Crush Festival, the annual showcase of the vibrant arts and cultural scene of the Bundaberg region, has launched its program for 2018, and its clear that its tenth year features the biggest, brightest and best line up of talent that Bundaberg has ever seen!
Staged throughout the Bundaberg region from Friday 5 to Sunday 14 October 2018, the festival has embraced a new look which showcases the deeply loved community arts development activities that help to define the Bundaberg region as a cultural powerhouse, and culminates in an all-out party.
In 2017, Crush Festival attracted 16,299 attendees, with a whopping 52.8% of audiences travelling to be part of the festival from outside of the Bundaberg region including nearly 10% from interstate and overseas. The 2017 festival injected $1,651,192 into the Bundaberg economy including generating 5,389 visitors nights and $888,687 overnight visitor expenditure (OVE).
The 2018 festival line up is set to attract even bigger numbers, with international and Australian acts joining the region’s finest local artists in an unmissable program of music, film, theatre, street parties, arts, craft and more.
Crush Festival is a Bundaberg Regional Council event and run by Creation Regions.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the festival was an annual highlight on the Bundaberg region’s events calendar.
“Each year this cultural arts festival attracts tens of thousands of people to the Bundaberg region and allows us to showcase this destination and its memorable tourism offerings,” Ms Jones said. “Events like the Crush Festival are one of many supported by the Palaszczuk Government via Tourism and Events Queensland’s Destination Events Program, which foster community pride and support local jobs.”
Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Jack Dempsey said the 10-day event was the perfect time to celebrate the sensational talent found in the Bundaberg Region and the contribution creative groups and individuals made to the enviable lifestyle enjoyed right across the region.
“The Crush Festival is a great time to explore the beautiful Bundaberg Region and to celebrate the creativity and passion for the arts found in regional areas,” Mayor Dempsey said.
“The benefit this event brings to the entire community cannot be denied with last year’s event having a $1.6 million economic impact on our local economy. “This year’s annual event is massive and there is certainly something for everyone – from community arts engagement through to a jam-packed program of activities that will no doubt entertain residents and visitors alike.”
Shelley Pisani, Artistic Director of Creative Regions, is the woman responsible for the program, which has been months in the planning. “The Crush Festival is known for engaging local artists and communities in creative experiences in sometimes unusual places. There is truly something for everyone in this year’s program from the Crush Block Party to theatre at Kalkie Moon and a mass Pub Rock Choir sing at the Spirit of Bundaberg Festival.”
Kicking off the 2018 festival are the formidable Modern Maori Quartet who make their Bundaberg debut at Crush Festival on Friday 5 October. The award winning foursome’s Bundaberg performance will be one of only two Australian performances in their 2018 That’s Us world tour.
The first ever Ergon Energy Crush Block Party on Saturday 6 October¸ a fusion of some of the festival’s favourite events from the past 10 years. This free event will be held in the historic Bundaberg CBD and will include the artisan Wheelbarrow Markets, street theatre, play readings, trivia, music, dance, street art and activities for the whole family. With the eateries of Post Office Lane throwing open their back doors and CBD businesses encouraged to open late, the region’s culinary prowess will also be on show.
On Sunday 7 October, the local youth will rock out with a laid-back, blanket-on-the-grass, lazy-arvo of entertainment at the Railway Historical Museum for the Teens on the Green before the Moncrieff Theatre welcomes revelers for a free Celebration of WOW, the best of the Women of the World Regional Voices program including the Songbirds of Childers, fresh from their Brisbane Powerhouse debut.
There is no rest during the week, with Australia’s most beloved scientist Dr Karl delivering an unmissable author talk on Monday 8 October, and a series of art-and-food workshops during the week including the Crush debut of Gin & Blank on Wednesday 10 October, a gin-fuelled, audience-led pick-your-own-adventure play performance at artisan distillery Kalki Moon and featuring local media personality Kallee Buchanan.
Then get ready to kick off the weekend with Crush on the River, the birthday groove at Friday’s favourite venue, RiverFeast that will serve up some top-secret and completely unmissable entertainment you’ll be hearing about for months if you don’t see it for yourself!
Friday 12 October is also home to the ever-popular Travelling Film Festival, Australia’s longest running travelling film festival. With films straight from the Sydney Film Festival that are otherwise unavailable on the large screen for regional audiences, the festival also offers opportunities to meet film industry professionals.
The second Saturday of Crush belongs to Bundaberg Rum, with Saturday 13 October seeing the return of the Spirit of Bundaberg festival. Coinciding with Bundaberg Rum’s 130th Birthday, this year’s festival is set to be a huge one, with more dancing, more food, more rum and more fun, including the final of Triple M’s Battle of the Sounds, which this year will take place throughout the entire of Central Queensland to find the best band for your ears!
Finishing off Crush will be the incredibly popular Sandsculpture and Beach BBQ at Elliot Heads. The free event is a major attraction for families and beachgoers alike, with sand art to see and build and giveaways to nab.
Crush Festival is a Bundaberg Regional Council event managed by Creative Regions Ltd. The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support Crush Festival which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar. Queensland, just the place to experience Australia’s best live events.