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Byron Shire
April 17, 2024

Finding Utopia in Uki

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[author]Albert Elzinga[/author]

Uki’s celebrated community spirit will again be on display next weekend when the village hosts the third annual Ukitopia Festival, a celebration of the town’s life, arts and culture.

Organisers have introduced a number of ‘inaugural’ features this year including ‘The Aussie Oddities Emporium’, a number of circus-inspired performances created by CircusTrain director Michelle Thomas.

Michelle has combined a lustful lion tamer, a mighty Amazon woman and a ‘nit’ show to construct her ‘oddities emporium’.

A new exhibition of essays written by locals about Uki and surrounds titled ‘Words of Wollumbin’ will run in conjunction with the ‘Images of Uki’ show and give Uki’s residents a way to become involved and share some insights into their hometown and its enviable community spirit.

The Wishing Ceremony, one of the festival’s most popular features, has attracted a record number of entries which will be read out on Saturday afternoon.

The wishes will be attached to 1000 trees donated by Tweed Shire Council, Green Corp and Land Care and those present at the ceremony will be offered a free tree.

Festival coordinator Natasha Wernick said the wishes ceremony ‘is a real point of difference for our festival and it is all about creating good intentions and, sending them out into the world through the hearts and minds of festivalgoers, the wishes become a bit like prayer flags’.

Music is an important part of every Ukitopia festival and this year three of the country’s best roots musicians, Loren, Murray Kyle and Bill Jacobi, will kick off proceedings when they take to the stage at the Holy Trinity Church on Friday night.

The festival will showcase a bevy of young talent with high school band Lifeline and many other up-and-coming musicians performing at different locations throughout the three-day event.

Popular local singer Lil’ Fi and her band The Candy Apples will close the festival with a performance at the Mount Warning Hotel on Sunday evening.

The entire festival program is available at www.ukitopiaartscollective.com.

Image: Lorenzo the Libidinous Liontamer and his wild cats Tessa Lionessa and Samantha Pantha will be part of the Aussie Oddities Emporium at next week’s Ukitopia. Photo Jeff ‘Pussy Whipped’ Dawson

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