Australian Festival of Chamber Music
Pop Up North Queensland
An internationally acclaimed chamber music festival, a nationally significant outdoor sculpture festival, and a festival of pop-up exhibitions, performances and art…. this incredible hat trick of artistic celebration is happening from July 28 in Townsville; it’s a perfect storm of arts events, and all during the famed North Queensland Winter!
The Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) leads the charge, opening on July 28 and running through to August 5. With it, comes a raft of international artists and visitors, as well as hundreds of chamber music fans from Australia’s southern states – and all of them are in for nine days of unequalled music!
The program this year features concerts, collaborations, conversations and masterclasses performed by the world’s best chamber musicians in churches, theatres, gardens and on the stunning Orpheus Island. It is the final festival for celebrated Artistic Director Piers Lane AO, featuring a line-up of 42 extraordinary artists, including 13 from overseas, and three leading Australian ensembles in the Goldner String Quartet, Orava Quartet (Strings) and the Nexus Quartet (Saxophone). Four international artists will make their Australian debut at the 27th AFCM.
Strand Ephemera 2017: The North's Sculpture Festival is the North’s largest outdoor sculpture festival staged over 10 incredible days and nights along The Strand from Friday, July 28 to Sunday, August 6. Artworks will be competing for the major $10,000 Award for Artistic Excellence. Among them are local, national and international artists. Running alongside the exhibition will be a selection of non-competitive feature artists from around the globe, vibrant performances by Townsville’s own Dancenorth and AFCM, and a series of workshops and programs for young and old to enjoy.
Completing the festival trilogy in the North Queensland capital is Pop Up North Queensland (PUNQ), a collaboration of pop-up exhibitions and shops curated to reflect the shifting cultural landscape of the region, and to activate spaces throughout the CBD. Organised by Umbrella Studio contemporary arts, the festival will feature nearly 40 unique pop-ups from local and interstate artists, creatives and makers. The program will include exhibitions, workshops, artist talks, classic film screenings and some of the coolest pop-up shops around!
AFCM Executive Director Justin Ankus said Townsville is set to sound and look incredible over the festival period, with artists from all genres and from all over the world converging to celebrate their talents.
“As most of Australia shivers through a cold winter, the AFCM together with Strand Ephemera and Pop Up North Queensland will shine the light firmly on Townsville as one of the most spectacular locations anywhere in the world,” he said.
“Winter in North Queensland is famed by holiday-makers and sunseekers around the world, with the region averaging 25 degrees each stunning day. Townsville boasts on average 320 days of sunshine each year; and with the winter sun in July and August particularly magical, it’s the perfect destination for these three brilliant arts celebrations!”
Townsville Mayor Cr Jenny Hill said the three events combined would make a visually stunning and highly entertaining program for the city. “Townsville prides itself on hosting world-class events and we are pleased to be offering locals and visitors to the city a fantastic program for all ages this winter,” Cr Hill said. “The music, the art and the engaging programs associated with these three events with the backdrop of Townsville at this time of year, is just unbeatable. I encourage people to join in and be a part of this fantastic hat trick of arts events.”