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Bleach* Festival 2022

Back for its 11th iteration, the Gold Coast's annual arts and culture fest will feature 233 artists, 94 performances and 36 events across 11 days.
By Sarah Ward
July 04, 2022
By Sarah Ward
July 04, 2022

What starts with a 6am First Nations ceremony on the beach, sending smoke spiralling into the sky as the sun rises? What fills 11 days from there with everything from free opera in the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens and thousands of cardboard boxes on North Burleigh's Esplanade to Kate Miller-Heidke singing while you picnic and eavesdropping on phone calls? That'd be the Gold Coast's Bleach* Festival, which is returning from Thursday, August 11–Sunday, August 21 after a pandemic-affected couple of years — with a huge lineup, naturally.

In 2022, this arts fest will feature 233 artists, 94 performances and 36 events — which is plenty of reasons to head along. Bleach* focuses its program around four hubs: North Burleigh, for events by the beach; the Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens, which means that grassy shows await; Miami, with its hefty lineup of hospitality venues, including Miami Marketta; and Mudgeeraba, bringing the hinterland into the fun. But they're not the only places that the festival is headed, with HOTA, Home of the Arts and Burleigh Brewing also welcoming in the the event's program.

Among the events that North Burleigh will be hosting, there's First Light, that opening kickoff event; interactive virtual reality experience VOLO: Dreams of Flight, which is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's flying machines; all the cardboard thanks to the aforementioned We Built This City; and The Nightline, which seats you at an old telephone to listen to switchboard calls. Or, there's Feast at Bleach*, featuring a three-course meal heroing native flavours by Quandamooka chef Kieron Anderson — and Unsettle, which sees Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people respond to the cultural landscape via public art, film, theatre, visual art, music and dance.

Home Grown Opera, Art Work Agency

Over at the gardens, Opera Queensland's Home Grown Opera will echo among the greenery for three nights, while Miller-Heidke will do the honours on one afternoon.

Miami will host Mi Amor Miami, with the suburb's bars, breweries and distilleries pairing live performances with drinks; Roller Coaster, which includes strapping on your own stakes and taking part; and Bliss, a blend of performance art and electronic music. The list goes on — and, over at Burleigh Brewing, Back to Back Theatre's Radial will mix video art, dance, music and fashion.

As for Mudgeeraba, that's where Acoustic Life of Sheds will set up — in four different sheds. Four artists will set up in one location each, and attendees will travel between them to head vocals by Christine Johnston, Karl S Williams on piano, percussion by Michael Askill and Loni Fitzpatrick on the harp.

Back at North Burleigh, Bleach* will also feature six groups of artists-in-residence both prior to and during the fest: Lenine Bourke and Nathan Stoneham, Lawrence English, Rising Tide Artists, Liesel Zink, Lisa Smith and Emily Grace Taylor. They'll premiere new works during the event's second week — and you can watch them in action beforehand, too.

Art Work Agency

Top image: Radial, Jorge Serra.

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