Celebrating the Weed culture!
There’s one thing everyone knows about our region: We love our weed. Pot has never just been about getting out of it, as a medical, recreational, and for some a spiritual pursuit; it’s also been about a powerful subculture. Nimbin’s MardiGrass Festival is a celebration of this rich and diverse culture but it’s also a push to protest and educate and to push for much-needed law reform. Held in the tiny village of Nimbin, this is the 29th event and this year’s program features the much-loved fashion show at the village hall on Friday night followed by the fabulous Green Cabaret. Saturday is when things really heat up with the Hemposium Conference at the hall from 10am till 4pm. There are healers, talks and music at the Hash Bowl Stand and of course the much-loved Hemp Olympics. MC’d by comedians S Sorrensen and Alan Glover, this is literally one of the Mardi Grass ‘high’ lights! Stay in town for the Comedy Night, followed by the Harvest Ball! Sunday kicks off with the Pot Poets Breakfast, more Hemp Olympix, and general good vibes and rowdy political disruption.
This is without a doubt one of the best counterculture events on the calendar. From Friday till Sunday all weekend pass is $55 and day pass is $30. Full program of speakers and activity on nimbinmardigrass.com.
Good news for Blues
Our much-loved Bluesfest has been slogged two years in a row with its event being cancelled right on the eve of gates opening. So it’s great that Bluesfest has some good news – being named a finalist in the Pollstar Awards nominations for ‘Music Festival Of The Decade’ – the only Australian festival, event, or venue to be nominated for this award, which celebrates ‘the most artistically and commercially successful festival of the last decade providing the most rewarding experience for fans and artists’.
Festival director Peter Noble is reflective of the nomination and what it means in the face of his hardest two years at the helm. He said: ‘After all we have been through since the start of the pandemic, with two cancellations, including one that occurred the day before we were all set and ready to open our gates, it is a pleasure to be offered something positive for Bluesfest… it’s something for our hard-working team to put their heads up and be proud of after all we have been through recently.’
When Orchestra Meets Quartet
When the premier chamber orchestra of the region teams up with the most dynamic and exciting of Australia’s string quartets, and a harpist whose magic is well known to residents of the Northern Rivers, the result can only be electrifying. And that’s what the concert that the Byron Music Society is organising for Sunday in Mullumbimby will be. The Gold Coast Chamber Orchestra, which includes several players from the Northern Rivers, including its chairman Michael McCabe, though a mix of professional and amateur players, is known for the detail and precision of its playing, and for its passionate commitment to the fine repertoire it performs. The Orava String Quartet, founded in 2007 when its members were aged 19, has been described in The Australian as ‘The future of Australian chamber music, the real deal’, and by the Washington Post, after a performance in New York, as ‘beautifully calculated and coordinated; time and motion seemed to defy the laws of physics’. While I’m not sure what that means, it sounds as if the Orava impressed mightily. And Margaret Curtis is surely the champagne player of the harp! Their program includes Handel’s Harp Concerto, a string quartet by Schulhof, and an exquisite piece by that painter of the English countryside, Vaughan Williams.
NORPA looking for actors!
The region’s leading theatre company, NORPA, is holding open auditions for local performers from across the Northern Rivers.
The auditions are an opportunity to meet the NORPA team and showcase your skills and interests as a performer. NORPA welcomes performers from across different performance practices but are specifically looking for those who are comfortable working with text. Auditions are Thursday May 13 at NORPA in Lismore. Each performer will need to prepare a performance piece no longer than four minutes in duration that includes some text/dialogue. This could be a monologue, a physical theatre piece with text, or a short self-devised performance.
For more info and to book an audition go to www.norpa.org.au/open-auditions.
Jazz on a Sunday
Trumpter Govinda Abbott joins Dr Fred Cole on piano, Hans Lovejoy on double bass, and Ben Cox on drums for an afternoon of originals and jazz standards at the Lismore Jazz Club at the Lismore City Bowlo this Sunday at 2pm.
Abbott’s superb horn playing lifts this to another level. Having studied at Newtown High School of Performing Arts, Sydney Conservatorium, and Leipzig Hochschul fur Musik and Theater, Abbott has recently settled in the Northern Rivers, having spent decades playing professionally in Europe and Central Asia.
