Some call it the City of Light, but we’re starting to think Perth should be known as the city of world-class festivals, and March sees the return of an increasingly popular event in the northern suburbs – Joondalup Festival, presented by City of Joondalup.
Running from three weeks from March 10-April 2, this cultural feast of the arts is filled with eye-popping shows and experiences for the whole family, taking place in a number of different spaces including Hillarys Boat Harbour (where you’ll find Aurora the Spiegeltent), AQWA, Joondalup CBD, Galaxy Drive-In, Mullaloo Beach and more.
There are dozens of events to choose from with a heap of free shows and ticketed ones starting from as low as $10 – check out the full program here and a few (of many) highlights, below:
Boola Djarat Wardan
Boola Djarat Wardan means “many lights across the sea” in the language of the Whadjuk Noongar people, and this immersive light show will transform Hillarys Boat Harbour like you’ve never seen before. Harnessing the latest in digital laser technology this kaleidoscopic display of colour, light and water is free to attend nightly from March 13-April. It’s created by internationally-acclaimed artists LASERVISION (check out this recent show they had in Brissy!) with input from Noongar advisory group, South West Kinships Cultural Immersions – not to be missed.
Aurora the Spiegeltent
One of the highlight venues for the entirety of the fest will be the spectacular Aurora Spiegeltent popping up in Hillarys Boat Harbour, a vintage art deco tent playing host to all kinds of performances. On the comedy front it plays host to Australian comedy king and queen Rove McManus and Becky Lucas, along with the always-hilarious, fun and interactive Improv D&D gang. Cabaret and drag will of course get a shout, with special shows from the Perth Cabaret Collective and the do-not-miss Dizney in Drag, presented by the Hairy Godmothers. Meanwhile in the music realm you can catch the infectious rhythms of global dance outfit Soukouss Internationale, whose own live show will be preceded by a very special Dance Workshop suitable for the whole fam.
The Knock ‘Em Downs
Krackers ‘n Jam are a couple of curious clowns putting on a wild and interactive show called The Knock ‘Em Downs every night from Wednesday to Sunday at The Oasis in Hillarys Boat Harbour. A crazy, nostalgic world of fun and games, there’s prizes on offer if you can beat the duo, and best of all it’s free to participate every night!
Head to Mullaloo’s beachside Tom Simpson Park at sunset on March 28 for a very special free event featuring an aerial artist stunningly twist and turn as the sun drops below the horizon, creating a beautiful orange glow over the show. Observers can sit back, enjoy and relax or come up close to try their hand at some circus skills, with aerial dance pioneer Dawn Pascoe complimented by live music from Tanya Ransom and Tilly Kay.
A performance disguised as a rowdy pub quiz, eaters is your chance to test your knowledge of food and sustainability against the mastermind art activists at pvi collective. It’s happening over two nights at Whitfords Brewing Co., it’s an enlightening and entertaining hour of fun with an eye towards the future of food, from growers to consumers and every step in between.
Music in the Park
There are not many better combos than a balmy summer evening, fantastic lineup of food trucks and incredible music, which is exactly what you’ll find at Music in the Park on Saturday 11 March. Enigmatic Queensland singer/songwriter Mia Wray takes headline duties, supported by local indie-electronic stargazer VILLAH and the soul/roots sounds of The Alexia Parenzee Band. The event is free with extra fun and games for the kids to enjoy, and if you don’t pack your own picnic you’ll find a smorgasbord of tasty food trucks to choose from.
We love an outdoor cinema in the summertime, and Joondalup Festival features an eclectic Festival Films program including moving dramas (To Leslie, Close) and thought-provoking docs (You Can Go Now, My Old School), along with something a little more automatic… systematic… hydromatic… That’s right, Kingsley’s iconic Galaxy Drive-In Theatre is hosting three special screenings of beloved musical Grease, complete with live entertainment!
Bogan Shakespeare Presents: Hamlet
One of the most-talked about shows at this year’s FRINGE WORLD, Bogan Shakespeare heads north to Joondalup Festival for an hilarious reimagining of Shakespeare’s iconic work. You didn’t know Shakespeare needed flanno’s and thongs until now – one night only at Aurora.
Head to the Joondalup Festival Website for more info and tickets.
This article is sponsored by City of Joondalup and endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.