Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

What’s on Horizon for amazing multi-arts festival

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

What’s on Horizon for amazing multi-arts festival


'Experience beauty, wonder and talent': what's on Horizon for amazing multi-arts festival

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A stellar program has been revealed for a 10-day multi-arts festival, which will be held at various locations around the Sunshine Coast.

Homegrown hits and world-class wonders feature on the line-up for the Horizon Festival, from August 26 to September 4.

It will include include music, visual art, performance, dance, family entertainment, spoken word, comedy and workshops.

Scroll down for festival highlights and how to book

The festival will return to the region in full force this year, after it was impacted by COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said he was delighted to welcome the festival in its much-loved live format, after the past two years of hybrid versions.

“Horizon is an exciting celebration of the arts and a great example of Sunshine Coast Council and our community working together to create a festival that pushes boundaries and surprises and delights all in attendance,” he said.

“Our region’s arts and cultural sector is thriving and the festival’s incredible program is a testament to the world-class talent and creativity that is developed and nurtured on the Sunshine Coast.”

Horizon Festival Director Hannah Clissold said the themes of People, Arts, Culture and Place were at the heart of this year’s program.

“It has been a strange two years and we are delighted to unveil a program that invites everyone to come together, in person and experience the beauty, wonder and talent that abounds on the Sunshine Coast,” she said.

“This year is about reconnection; about revisiting the region and experiencing it anew, discovering – or rediscovering – a favourite artist or event and reinvigorating the Sunshine Coast’s vibrant arts and cultural scene.”

The Wonderland Spiegeltent will sit centre stage at the Festival’s Cotton Tree Park hub and feature 10 days and nights of programming, from family shows to late-night cabarets and concerts with acts including Kate Ceberano, Steven Oliver and Justine Clarke.

Every morning, it will be commandeered by kids and their keepers with the space thoughtfully curated for the Coast’s little artists and explorers.

The sun will rise and set on the Horizon Festival with two ceremonies paying respect to the land’s First Nations traditional custodians, the Kabi Kabi and Jinibara peoples.

The Opening Ceremony at Cotton Tree Park will celebrate the region’s oldest living culture through songs, language, ceremony, art, dance and music.

The program will end with the signature event Dawn Awakening, a multi-arts celebration of remembrance, dreaming and ritual, directed by Lyndon Davis and held at Stumers Creek, Coolum.

Horizon Festival’s music program is a celebration of culture and place with First Nations musicians performing intimate shows in unique locations, including Dicky Beach, Eumundi, Maleny and Baroon Pocket Dam.

An entertaining performance program includes the Australian festival premiere of Looks Like A Tourist, a large-scale choreographic work with a cheeky perspective on place and tourism.

The spotlight will shine on Cotton Tree Bay and Kings Beach Ocean Pool, where they will stage The Sinkers, a part-comedy, part-amateur synchronised swimming routine, and on The Old Lock Up at Maroochydore, which will transform into an immersive lab and pharmacy for Medicament For Your Predicament.

For program information and bookings, festival updates and behind the scenes info, visit Horizon Festival and follow @horizonartfest on social media.

Horizon Festival is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland and features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.

The Dawn Awakening experience in 2018. Picture: Ben Vos Productions.

Program highlights

There will be 52 unique events at 25 locations and featuring 543 artists, facilitators and community participants.

Here’s some to watch out for.

New Local Look

Coolum-based artist Jack MacRae has been engaged to help Horizon Festival return bigger and brighter than ever before. Jack’s bold, yet minimal collage art, of iconic Sunshine Coast landscapes, forms the base of this year’s festival look. Jack is an emerging painter and collage artist. His work is instantly recognisable in style. He deftly creates hand-cut collages using coloured paper as well as abstract colour field landscape paintings. On show at the Spiegeltent from Friday, August 26 to Sunday, September 4.

Wonderland Spiegeltent

From outdoor garden performances, circus, cabaret, creative workshops, spoken word to live music, a dedicated creative space for families and delicious local eats, Wonderland Spiegeltent has something to inspire, delight and entertain everyone. Big-name acts will include Kate Ceberano, Steven Oliver’s Bigger & Blacker, Le Coup, Common People Dance Project and Circus Wonderland. Plus, join one of Australia’s leading electronic artists DÉ SAINT. and friends in the gardens of the Wonderland Spiegeltent for afternoons and evenings of music. From Friday, August 26 to Sunday, September 4.

Horizon Kids

Kids will be well catered for with a free, daily program of self-guided arts and crafts at the Wonderland Spiegeltent Garden. Plus, you’ll find workshops from the Wildings Forest School and New Dreaming Art, fun and laughter from Holy Bin Amoley!, high energy music with Babushka Kids and the much-loved Justine Clarke. Various dates.

The Sinkers

Connect and sync when “the Sunshine Coast’s most underwhelming synchronised swimming club” delivers a bracing dose of refreshing entertainment and humour. Pop your floaties on and participate or watch from the grandstands. From Saturday, August 27 to Sunday, August 28.

Dawn Awakening

The community is invited to gather before dawn at Stumers Creek to witness a beautiful multi-arts celebration of remembrance, dreaming and ritual. Directed by Lyndon Davis, this signature event will feature local and national First Nations artists. On Sunday, September 4.

Open Air

Open Air is a celebration of place with concerts performed for an intimate audience and live-streamed for viewers outside the region to enjoy. Artists will include Emily Wurramara, Andrea Kirwan, Yirinda, Cloe Terare and a Blak Social event with Aya J and Tia Gostelow. Various dates.

Looks Like A Tourist

This new, site-specific, large-scale choreographic work will make its world festival debut across Horizon’s opening weekend. Bringing together more than 50 community participants in inflatable orange suits, the visual spectacle will explore the behaviours and impacts of tourism. From Friday, August 26 to Sunday, August 28.


Celebrating its third year, Homegrown gives artists the opportunity to work closely with the festival to develop and present their work. Projects this year will include Guyu and Friend Mr PelicanSAND and Eddie Ray – Silence of the Jams. From Saturday, August 27 to Sunday, September 3.

Songs Of Gaia

Experience a world premiere performance, a poignant cross-cultural music performance at the foot of the Glasshouse Mountains that is an ode to Gaia (Mother Earth) at this time of environmental crisis. On Saturday, September 3.

Kabi Kabi Connections

This new media work creates visibility for the stories of the Kabi Kabi people and their contemporary representations of Country and will be projected from the pier at Cotton Tree and the Wonderland Spiegeltent. From Friday, August 26 to Sunday, August 28.

Listen More Not Spoken For

Listening walks have been created through the Maroochy Regional Botanic Gardens by a team of children, in collaboration with Quandamooka artist Libby Harward, their families and our Mother Earth. A descendant of the Ngugi people of Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) in the Quandamooka, Listen More, Not Spoken For, breaks through the colonial overlay to connect us with the cultural landscape. From Saturday, August 27 to Sunday, September 4.

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