The September/ October Queensland school holidays marks the beginning of Coffs Harbour’s Annual Buskers and Comedy Festival. Commencing on Friday 24th September and continuing until Sunday 3rd October, the festival is a ten day celebration, in which entertainers perform in the streets, clubs, pubs and other venues for everyone’s enjoyment. This year is a little more special as the festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The festival is packed with performers such as clowns, acrobats, comedians, stunt riders, jugglers, singers and bands giving it their all to bring a smile to young and old. As always there are some familiar faces such as the Gargoyle but there are more than a few new ones as well! Throughout the ten days there were 120 shows scheduled from Woolgoogla to Bellingen most of which were free, by donation or buskers hat.
I kicked off this year’s festival as a guest of my good friend from NAB, Kym Middleton at the Gala Premier Dinner Show. This was a ticketed event which NAB was supporting, with proceeds from the night being donated towards Camp Quality. The theme of the night was “Casino” and the Coffs Ex Serviceman Club looked like a high rollers club. The decorations were amazing; there was chocolate money on the tables, a Las Vegas style backdrop, playing card decorations and balloons all setting the scene for a great night of entertainment.
My iPhone is all that I had available for the evenings photographs so I hope you can get some idea from these images. The well known Gargoyle greeted guests at the door helping everyone into the spirit of the evening. As you would expect from a gala night there was champagne on arrival. A beautiful three course meal was served in between the hilarious stage acts of the Blackstreet Boyz, Clown Loto, Jeremy Ellwood and the Flash.
At the end of the evening I picked up a program for the up coming 10 days, and spent the next morning highlighting venues and shows I didn’t want to miss.
The Harbourside Markets was an ideal venue for some more performances by the buskers. The first entertainer on stage was the River City Ramblers, a band who featured on “Australia’s Got Talent.” They did such a great job of entertaining the crowd that by the time their set was over the crowd was huge. Thankfully we had arrived early and were settled in for the day in a great spot.
Next up was “The Flash” and acrobatic duo which combine strength, agility and humour to entertain the crowd. There were so many amazing picture opportunities with this pair as they as the act was so visually entertaining.
Clown loto followed along behind “The Flash,” he was the highlight of the day for my daughter. He decided to use her Dora Helmet in his act and she was in love with the funny clown.
He was a hit with adults and kids alike and at one point a baby crawled onto the set which made for some hilarious impromptu gags.
The day went on with the “Mini Bike Stunt Team,” “The Crack Up Sisters” cracking their whip for country girls in ballroom frocks everywhere and the Blackstreet Boys. There is no better way to spend a Sunday morning than sitting on the grass at the Jetty Foreshore watching the performers entertain the crowds.
I set aside Tuesday to spend at the Coffs Harbour Racing Club as they had a kids day programmed for the little ones with face painting, jumping castle, ball pit and entertainment through out the day. It was $7 per child with accompanying adult free. I have to say I was a little disappointed in the day. There was only one tiny jumping castle and a queue that at some points seemed to almost circle the race club.
Despite spending the day in queues we managed only one jump on the jumping castle. We never made it to the front of the face painting or ball pit lines as the bigger “Oosh Vacation Care Kids” who were barely supervised were shoving and pushing. The queues were not the best place for preschool aged children.
The children’s day was billed as an all weather venue but when the clouds burst and the rain fell to the ground things ground to a halt. Admittedly the buskers acts continued inside the race club but everything else came to a halt. Being on the shorter side meant that although I could hear the act I couldn’t see what people were finding humorous.
To salvage the day we decided to take the little ones to the city centre and have a look at the performances taking place there. The rain bucketed down but the show continued. We saw Clown Loto again which the children loved just as much the second time through and “The Flash.” The rain couldn’t dampen everyone’s enthusiasm and we enjoyed some hot chips and some great entertainment.
Wednesday was the City Centre Spectacular, every year it just seems to get bigger and better. There are acts programmed to perform at particular times and then roving buskers and comedians walking through the mall and shopping centre performing.
I just had to take a photo of this toy soldier for the kids. Mr GG is pictured shaking his had. Once the picture was taken the Toy Soldier froze and hubby was unable to remove his hand. Please excuse my iPhone image, it was the only device I had to capture this moment.
For more information have a look at the official website and put it in your diary for next year.