Spanning the weekend of 16-18 October, there will be of events and live music performances in South Grafton, Maclean and Yamba. The program kicks off this Friday with the inaugural Coldstream Short Film Festival at Yamba Cinema. The official selection includes some of the first ever footage of surfers at the region’s famous surf breaks. If you’re based in Grafton, then don’t miss the intimate concert with the breath-taking April Maze, supported by local lass Siobhan Corcoran. And if you’re in Maclean, you’ll find Nick & Sam with The Whiskey Drop at the Maclean Hotel. On the Saturday, there are live bands galore, starting with buskers lining the streets of downtown Yamba. Get there from 9am to secure a table at one of Yamba’s great cafés and take in the range of music that includes winners of our high school busking competition. Then from midday Saturday the fun at Flinders Park commences with the G’Day Africa drumming performance, followed by a Welcome to Country performed in a way you’ve probably never seen before! Add to that, The Meeting Place for Aboriginal story-telling and cultural exchange, an art walk featuring interactive artist workshops, a powder room provided free of charge by North Coast TAFE hair & beauty students, a child-focussed community art workshop entitled Little Fish Fly and our multicultural food village – and you’ll see we have a huge weekend ahead of us! Headlining this year’s festival is Grace Barbé. Drawing from the diverse cultural mélange of her native Seychelles, Grace fuses the tropical rhythms and dances of the slaves with rock, Afro-beat, reggae and pop. Grace coined the genre ‘Afro-Kreol’ to describe her combination of sound and enchanting songs of island life, love, curries and coups d’etat. Her audiences call it an unforgettable musical experience. Other musical highlights from beyond the Clarence Valley include The April Maze, The Little Stevies, The Mid North, The Mouldy Lovers and Microwave Jenny. More than half of the bill consists of local acts including Psychedelic Goldfish, The Fawlty Dogs, Grace Hickey and recent winners of the Australian Campus Band Competition – Nocturnal Tapes, who’ll be cranking it up at the Pacific Hotel late on the Saturday night. This year’s Coldstream Community Showcase features school kid rock ‘n’ roll choirs from Primary Schools across the lower Clarence, the Us Mob Aboriginal dance troupe, more school kids on the African drums and the always dazzling Flame Squad. And did we mention Spaghetti Circus at 2pm in the Flinders Park tennis court? Virtually the entire festival program is brought to you for free and is delivered by a legion of volunteers, a core group of which work all year round to produce a top quality community arts event. Please support the handful of ticketed events – especially on the Friday night – and help keep this event going with your gold donation at our festival info tent. This festival is sponsored by more than 80 Clarence Valley businesses, including our major sponsors Clarence Valley Council, Yamba Chamber of Commerce and North Coast TAFE. Like us, our supporters believe in the value of a major event that will attract visitors to this region into the future. Thank you for your continued support! Don’t worry about driving into Yamba or where you’re going to stay….free courtesy buses will be driving a loop through Yamba, Wooloweyah and Angourie throughout the Saturday and to take you home after the headline act. Find the timetable on bus stops around town. Or better still, don’t go home at all and instead treat yourself to an overnight stay. Head to the festival website for details of accommodation offers and grab yourself a deal for the weekend! Surfing The Coldstream Festival continues to spread its wings across the Clarence Valley, with the focus on delivering a family-friendly, alcohol-free outdoor event of the highest quality. Some say a festival can let you forget where you are and that is certainly true of good festivals. We hope our festival won’t let you forget the marvels of this very special part of the world, leaving you with an enriched sense of place.