We arrived home very jet lagged from our long trip through Europe but we soon found a new set of wings when we discovered the Glitter Festival on the Gold Coast was already up, up and under way. Unfortunately, our arrival was a little late to catch a few stunning events like Tacos and Tiaras at QT, The Lunch that Drags on Tedder Avenue, Larry Paradiseo and the Fabulous Dame Farrar, Michael Griffiths on piano and Australia’s ‘Acid Tongue Prince’, Mr Joel Creasy. However, there were still plenty of fabulous festive functions left on the program to titilate our tastebuds and aid re-entry into the Gold Coast glitterati. A quick breeze through the program, a change of outfit and off we went!
The Glitter Festival ran from 28th September until 5th October and was the brainchild of the Gold Coast Arts Centre. It was an absolute triumph and a first for the Gold Coast, bringing the LGBTI community together for a celebration of music, cabaret, theatre and film and included special events like Race Day, a Pride Run and Fair Day.
A standout event, stretching over three nights, was the very popular There’s Something I Need To Tell You, held in the Panorama Suite. This was an opportunity for LGBTI community members to share their unique stories over a glass of wine from local manufacturer, Witches Falls Winery. Even though we missed this, the buzz was clearly positive, suggesting the stories chosen for presentation were outstanding.
Our first event of the festival was Trevor Ashley on Friday evening. Following a sell out season in the West End of London, Trevor channelled the famous Liza Minnelli in his show called Liza (on an E). Ashley belted out a repertoire of iconic popular hits including some made famous by Minnelli’s mother Judy Garland and one time husband Peter Allan. Saving the best for last, ‘she’ brought the house down with her rendition of New York, New York and Cabaret.
The next day the Dome at the Gold Coast Turf Club was the scene for the Glitter Festival Race Day. Not too much attention was given to the horses and their jockeys. The prime focus was on bubbles, frocks, glitter and gossip. Fashion queens strutted their stuff on the stage for a judging of ‘what’s trending on the turf’ which was awash with sparkles, stilettos and bright coloured bow ties. Our wonderful friend Ms Sue Real, dressed in a gorgeous gown with a pink flamingo print offset with pearls, long gloves and a broad brimmed black hat, ensured elegant standards were maintained throughout this gala event.
On Saturday evening, back at the Arts Centre, we all met for drinks and dinner in the Aviary, the hub and breakout spot for the festival. Disco and cabaret diva Ms Mary Kiani entertained us following a strong lineup of shows like Lady Sings It Better, Life’s Still A Drag with Carlotta and I Might Take My Shirt Off with Dask Kruck.
On Sunday jet lag meant we sadly had to miss the Pride Run by a few hours but later in the day we made our way Lakeside at Evandale, behind the Arts Centre, which was the perfect back drop for Fair Day. Dotted around the lake were small stalls and community information providers, including a very sexy young man in pink speedos from END HIV (http://endhiv.org.au/).
The glorious sunny weather and the lake itself enticed a group of drag queens in for a dip, keeping their hair well above water of course, while others floated around on pink flamingo floaties. The crowd was well entertained by both local and international talent. Mary Kiani again worked the crowd with her songs and banter and inspired dancing in conga lines, really turning up the energy levels before an encore performance by Nicole Skye and a more layback set by J-Funk. The afternoon concluded with a reprise of the ever popular Priscilla Queen Of The Desert movie under the balmy, starry night sky.
Brad Rush, Glitter Festival & The Arts Centre Gold Coast Artistic Director, said he was “thrilled to deliver what is an incredibly accessible program of shows, events, discussions and community activities, that have been curated to not only entertain, but to provoke discussion and to celebrate everything that is fabulous about the Gold Coast.” This was truly a celebration not to be missed and we were so proud to be part of this inaugural event. Congratulations to Brad and all the staff and crew who worked so hard to make this such a huge success.
Although the Glitter Festival is sadly over for 2015, our plan is to definitely be on the Gold Coast for the entire program of events next year so jet lag won’t prevent us from taking part in all the glittering events on offer. (http://www.theartscentregc.com.au/)