Cultural Fest highlights three of North Queensland’s greatest assets – its spectacular natural environment, its vibrant cultural life and the diverse heritage of its people.
Cultural Fest is a five-day family event showcasing the talents of Queensland’s most exciting music and dance entertainers, foods and arts. The festival was held from 12 – 16 August 2009 at Strand Park on the beautiful waterfront of Townsville, North Queensland.
During 5 fun filled days of dance, food, music, arts, workshops and sports, Cultural Fest brings the Townsville region to life. The festival mirrors the diversity of contemporary Queensland by offering events and activities for people of all ages and interests. Cultural Fest’s inclusive program enables locals and visitors to celebrate diversity in an atmosphere of friendship and harmony.
Cultural Fest’s theme of ‘Unity in Diversity’ brings together people from all walks of life in the spirit of fun and friendship giving the festival a magical feeling.
Cultural Fest began as a one-day event featuring 20 local dance groups and food stalls. Today it is one of the largest and most well-known festivals of its kind in the country. It is the most inclusive festival in Australia, happily involving diverse groups from belly dancers to Latino cuisine, from hula extravaganzas to mega drumming circles, from the Tropigo Street Carnival to authentic Indigenous arts and crafts. Cultural Fest has something for everyone.
Cultural Fest attracts close to 80,000 guests and involves at least 350 food sellers, music and dance groups, market stalls and community groups.
Cultural Fest has an enviable location of swaying palm trees, golden sand and a beautiful ocean view looking out to stunning Magnetic Island.
In Cultural Fest, people from diverse backgrounds enjoy together a range of arts and cultural experiences and learn about the different cultures of people living in their community. These experiences can help break down the barriers between people - from tasting the food of another culture to participating in a dance workshop.
Cultural Fest is a wonderful opportunity for the people of North Queensland to celebrate Queensland’s incredible diversity. Dynamic dance and performance, fantastic costumes and smiling faces on the main stage under the big marquee with seating for 1000 people and the variety of performances was astounding. Bush balladeers, dancers and bands entertained with a variety of traditional and contemporary styles for all the family to enjoy.
William Barton, one of Australia’s leading didgeridoo players, composers and a powerful advocate for the wider perception of his cultural traditions charmed with his extra-ordinary instrument playing which mesmerized thousands of people. He aimed to present the virtuosic potential of his instrument and richness of his Australian culture to audiences throughout the world. In his opinion, this music is not just as an illustration of some exotic antiquity but as a living, dynamic process, requiring considerable technique, stamina and study equal to that of any conventional classically trained professional musician.
The festival is a celebration for the North Queensland community and the visitors from interstate and around the world.
The final day of the festival was capped off with a multi-faith prayer for peace and prosperity led by a variety of religious groups followed by the symbolic release of pigeons and a reconciliation concert.
Cultural Fest is a wonderful and enjoyable occasion to get all the cultural groups in one spot.It presents the unique model of harmony, community development and empowerment to the world by showing that peace and tranquility is the only destination for the global community as long as there is respect for human dignity and rights. It is only within a free society and democratic system such as Australia that this extravaganza and expression of the oneness of humanity is possible.