The Kiama International Seaside Arts Festival is Kiama’s very own celebration of the arts – professional and emerging – and includes all disciplines. Starting in Jan 2012, K.I.S.S. spared no expense and burst onto the Illawarra art scene with an exciting festival that focused on 5 main elements.
The Big Top
The Circus Monoxide Big Top was chosen as the festival “hub” and sat, imposingly in Hindmarsh Park throughout the festival hosting shows, workshops and became a place were families could “hang out” for the day whilst their children did the circus workshops.
Under the glorious canvas of the Circus Monoxide Big Top in Hindmarsh Park, KISS ran circus workshops every day, using the professional artists who were in the show to teach and the arial rigging, we introduced around 400 children of all ages and abilities to the possibilities of Circus.
The Big Top played host to 3 different shows.
Harvey’s Troupe are the emerging artists from Circus Monoxide who put together their first professional show for the festival. They played for 4 days and enjoyed 100 strong audiences.
The opening night gala “The First KISS” brought together 10 different artists from all over Australia to officially launch the festival. Mixing comedy, circus and live music, a specially invited audience enjoyed the excitement of the first night alongside locals and tourists alike.
“Fool’s Gold” was the KISS Arts Festival headline act. Seven of Australia’s most experienced variety artists in a specially written show which was pick of the week in both the Illawarra Mercury and the Sydney Morning Herald. The second half of every show was “opened” with a different local act, including amongst others the local dance school. the Kiama Public School band, acrobatics troupes and singer song writers. We conservatively estimate that we performed to more than 1500 people throughout the festival.
Ray white Street Theatre
Over both weekends of the festival, Hindmarsh Park and Black Beach played host to out Ray White street theatre program. Six acts from different parts of the world converged on Kiama bringing with them a dizzying array of talents. The most accessible arm of the festival, we entertained literally thousands of locals and visitors, young and old alike
Throughout the build up to the festival, we advertised our talent quest to every school newsletter in the Illawarra. Eight finalists competed on the Hindmarsh Park outdoor stage in front of a very supportive audience for an array of prizes including cold hard cash, specialist lessons and the chance to perform in the professional show in the big top. The “talent” included singing, dancing and several local bands.
Surrounding the festival site on the fencing, we hung a “blank canvas” and invited the public to come and paint their impressions of the festival and Kiama for all to see. Under the artistic eye of 2 local artists, the 30 metre canvas gradually grew into a colourful backdrop for the festival itself.