In 2012, a collective group of the city’s were on a mission to deliver an injection of arts and culture to the Gold Coast – and thus, BLEACH* Festival was born. Ten years later, and nearly one million festival attendees will testify that BLEACH* has firmly established a unique offering amongst Australia’s premium arts and cultural festivals.
“What a year to be celebrating the 10th BLEACH* Festival,” says Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. “In just a decade, BLEACH* has established itself as the Gold Coast’s signature festival and it has been brilliant in defining the core elements of our city identity: Big, bold and bright, brimming with energy and a magical way to have a great time.”
In 2021, BLEACH* will be held from August 12 to August 22 across the Gold Coast. At a time when many still feel distanced, BLEACH* encourages audiences (both locals and visitors alike) to ‘Listen to your heart,’ as the festival transforms the city’s beachside esplanades, vacant blocks, Botanic Gardens and hinterland hideaways into 11 days of pulsating live music, performance and installation.
Here are a few of the events we’re looking forward to.
First Light, August 12
Gather with Emma Donovan supported by Yugumbeh Aboriginal dancers, Myora Stone and Yugumbeh Choir, on the sand to open the Festival with a dawn performance of fire and song. Experience the spine-tingling energy of Emma Donovan’s powerful voice as she sings up the rising sun. “Emma’s voice is everything you’d want in a soul singer,” says Devin Rime of Wax Poetics. “She’s the real deal.”
Swing Jam, August 12
You’re invited to grab some free joy and kick up your heels in a social swing dance taster class, then clap along and watch an epic swing jam led by light-footed legends Ray and Chrissy Keepence from Swing On In. Tap your retro toes and raise your pulse as Baartzy’s Brew and Morse Code join forces and play off all the favourite tunes of the Big Band era. Then try to resist jumping to your feet to shimmy and spin when all the swing dancers hit the floor to jam it out!
Embers Fire Making Workshop, August 12 – 15
Bring the kids to the sands of Burleigh beach and learn how to make fire from scratch with Burleigh local Rick Roser. It’s a wonderful experience for kids of all ages (1-99) to learn from master ‘fire starter’ and Burleigh local Rick Roser. Workshop participants are invited to return for Last Light and experience a large scale fire and candle light installation on the sands of Burleigh Beach.
Acoustic Life of Sheds, August 15
Take a tour into the hinterland for a day of deep listening to four distinctly different performances in four iconic rural sheds. Big hART’s Acoustic Life of Sheds invites leading composers, musicians and artists to celebrate the architectural embodiments of rural culture as sound-shells by reimagining them for audiences in the landscape.
Last Light, August 22
As dusk settles over the Gold Coast and Bleach* draws to a close for another year, let’s celebrate together on the shore at Burleigh Heads. From first light to last light, BLEACH* will come full circle. Watch the full moon rise over the ocean and light up the coastline with fire, song and 10,000 candles. The large-scale temporal work is led by visual artist Rick Roser with light artist Kristian Baggerson. This special ceremony will take place under the Blue Moon to farewell the 2021 BLEACH* Festival.