Organising committee members for the Surfing the Coldstream Fringe Arts festival with some of their donated thongs.
Organising committee members for the Surfing the Coldstream Fringe Arts festival with some of their donated thongs.

A bizarre festival

By TOBY WALKER

IF YOU'VE ever dreamed of acting the role of Hamlet whilst wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes in a bath then Dom Ferry is the man to speak to.

A bizarre dream it might be but Mr Ferry is ready to welcome all sorts of weird and wonderful concepts into his vision for Surfing the Coldstream, an arts/fringe festival planned for October in Yamba.

Last Wednesday night at the Yamba Bowling Club, Mr Ferry launched the festival with a view to enlisting the talents of Clarence Valley artists, performers and volunteers and the support of local businesses to make the planned two-day festival one to remember.

The festival aims to showcase and exhibit everything from art, food, comedy, music, dance and sculpture, not to mention really cool tricks and performances involving fire, to create a market atmospehere over two packed days in and around Yamba's town centre.

Guitar maestro Bruce Mathiske has been tentatively booked, as has renowned street theatre troop Erth and 25 wild carnival drummers who go by the name of the Samba Blisstas.

Taking a siesta approach, the festival organisers, Live Prawn Productions, have elected to divide the festival up into four main morning and late afternoon/evening sessions over the weekend of October 22 and 23.

Outside of the festival, a number of art, drama and music workshops will be held by visiting artists with schools and community groups in Yamba around the same time.

"We're doing this festival for us," said Mr Ferry.

"If there are people who are visiting Yamba at the time and they come along and enjoy themselves then that's great but this festival is for the people of Yamba."

And like most successful festivals, Surfing the Coldstream will have a theme - the ubiquitous Thong (that's the hardy Aussie footwear, not a G-string by the way).

With a massive task ahead of them to acquire the services and resources needed for such a large-scale event, organisers are hoping artists, businesses and the people of the Clarence Valley, no matter who they be, will get behind the event.



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