Massive weekend of entertainment comes to Clarence Valley

WHEN it comes to entertainment, you'd be a difficult person to please if you still complained there was nothing on in the Clarence this weekend.

The blockbuster line-up in store during this second weekend of the plunge festival travels across a number of genres and formats in a jam-packed schedule across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

anh do
anh do

Kicking it off is Grafton's Saraton Theatre which has a double dose of entertainment with live comedy and homegrown films on Friday night as comedian Anh Do and Flickerfest take to the stage and screen.

While Anh draws on his much loved book The Happiest Refugee to perform a night of story telling and stand up, the annual Flickerfest short film festival will be telling stories of a different kind with its range of micro-length Australian productions including the latest offering by Oscar winner and animator Adam Elliot (Harvey Krumpet). While it might be clash of culture for some, Flickerfest kicks off at 7pm while Anh Do's show starts at 8pm, so technically you could get a generous serve of films before heading into the main stage for some belly laughs courtesy of Anh.

Performing with an energetic edge featuring banjo, bones, mandolin, double bass, guitars, fiddle, harmonica, tin whistle, tap dancing, four part harmonies.
Performing with an energetic edge featuring banjo, bones, mandolin, double bass, guitars, fiddle, harmonica, tin whistle, tap dancing, four part harmonies.

If quirky music is your thing, The Hillbilly Goats (as featured on our cover) have been raisin' a ruckus all over the festival scene for the past four years.

The Far North Queensland outfit's mission is to "strip back the layers of modern music and transport you on a journey that began centuries ago when the immigrants first settled in the Appalachian Mountains of America" according to their bio. These guys aren't just a band - they're a show featuring stories and song combined with tap dancing, bones, big harmonies and regular instrument changes. They've won several awards and have released three albums specialising in Mountain Music so if this kind of thing floats your boat, sail on into the Grafton District Services Club on Friday night.

The East Pointers (Canada) + The Mae Trio (Melbourne)
The East Pointers (Canada) + The Mae Trio (Melbourne)

The Lower River is also set for a big night on Friday with the first of Canadian band The East Pointers + Mae Trio concerts as part of the travelling Festival of Small Halls. The East Pointers are playing at more than 25 festivals and venues across the country including Yamba's Community Centre on Friday night and the Eatonsville Hall on Sunday evening.

The East Pointers feature Ontario guitarist Jake Charron and 7th generation Prince Edward Island musicians Tim (fiddle) and Koady Chaisson (banjo) who make traditional music seem ridiculously hip. An adrenalized, roof-rattling, performance monster, the trio's excellent debut album Secret Victory, penned mostly in Australia in early 2015, features the "beautiful songs, free-wheeling, feisty instrumental jigs, stomps and reels and heart-breaking harmonies have made them torchbearers for a new wave in traditional music".

These Woodford Festival favourites are supported by rising stars of the Australian folk scene The Mae Trio who, like The East Pointers, are a trio made up of two siblings and a friend and are sure to provide a double dose of harmony heaven.

Clarence teen sensations Nick & Sam (Yamba concert) and Milly & Tash (Eatonsville) will be able suppliers of local talent at these concerts, the boys with their awesome Spanish-style guitar and the girls with their beautiful harmonies.

Tickets to either concert are $20 and available through Sticky Tickets website.

The international flavour continues at the Maclean Hotel with Fiji's rockstar Knox while at Yamba's Pacific Hotel you can enjoy another Canadian outfit Buckman Coe as they bring their global sounds to the Clarence (read more about these bands opposite).

The Pelican Playhouse will also be debuting its latest production, the David Williamson play When Dad Met Fury, on Friday night. It will continue its run on Saturday and Sunday with a matinee with three more shows next weekend if you are overwhelmed with the choices this weekend. Read more about this one big happy family of theatre on the page opposite.

Anna Goldsworthy
Anna Goldsworthy

Finally lovers of classical music will be in awe with the talented, glamorous presence of one of Australia's finest pianists Anna Goldsworthy who will be delivering an extensive program on Sunday afternoon. Read more about Anna in the Conservatorium's weekly column on page 14.

There is also the usual array of live entertainment from the cream of Clarence and North Coast bands at various venues up and down the river so good luck planning your weekend's entertainment schedule. Using a dart to decide might be the best approach.

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