queensland artists featured in this year’s Bleach* Festival, highlighting the incredible talent we have locally,” Ms Bezzina said.

“This year’s Festival features 4 world premieres and 3 Queensland premieres and more than 500 artists across the Festival. It is going to be really special.”

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