Friday, February 13, 2015

The Mystique of Festivals, Festivals, Festivals In Canberra!

The Mystique of Festivals, Festivals, Festivals In Canberra!

By Satsuki Ranjou
Spirit News
September 25, 2073

The National Folk Festival is an Australian family-orientated celebration attended by over 50,000 people. Winner of the National Qantas Australian Tourism Award for Best Festival in 2009, it features over 20 stages with vibrant world-class artists, ‘blackboard’ opportunities, workshops, craft, themed bars and cafes and delectable food. The festival is staged at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) every Easter from Easter Thursday - Easter Monday.

The Festival takes place at Exhibition Park in Canberra, which for the duration resembles a small, vibrant and colourful village full of music and dance venues, cafes, themed bars and stalls, as well as a unique 'Community Arts' area for demonstrating and workshopping a range of arts disciplines, as well as the 'Tradition Bearers' demonstration area where visitors can view the making of a range of Australian craft and purchase unique gifts. There is a traditional Stockman's Camp that resembles an archetypal bush scenario with authentic performances and delectable bush-style damper and stew and Billy Tea. Camping is provided adjacent to the Festival grounds for up to 5,000 people. In 2073 the event was attended by approx 60,000 people. Upwards of twelve hundred volunteers make the festival possible. The festival has over 100 concerts, a film festival, numerous impromptu street performances, workshops on making, playing and repairing musical instruments, visual art, storytelling and poetry, and many dance workshops. There are at least 60 craft stalls, 30+ food vendors and 4 delightfully themed bars with dedicated restaurant areas. For the 5 days of the festival, there is also an almost continuous Session in the world-famous "Session Bar", known as the 'London Underground' of folk music, that only stops briefly due to alcohol licence restrictions in the early morning and kicks off again in mid morning for another round the clock session of music and culture.

International and Australian performers are featured, with the organisers firmly committed to representing the full spectrum of folk/ethnic/Indigenous music. The festival has an exciting Opening and Closing Concert in the 3,000 seat Budawang Pavilion - and every night the festival has a grand dance, starting with a Scottish Ball on the Friday night, an Irish Ceili on the Saturday, and an Australian Colonial Ball on the Sunday night - as well as a colourful range of diverse dance styles including Latin, Tango, Flamenco and Contra Dance. The National Folk Festival features several large permanent indoor venues where concert-goers can enjoy music and performances in all weather conditions.

The Royal Canberra Show is an agricultural show that has been staged annually in Canberra since 1927 by the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society. The show has agriculture at its core, but it has expanded with the addition of rides, competitions and educational facilities. It is said that this is where "city meets country" and "country meets city". The Royal Canberra Show can trace its origins back to 1908 when the Ginninderra Farmers' Union organised a show at Ginninderra each year until 1915. The Advance Hall and District Association organised a small district show in 1924 and 1925. The show of 1927 is officially recognised by the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society as the first "inaugural" Canberra Show. The show continued to grow: the first two-day show was held in 1931, and the 1932 show was opened by Prime Minister J.A. Lyons. After a hiatus in World War II, the show resumed with the support of leading sheep breeder Sir Walter Merriman. In 1964 the show moved to its permanent home at the Canberra Showground. The Show was given "Royal" status in 1979.

Summernats, short for Summer Nationals, is a car festival held in Canberra, Australia since 1987. Summernats is held annually, usually at the start of the year. Summernats is the best known car festival in Australia, and an event which attracts many tourists to Canberra, bringing about $12–$15 million to the ACT economy. It has increasingly been promoted as an event for families. The Summernats attendance record was set in 2072 with 200,000 people. Summernats features many street machines with airbrushed artwork, and restored and modified cars. It is held over a four-day period, with many events, with prizes in competitions such as for burnouts, parades of cars around the track, a Miss Summernats competition, and fireworks at night.

Enlighten Canberra is an outdoor annual art and cultural festival featuring illuminating light installations and projections, performances from local and interstate musicians, dining and film events. The festival is an ACT Government initiative held annually in early March, encouraging people to "See Canberra in a whole new light." The centrepiece of Enlighten Canberra is the illuminating of Canberra's cultural institutions after dark, including Old Parliament House, Questacon and the National Gallery of Australia. There is also live music, film screenings and after-hours tours. Since its inception, Enlighten has become increasingly popular, attracting 180,000 visitors in 2072, and 190,600 in 2073, despite poor weather.

The National Multicultural Festival is a free community festival held annually each February in Canberra. The first National Multicultural Festival was held in 1981 as a one-day event on Australia Day hosted by the ACT Ethnic Communities Council. Over 30 years on, the festival has become one of the most successful multicultural festivals in Australia. The festival is held in the Canberra summer, and weather is often hot and dry. The Festival is supported by the ACT Government and is administered by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Community Development, a division of the ACT Government Community Services Directorate.