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Horizon Festival returns this August

Horizon Festival, the Sunshine Coast’s premier arts festival, returns in 2023 with a vibrant and topical program that celebrates the here and now. From 25 August to 3 September, as the region’s winter draws to a close, the highly anticipated festival will captivate locals and tourists alike with a diverse array of music, cabaret, theatre, comedy, family events and more.

 
Horizon Festival returns this August
2022 Horizon Festival, Dawn Awakening, Photo: Nic Morley

Horizon Festival, the Sunshine Coast’s premier arts festival, returns in 2023 with a vibrant and topical program that celebrates the here and now.

From 25 August to 3 September, as the region’s winter draws to a close, the highly anticipated festival will captivate locals and tourists alike with a diverse array of music, cabaret, theatre, comedy, family events and more.

Horizon Festival salutes the vibrancy of the Sunshine Coast, with artists, their stories, and the community at the heart of this year’s program. Staged in stunning locations and unique venues, the 2023 program is bursting with free and ticketed events for all ages and interests.

First Nations-led programming once again beats through the heart of the Horizon Festival program, celebrating Kabi Kabi and Jinibara artists and makers, who share their incredible cultural experiences.

Horizon Festival Director Hannah Clissold said this year’s program was designed to offer residents and visitors to the region an abundance of opportunities to engage with premiere works by local artists, as well as nationally and internationally recognised acts.

The festival’s opening weekend is jam packed with programming in and around the popular Wonderland Spiegeltent and Festival Hub at Cotton Tree Park, with an array of free events and experiences including the Opening Ceremony followed by NOISE by Dancenorth, a work of epic proportions featuring the newly formed Horizon drumming band; interactive installations Kabi Kabi Connections and Concrete Collage as well as free live music program Live & Local.

An impressive array of internationally recognised shows including ROUGE, a decadent circus for grown-ups; the all-ages Circus Wonderland: A Neverland Adventure; Dirty Laundry, a fun and fabulous cabaret from Briefs Factory; Conversations with Men, moderated by Clementine Ford; Common People Dance Eisteddfod; and the Sunshine Coast Comedy Gala – will all be held at the Wonderland Spiegeltent

“The atmosphere at the Festival Hub will be exhilarating and uplifting, and this year we’ve programmed more food, free live music, art experiences and family entertainment to complement the world-class program of shows,” Ms Clissold said.

She said his year would see a wealth of accessible and inclusive experiences as part of the free program for children and families including a free maker space, a rock concert just for kids and performances by the eye-popping Dr Hubble’s Bubbles and Bees by Polyglot Theatre.

The festival will this year again present programming across the region in a range of stunning locations including a unique live music event featuring an intimate sunset performance by Lior in the Glass House Mountains, From Rations to Wages to Treaty at Coolum and Blak Social Party, Solbar.

Visual art lovers can experience six diverse exhibitions including the leading Sunshine Coast Art Prize, You Are Neither Here Nor There by Queensland artist Sam Cranstoun, Your Local Photo Club a collaborative photo exhibition, WARP by Jack MacRae, group exhibition at the historic Old Ambulance Station Nambour and moving Jinibara exhibition Njumga Djum Yo:ran Ba Djuwan in Maleny.

The closing weekend of the Festival unfolds with the world premiere of Tallo-Billa (Humpback Whale in Kabi Kabi language), an on-water experience on Sunreef’s Whale One; internationally acclaimed theatre work Yes Yes Yes, Living Waters: A Short Film Event in Maleny, workshops and performances by Let’s Organise Your Leisure; the all ages and family-friendly Sunshine Sounds Festival, in Eumundi and the festival’s signature ceremony Dawn Awakening at Stumers Creek – a moving multi-arts celebration of remembrance, dreaming and ritual. 

“There are so many special and unique experiences in this year’s festival, and I hope this year’s program will leave a lasting impression on everyone who attends,” Ms Clissold said.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson extended a special invitation to locals to experience Horizon Festival, describing it as one of the Sunshine Coast’s most anticipated annual events.

“We are proud to present an accessible, inclusive and diverse program this year, with exhibits, performances and events from the coast to our beautiful hinterland,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Across 10 days and nights, the multi-arts festival supports the growing and sustainable arts and cultural ecology of our region.”

Horizon Festival’s full program of events is on sale from 9am Thursday June15.

For program information, bookings and Festival updates, visit horizonfestival.com.au 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.

Sunshine Coast Council and Horizon Festival pay our deepest respect to the Traditional Custodians of this Country; the Kabi Kabi (Gubbi Gubbi) and Jinibara peoples of the vast Sunshine Coast region. First Nations people are the original storytellers and artists of these lands and we acknowledge the Festival is enriched through the cultural contribution of First Nations artists.