Aboriginal cultural walking tours, a short film festival and a VW Kombi show & shine competition are just a taste of the diverse offering at this year’s Surfing The Coldstream Festival in Yamba.
The program kicks off with a spoken word event at Uptown Café & Bar on Thursday 13 October from 7pm, followed on Friday 14 by the second Coldstream Short Film Festival.
The submissions process attracted an amazing 106 entries from 37 countries! The quality is extremely high and the audience will have the final say on choosing the winner of this year’s film festival laurels. Tickets for the event at Yamba Cinema are priced $25 and include a drink and some very tasty nibbles. Be there from 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
Saturday 15 October is the big day. Begin with a completely unique mini-tour of Yamba’s surrounds in the company of Yaegl Elder Uncle Ron Heron. A first for this year’s festival, Uncle Ron’s cultural tours will look at some modern and pre-modern campsites in the area, touch on local bush foods and medicines, and visit some other key local Aboriginal sites.
Tours are $50 per head and include morning or afternoon tea. Bookings are essential – ring Yuraygir Walking Experiences on 0455 044 292. Tours last 2.5hrs, with an air-conditioned minibus and depart Yamba skate park at 9.30am, 1.30pm and again at 9.30am on the Sunday.
Meanwhile in downtown Yamba, the buskers will be out in force from 9am, featuring some of the best entrants in this year’s Under 18 Music Competition. Look out for winning duo Daniel and Georgia playing outside the YHA Block Bar. Budding artists should get involved in Chalk To The Animals, pavement art competition, in which a one square metre section of pavement can be transformed using the theme of animals and some colourful chalk. Entry forms are available from Caperberry Café and there is a top cash prize of $200.
Then from 11.30am onwards, there is non-stop entertainment in Flinders reserve, overlooking Main Beach. Around 350 school children are expected to perform with G’Day Africa drumming, Downriver School Choirs and Coastal Clarence Cheerleaders. These kids have been practising all year, so don’t miss their big moment! The food and coffee stalls will be open from 11.30am too, as will this year’s fabulous Art Walk featuring arts and crafts from our most brilliant local artists.
In an effort to reduce plastic waste, there will be no plastic bottled water available on the festival site. Instead there will be water stations at which you may freely fill your own container, along with free compostable cups and reusable aluminium bottles for sale. All food vendors are using compostable materials this year and our waste wise volunteer bin monitors will assist you to put the right thing in the right bin.
Bringing a splash of bright colour and personality, VW Kombi vans will also be appearing on the festival site. Festival-goers can inspect the vans and vote for their favourite. A prize will be awarded for the People’s Choice ‘Best in Show’ Kombi van.
The majority of the great musical acts performing on the festival main stage originate from right here in the Clarence Valley and surrounds. For example, there’s hip hop trio Teddy Lewis King and soul jazz crew Ladyslug from Lismore, alongside soulful power rock band Joe Terror from Grafton plus Wooloweyah’s Grace Hickey and the Honeymakers and the electro dreamscape of Yamba’s Nocturnal Tapes.
Top of the music bill is Melbourne-based funk juggernaut Sex on Toast. Specializing in hard-edged new jack swing and blazing improvisation, their choreographed stage act and tongue-in-cheek larrikinism make for a sensational dance-inducing live performance.
Completing the top order and hailing from Sydney is Declan Kelly & The Rising Sun bringing reggae and dub vibes, while the Sunshine Coast delivers us Sahara Beck, a prodigious young talent whose music is described as drawing from country, rock’n’roll, rockabilly and soul all channelling into a righteous hot-headed face-slap of a situation.
And finally, local artist Pamela Denise’s installation Woven Whales will be officially launched, while Mullumbimby’s community-driven Spaghetti Circus are preparing a new show specifically for the festival and the dazzling Flame Squad will be lighting up the night sky.
For a full running order including timings, head to the festival website surfingthecoldstream.com.au/