Horizon Festival set to showcase artistic and culturally diverse sunshine coast

Once again, the Horizon Festival will close with the Dawn Awakening ceremony held at Stumers Creek in Coolum on Sunday morning September 3. File Photo: Nic Morley

FROM the coast to the hinterland, the Horizon Festival which is the Sunshine Coast’s premier arts festival will be running from August 25 to September 3 and the highly anticipated festival will captivate locals and tourists alike with a diverse array of music, cabaret, theatre, comedy, family events and more. 

The 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. 

Coolum plays an integral role in the festival with the backdrop of Stumers Creek once again used as the stage for Dawn Awakening which officially closes the festival with a celebration of local First Nations culture, song and dance.   

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 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. 

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.  

There will also be interactive installations from Kabi Kabi Connections and Concrete Collage as well as a free live music program.  

The festival across the remaining nine days will showcase decadent circus, cabaret, comedy, talks, art exhibitions, and will also feature special performances in unique settings such as performer Lior at the Glass House Mountains.  

The festival has something for everyone and for all ages.  

“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.” 

For program information, bookings and Festival updates, visit horizonfestival.com.au and follow @horizonartfest on social media.  

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