Home is where the Art is!
The social restrictions imposed at the height of the pandemic created the opportunity for many of us to re-evaluate the relationship with the place we call ‘home’.
For artists Bonny Shore, Jan Lobban, and Ann Cameron, that time of retreat was also the catalyst for exploring that relationship through their work.
The results are the exhibition, Home, which starts on Saturday and runs every day until May 10, from 10am – 2pm, including Mother’s Day.
Lost at C
Miss Amber and Stukulele have assembled an amazing band for the May 2021 Uke Night celebrating the letter C. After a long hiatus, special guests Clelia Adams is back and will join other regulars in leading songs by artist whose first name begin with C – Carole King, Culture Club, The Clash, CCR and of course her own Clelia originals plus many more. Bring your best singing voice and uke, or any instrument for a great family evening from 7pm, Wed 5 May at the Mullum Ex-Services auditorium.
Giving Dance the Nudge
May the dance be with us and continue throughout the year!
The most loved dance event on the north coast is back. Nudge Nudge Wink Wink shimmers into its second event this year. May’s forceful lineup will have your feet accelerating into dance hyperdrive! Beloved and new Nudge and Curious DJs are bringing the power: our residents Dale Stephen and Lord Sut are joined by locally based DJ LIPPO and pint-sized DJ Queen Embelina! Saturday 4–11pm. For tickets and further information on our event:
Three Lords Presents Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 20th anniversary
Three Lords proudly presents their debut event, an epic 20th anniversary celebration of Eastern cinema:
Ang Lee’s: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with an exclusive live musical cinematic experience showcasing the talents of cellist Thomas Zachary who will be accompanying the film’s exquisite score which was originally performed by Yo-Yo Ma.
Thomas’s extensive performance experience includes the Sydney Youth Orchestra, Canberra Youth Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra and Steel City Strings, alongside attending the prestigious Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has performed as a solo cellist for over 10 years and currently teaches at the Lismore Conservatorium.
This celebration will incorporate a taste of traditional Chinese cuisine to complement the film’s origins. Bao buns will be lovingly prepared using local ingredients upon arrival by one of Australia’s most talented chefs, Ashley Hughes, who will supply his unique culinary arts to this event with over 10 years specialising in Eastern cuisine.
The premiere event is to be held at Byron Theatre on Saturday 1st of May at 7.30pm. This is a sensory cinematic journey of Ang Lee’s exceptional vision guided by Thomas Zachary and his evocative cello performance.
www.byrontheatre.com for tickets.
Moro Spanish Film Festival presented by The Palace
A sensational selection of new and recent Spanish language films featuring some of Spain and Latin America’s leading stars along with exciting new acting talent will be screening nationally from April 20 at Palace Cinemas.
The rich program consists of 20 feature films from Spain together with nine films from across Latin America including Argentina, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Uruguay. From hilarious crime capers to sensual romantic comedies, powerful historical epics and contemporary urban dramas, the Moro Spanish Film Festival is for all movie-lovers and aficionados of Spanish cinema alike. Viva la fiesta!
Joyous romantic comedy Rosa’s Wedding (La boda de Rosa) will open the Festival. Written and directed by Icíar Bollaín (Yuli, SFF19), Rosa’s Wedding stars the superb Candela Peña (Truman SFF16, Kiki, Love to Love, SFF17) as a woman who decides to take charge of her life after always putting others first. It also stars Nathalie Poza, who won the Best Supporting Actress Goya Award for her role.
Australian comic and filmmaker Simon Palomares will introduce the screenings of his documentary Latigo, uncovering Cuba’s vibrant comedy scene, proving that laughter is truly universal.
There are Spanish films and films from Latin America.
There are road movies, award winners, social satires, box office smash hit comedies, dramas, thrillers, mysteries, westerns, oscar nominated films, upbeat films, love stories. Indeed there is something for everyone so check out the program and get yourself a ticket.
Moro Spanish Film Festival shows at the Palace Cinema from 29 Apr til 12 May. Tickets on sale from March 31. Visit www.spanishfilmfestival.com.