Monday, August 16, 2010


The Roots Music Agency & triple j’s Roots ‘n All present:
2 Day Festival in Cairns – Sep 10th & 11th

With a new look, a new feel and new timing…Australia’s premier Island, World, Roots & Reggae Festival Reggaetown, set in lush tropical Far North Queensland a few kilometres north of Cairns, is back for 2010. For the first time, taking place over 2 days — Friday 10th & Saturday 11th of September — in our idyllic location at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park.

Fans from across Australia and the globe will make their way to Cairns, for yet another stellar Reggaetown line-up. In 2010 we are proud to present a special performance by the JOHN BUTLER TRIO. With their new album 'April Uprising' wooing crowds around the globe the trio will return from international touring to take part in the festival.

Reggaetown will feature another Australian band who have gained incredible momentum on the international touring circuit, Ska, Jazz & Latin kings The Cat Empire. Alongside festival favourites Blue King Brown and Tiki Taane (Salmonella Dub) who with DJ Samobora (Shapeshifter) will be doing a DJ/ACCOUSTIC/MC set. Plus Dancehall/Reggae band Nea Combo Diffuzion, direct from New Caledonia!

Also gracing this killer line up are Katchafire, Walli Pazzi, Ladi 6, Ykson, Sista Itations, Zennith, Kingfisha, Mama Kin, Clairy Baby Browne and The Bangin’ Rackettes, Ancient Instinct, The Nicky Bomba ReggaeTown Allstars and many more acts still to be announced.

Reggaetown World Music Festival has become an important and anticipated part of the region’s cultural landscape, as well as an iconic festival on Australia’s national calendar. Community spirit and participation has been a core attribute for the festival since its humble beginnings in 1995.

Reggaetown has been listed alongside WOMADelaide and the Byron Bay Bluesfest as one of Australia’s premier festivals. In 2010, with the support of the community, government and media partners Triple J, the festival is set to be bigger than ever.

Reggaetown not only showcases an eclectic mix of music, bands, DJs and sound systems, but also roving performers, kids activities, workshops in music and dance, plus cafes, garden bars and market stalls. Tickets will sell fast for this dynamic formula of soulful music, relaxing tropical surroundings and delicious food!

Reggaetown World Music Festival is an all ages licensed event. ID is required to enter bars. Under 18s require supervision. Under 13s only get FREE ENTRY when accompanied by an adult.
PRE-SOLD PRICES (plus booking fee)
·         Friday concession $50, Friday Adult $60
·         Saturday concession $75, Saturday Adult $85
·         2-day pass concession $110, 2-day pass adults $125 - All tix cost more at the door- these are pre-sold prices

·         ONLINE @
·         In person from Brothers Cairns, Kuranda Video, Shiva Moon, Ticketlink & Tasty Records in Cairns
·         On the ph from Brothers Cairns 07 4053 1053 or Ticketlink 1300 855 835, with credit card details

Also visit: +

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Cairns Festival Announces New Artist Residency Program to Provide Creative Hub for Australian and International Artists and their New Works

Cairns, 11 August, 2010, An eclectic bunch of creative people touched down in the Tropical North last week as participants of Cairns Festival’s first ever Artist Residency.

According to Cairns Festival producer, Eric Holowacz, the initiative, sponsored by Cairns Regional Council and its Tanks Arts Centre, is a pioneering effort to bring significant cultural producers to the Tropical North and offer them a platform to develop new projects. While being hosted in Cairns, visiting artists will collaborate with local people and organisations, be given a chance to depart from their usual surroundings, and draw inspiration from the region.

Having arriving last week, Cairns is now a creative home to New Zealand and Amsterdam based carnival and stilt-walking troupe, Empress Stiltdance. Artistic Director, Emily Buttle and her all female crew of eight are enjoying their residency that in coming weeks, will culminate in a free public performance of new aerial work, Kahuku: A Butterfly Romance featuring two aerial artists and three stilt-walking performers. From their site on the northern Esplanade, the public are invited to watch the open rehearsals and witness the work in progress and attend a free preview of the finished piece on 26 and 27 August.

