Townsville will see its largest collection of arts and cultural events ever, as the North Australian Festival of Arts (NAFA) and Northern Fringe Festival launch this July. The Festivals will coincide with the biennial Strand Ephemera, annual Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM), and Pop Up North Queensland (PUNQ) Festival.
Individually, each of these events already clock up impressive numbers:
- 150,000 people visited the 2017 Strand Ephemera.
- PUNQ showcased the work of more than 50 artists in unused spaces in the CBD.
- AFCM booked an estimated 28,000 visitor nights (x).
- 70,000 people attended 22 sold out shows during Festival 2018 (the stepping stone for NAFA) (x).
Councillor Colleen Doyle said the Festivals would deliver significant cultural and economic benefits.
“[The Northern Fringe Festival] has been based off the very successful Adelaide Fringe Festival and we want [it] to reach a similar success,” Cr Doyle said.
“There are incredible economic benefits to holding a Fringe Festival like this. In Adelaide it generates an estimated $90m for Adelaide and South Australia.
“But it’s about more than just economic success, it’s about showcasing our hugely talented arts community and improving the social status of the city.”
Locals are invited to be involved in both events, with Fringe Festival applications open until 10 May.
“Townsville City Council will curate and present NAFA, while the Northern Fringe Festival will be programmed entirely by venues, artists and performers.”
The Northern Fringe will feature a wide array of live acts in theatres, cafés, pop-up venues, laneways and street corners right across the city.
“We want NAFA and the Fringe Festival to be driven by our local arts community,” Cr Doyle said.