CBD set to glow in Pop Up Fest

Umbrella Studio's Pop Up North Queensland Festival will be held from 28 July - 6 August, and is already set to feature a range of local and international artists, including Rosie Deacon. Artist applications close next Friday, 19 May. IMAGE Liam Cameron

Artists, assemble: applications close soon for the inaugural Pop Up North Queensland Festival, curated by Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts.

The Festival seeks to activate the Townsville CBD, bringing unused spaces to life with vibrant or interactive displays from 28 July – 6 August.

International artist Piyali Ghosh and Indigenous artist Toby Cedar are already locked in, with other Festival events including pop-up screenings by Townsville Classic Films everywhere from Denham Street to the Herbert Hotel.

Special Events Coordinator for Umbrella Studio, Linda Yeo, said the Festival was a great opportunity to showcase a range of artists as well as vacant real estate in the CBD.

“It’s a place activation where we’re wanting to give local artists the opportunity to promote and exhibit their work, but we also want the property owners to get something out of it as well – so there’s definitely a dual benefit,” Linda said.

“The concept really is just to activate the CBD and use creatives in those spaces to try and bring it to life a bit. The concept has worked well in other places so hoping it works here – and if it does, the intent is then for it to be an annual Festival.”

The Pop Up North Queensland Festival became a possibility after the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts’ Catalyst – Australian Arts and Culture Fund granted the event $165,000 ‘to support, stimulate and promote Townsville as a vibrant and ambitious hub of the creative arts.’

There are opportunities for artists to occupy a sponsored space (and be paid) or a community space, with the number of sponsored spaces capped at 30. The event also ties in with the biennial Strand Ephemera and annual Australian Festival of Chamber Music, so is expected to attract further foot traffic through the city.

Celebrate the first Pop Up North Queensland Festival in the Townsville CBD from 28 July – 6 August. Applications for creatives wishing to showcase are open until 19 May, and can be found here.



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