Mr Holowacz says Cairns Regional Council’s artists- in-residence program will also host musician Michael Askill and emerging American playwright Dean Poynor and his new New York-based concern, The Salvage Company. “All will be researching, planning, or producing unique creative efforts while in residence.

"We consider this an innovative model for Festivals, using hospitality and the residency as a commissioning force," said Mr Holowacz. "The goal with each visiting artist or group is to connect creative people connect with our community, and generate new works that might make their way back to Cairns, or even find a larger audiences around the world."

"Following this experimental first season of residencies, we will be inviting and hosting artists throughout the year," Mr Holowacz says.

Artist residency programs exist around the world, with notable examples in Australia being Gertrude Contemporary Art Space and Montsalvat in Melbourne, IAKSA in Perth, Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart, Casula Powerhouse, and Bundanon.

As in Cairns, most residency programs provide living accommodation and a work space. They also offer valuable respite, a change of scenery, and fresh inspiration. Very few are operated by local government, and even fewer are linked to festival programming and new cultural production.

Mayor of Cairns Regional Council Val Schier was excited about the prospect of welcoming talented creative figures from other states and countries.

"Cairns has the right ingredients, great venues, a sense of independence and fearlessness, and an extraordinary local creative community to support visiting people and their ideas," Cr Schier says.

“The Cairns Festival Artist Residency will also provide important new Queensland influences for choreographers, sculptors, film-makers, and others involved in cultural production around the world.”

More about the Artists-in-Residence

Founded in 1996 under the direction of Emily Buttle, Empress Stiltdance now boasts worldwide troupes giving hundreds of performances each year. Appearing from Istanbul to Hong Kong to Melbourne, the company is known for its innovative costuming, magical choreography, and simple storytelling. Buttle’s experimentation with outdoor aerials led her to Cairns Festival with a vision of developing a new work in the Far North.

Renowned Australian percussionist and composer, Michael Askill, will also do a stint as Festival artist-in-residence. Askill is a noted player of mallet instruments, like vibes and marimba, as well as hand percussion from around the world. His creativity has inspired dozens of composers to write works especially for him. In his solo career and in his longstanding percussion quartet, Askill seeks to create music that crosses cultural boundaries. While in residence in Cairns, Askill will begin developing a new collaborative project, Aqua Sonic, for possible inclusion in the 2011 Cairns Festival.

The final group of artists-in-residence for 2010 Cairns Festival is American playwright Dean Poynor and his emerging New York-based troupe, The Salvage Company. They will spend two weeks in Cairns developing and presenting a new stage work, Homo apocalyptus. Based on a grim post-apocalyptic future where zombie life forms run rampant, Poynor and company will collaborate with local theatre practitioners to bring this play to life at popular Cairns nightclub, The Attic.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Dragonflies were flitting around town yesterday affixing Cairns Festival partner transfers to participating businesses offering discounts and special benefits to badge wearers – including Badge Partner, Ever After cafe in Lake Street is offering Cairns Festival badge wearers a free slice of cake with every coffee purchased.

From today Cairns Festival is giving away 1,000 Festival badges that provide a wealth of new benefits to anyone wearing the colourful emblem between now and the end of the Festival on 5 September. Participating businesses include restaurants, tour operators, boutiques, and cafes. Each is offering a special discount or incentive -- but only to people wearing the official Cairns Festival badge.
"Over two dozen local badge partners have signed on, with more being added each day," says Festival Producer Eric Holowacz.

"Besides celebrating the Cairns Festival season, people now have a reason to sport our badge and support local businesses at the same time," he said.

