Friday, 5 August 2011

Cairns Festival programme out now

The 2011 Cairns Festival programme is out today!

The Festival runs from August 19th to September 4th.

Click on the interactive programme below (complete with lazy music) or grab a printed copy from Council or the Festival HQ in City Place (that still doesn't have buses plouging through the middle).

Click, peruse, enjoy!


7 comments:

KitchenSlut said...

This is without doubt the worst Cairns Festival program in four years.

saneworld said...
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phillipm said...

This is without doubt the best Cairns Festival program in many years...

KitchenSlut said...

Phillipm, the worst Cairns Festival ever was the last by the Major Burns council. This, however, goes close to matching that.

The food agenda is a total debacle on which I have had some interestiung exchanges with Nola Craig and and (non-existant)from Gavin King.

Nola seems more interested in building her own media profile than doing her publically funded job which perhaps deserves more attention?

phillipm said...

[sorry - a bit long]

I don't have any inside knowledge of how resources (people, money) and costs are changing so am cautious to criticise. I do know peoples' tastes vary widely so I'm personally grateful if something I like shows up but otherwise have a live-and-let-live approach to other stuff that I'm sure (only) others could like.

After seeing your comment on food, I looked it up in the schedule (page 34-35) and it is crystal clear that the food category is smallest!

Besides pushing for it to be larger in its own right, maybe a more persuasive argument could focus on the experience and/or family participation aspects (with suitable activities). Being at a concert is an enjoyable listening experience for some, can food provide a similar experience for others?

In Canberra, a giant tasting event (with support from AMEX) had many different restaurants bringing a couple of signatory dishes or finger food samples to a central park. As I recall, this really attracted family participation and once construction activity around Tanks concludes, maybe food events can run in parallel with other events there. Another approach I've tasted in Melbourne is when a city area with many existing restaurants organises an event in their existing location (with support from or at the instigation of representative business groups). Lygon Street festival was an afternoon of some rather yummy fun, and our taste of port is perhaps similar. We have the esplanade and Shields street in a fairly compact area...

I suppose the process of organising the festival has a review after the event (ISO9000 kicking into government processes these days). Maybe that is the best time to criticise, as any organising team would be trying to find areas for improvement. (data like ticket sales is available for example) I will be interested in the participation levels for some of the tour style activities. At first, I thought these a little strange but on reflection there are some people in our community who might not be as mobile as others so these might be very good activities. For festival planning to self improve, we do need it to test a few unusual/new ideas regularly and we have to back the team as they uncover a few duds else they won't be able to probe community tastes.

KitchenSlut said...

phillipm, your commentary is interesting because despite your initial post that this was "the best cairns festival ever", your subsequent comentary indicates complete ignorance of any previous events?

You have gone to the food events schedule and quite rightly indicated how skinny this is! It's bad! You may not be aware that last year there was a big push on this with substantial guvmint funding?

This year there is almost nothing related to local food except for a long and unintereesting roadshow!
The only redemption is the Palm Cove day which was interesting last year only because it attracted the attention of beachgoers not there for the festival food but because a cheap cardbox offering from Nick Holloway of Nu Nu! It had nothing to do with 'Taste Paradise'!?

Given the explosion of food interest and how nmuch we have to offer, perhaps someone should ask why we continue to fail in this?

phillipm said...

Returning to the program, there are subtle strengths in terms of experiences. While performing arts has many one-way experiences (audience watches/listens/absorbs), digging deeper reveals some pretty good looking two-way experiences not able to fit on the foldout planner. The season overview describes activities like Muddy's Art Village, stuff involving gremlins, sculpture etc. i.e. good two-way experiences for younger folk who get to see/play/make/learn. The larger size humans can learn steel pans (!) but maybe the really unusual experience is a "male fascinator" (like to meet the people who got that fun idea up). Apparently, amateurs are yet to organise proper modelling...

RE food: agree there is general growth in food interest and especially so via TV shows (watch/absorb). If a "Taste of Palm Cove" represents a typical food frolic event (watch/swallow and I guess digest/absorb too), maybe the "Far North Organic Experience" with local travel and first hand learning about food sources will be an unexpected hit beyond what is possible by just tasting (can see spin offs at many points along the value chain starting at grower).

Running a festival seems a tough gig. OK, back to work.