Cairns Festival badges are now available at no cost at the Festival Headquarters in City Place, the lobby of Cairns Civic Theatre, the reception desk of Cairns Regional Council in Spence Street, and the SeaFM reception at 68 Abbott Street.
For a detailed overview of badge benefits, visit Cairns Festival website:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


JUTE Theatre is excited to present Blackbird — a music theatre piece debuting August 20-28 as part of the official programs of the Cairns Festival and Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Thursday 22 July, 2010. Blackbird’s opening night audience will be stunned by its emotional impact, says JUTE Theatre Artistic Director and CEO Suellen Maunder.

Ms Maunder anticipates the song cycle, about six generations of inspirational North Queensland women, will leave, “not a dry eye in the theatre”.

Blackbird is an epic tale told in song by 26-year-old Megan Sarmardin, a talented Indigenous artist whose moving songs are based on the memories of her great grandmother, Flora, 95.

“I watched a run through of the show yesterday…and it is so beautiful — there will not be a dry eye in the theatre.  Megan is so engaging and yet ordinary and real all at the same time.  She has a magnificent voice and stage presence — the audience will just want to wrap her up and take her home!” Ms Maunder says.

Megan's powerful vocals bring to the stage the dramatic history of a proud Aboriginal family that traces its roots to the earliest Russian Czars on one side, and on the other to the ancient Ngadjon-ji tribe that has lived on the Atherton Tablelands since time immemorial.

Blackbird celebrates resilience, courage, humour and family through the stories of six strong female characters.

Flora's mother Kitty fell in love with Russian migrant Leandro Illin. In 1915 they walked from Butcher’s Creek near Malanda to Innisfail to be married, defying the law and both black and white societies. Kitty's mother, Emily, was one of the only Ngadjon-ji elders to remain living around Malanda after the rainforest tribes were taken to settlements. In 1955 and aged 85, Emily was snatched from her country to Palm Island, where she died.

“This is an epic tale, but again very ordinary story about ordinary Australian folks doing extraordinary things, and these stories stretch back to first contact.  The story is not about white and black but about injustice and fighting for your family to stay together.  It’s a story about how love can overcome the mean spirited,” Ms Maunder says.

Blackbird is showing from August 20-28 at JUTE Theatre, North Queensland's leading theatre company. It is part of the Cairns Festival's official program and also an official event of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.

JUTE Theatre, 96 Abbot Street, Cairns, Q 4870
20 – 28 August
Tuesday – Wednesday 6.30pm
Thursday – Saturday 8.00pm
Thursday 26 August 11.00am
Adults $30; Conc/QAC Members $27; Groups (5+) $25/ea; Under 25yrs $25; Tuesday $17

Bookings  ticketLiNK
T 1300 855 835 Or book online


Nominations are open for the Recycled Royals — two environmental heroes to be honoured in the 2010 Cairns Festival Opening Parade.

Royalty could be lurking in a landfill near you — Recycled Royalty, that is.

Set to be the crown jewel of the 2010 Cairns Festival Parade, the Recycled Royals is a special Cairns Regional Council float devoted to the pair deemed to have made the greatest contribution to our beautiful natural environment.

Cairns Festival Parade organisers are seeking nominations for our region's King and Queen of Green, who will shed gardening gloves for the day and perfect their regal wave from the float as they pass the 20,000 strong crowd along the Esplanade on Saturday 21 August .

“Cairns Festival is looking for any outstanding community members that have devoted time and energy into devising or implementing green initiatives in our community,” Cairns Festival Parade coordinator Nerissa Brandenberger said.

“In the current environmental climate we want to acknowledge the wonderful locals that are acting to make the world a better place for us all.”

Ms Brandenberger said great prizes are on offer, including cash prizes for the two people crowned as Recycled Royals. Perhaps the biggest honour will be the recognition of hard work and dedication on behalf of our environment and local sustainability.

Talented local artists Meiyin Ahnsuz and Hans Jurrs have been enlisted to create the Recycled Royals float and costumes, and they are doing so almost entirely from recycled materials.

“For their commitment to preserving and conserving the natural wonder of our area, they're heroes in my view and I'm delighted to ensure they'll be dressed to shine for the Festival Parade,” said Meiyin.

The Recycled Royals will make a regal entry in Festival’s Opening Parade, heralded by the 60 strong member Cairnsbands performing rock marches before the King and Queen as their personal Regal Orchestra.  Cairnsbands incorporates three performing groups: Tropical Brass, Cairns Concert Band and Cairns Youth Stage Band and for this event only, will join with Woree High School Band.

About the Artists:

Hans Jurss has been performing and sculpting since 1996 - starting at Adelaide Fringe in Earth Circus and then moved to Melbourne and created his own circus toy box while  inventing his own style of show and sculpted backdrops. He has also worked with Melbourne Under Ground Development for many years creating installations for corporate and local electric music festivals. In 2002 he rode around the world on a bicycle.

Meiyin Ahnsuz is a  freelance artist, based in Cairns, who travels internationally for work and inspiration. Her career began during high school, with the creation of avant-garde, haute couture for inner-city Brisbane boutiques and an acting role for an ABC TV series. For the past four years Meiyin has enjoyed a close association with JUTE Theatre and Tropical Arts, working regularly as Set and Costume Designer or in Production Management. Greatly inspired by  nature and the  vibrant, diverse and creative culture of the Cairns region, Meiyin is delighted to be creating costumes for the King and Queen of Green.

“For their commitment to preserving and conserving the natural wonder of our area, they're heroes in my view and I'm delighted to ensure they'll be dressed to shine for the Festival Parade,” said Meiyin.

To have your say in who will grace the Recycled Royals float, nominate your king or queen of the green via Southern Cross Media’s website and then click on Recycled Royals page. Then in 100 words or less explain why the individual they are nominating should be a Recycled Royal.

For more information contact Nerissa Brandenberger on (07) 40443332 or email

Cairns Festival is supported and presented by Cairns Regional Council. Now the region's largest annual cultural celebration, this year's festival season will run from August 20 to September 5 at venues all over Cairns. The full program, and information about events and activities, will be available in late July. For more information visit

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stop the traffic with your Cairns Festival float

Friday, 16 July, 2010. There are only two weeks to get your 2010 Cairns Festival Parade entry forms in!

Registrations close on Friday 30 July. This is the last chance for Cairns residents to be involved and have a chance of winning considerable parade prize money in three separate categories.

The 2010 Cairns Festival Parade is set for Saturday 21 August when more than 50 floats and hundreds of participants pull out all stops to entertain the 20,000 strong crowd.

Cairns Festival’s 17 day long party begins on Friday 20 August and runs to Sunday, 5 September at locations around the city and region.

Cairns Festival Parade coordinators Nerissa Brandenberger and Mark Edwards are calling for parade participants and float-builders from the entire far North to complete planning how they will celebrate local culture and sense of place.

"More than any other event on the calendar, the Festival Parade brings people together to celebrate the joys of living in this diverse, extraordinary region. It is about unbridled creativity, releasing your inner essence and showing off your community," Ms Brandenberger said.

Ms Brandenberger has developed new support for walking floats, marching groups without vehicles and an individual participant category for those wanting to add their own identity to the moving feast of people, sound and colour.

"We are eagerly anticipating the creativity and originality that local people put into their floats and individual parade presence. We expect a mix of the outrageous, the traditional, the artistic and the multicultural," Ms Brandenberger said.

Based at the Festival office, Ms Brandenberger and Mr Edwards are available to assist prospective participants with the finer details and necessary resources. Several pre-parade community workshops are planned this month including drumming and carnival mask making.

To learn how you or your group can get involved, request an information packet from the Festival Office at Cairns Regional Council on 4044-3086 or email

Cairns Festival is supported and presented by Cairns Regional Council. Now the region's largest annual cultural celebration, this year's festival season will run from 20 August to 5 September at venues all over Cairns. The full program, and information about events and activities, will be available in late July. For more information visit