What a whirlwind yet wonderful thing when the PAVE festival commences in Emerald each year. The lasting effects may not always tangible, or consciously acknowledged until the dust settles and contemplative thoughts begin to surface. Looking at the fantastic wombat illustration from this year’s theme drawn outside the post office is a lovely reminder as we wait for a new season to arrive.
The positive buzz produced for those working behind the scenes is often a mixture of different pressures and surges of ideas, adrenaline pumping to get it right for the artists and audiences. Taking time to relax whenever free from the hard work of coordinating events to simply enjoy the entertainment amongst the crowd provides a much needed reward.
The unique and special opportunities this festival offers for community cohesion helps to create a sense of belonging and acceptance. Building confidence in each other, overcoming vulnerabilities, making contributions and remaining open to learning is achieved by developing authentic relationships, compromise and sharing visions. Sometimes being knocked down but building resilience to get back up and fight to the end. Sounds dramatic; it’s just an arts festival, but for those involved organising we know it’s so much more.
Engaging different people, understanding methods, style, backgrounds all mesh to expose the underlying truth of motivations to collaborate and create such rich, meaningful community connections. A highlight is always the involvement from committed volunteers, working in harmony to coordinate logistics and provide the smiling face of PAVE’s mission to the world.
Starting with a fantastic FunFest, this year’s PAVE festival was wonderfully successful in attracting an audience to such a wide range of different events and provided a celebration of ideas and experiences. The new layout of FunFest this year added to its success, making it easier to navigate crowds, take a moment to sit, eat and walk leisurely to see everything on offer.
The mix of performers, creative ideas, rich array of food and positive vibes combined to create an energy that outlasted the long day. So much so, that on Sunday night, after FunFest, the Tidal Moon concert, featuring the beautiful sounds of Jose Garcia and Barbara Jeffrey was standing room only, The Hive Wine Bar was still buzzing until late and Marloi Thai kicked on with music and delicious food.
Unique artists set to delight and were rewarded with friendly crowds, engaged, appreciative and responsive to their work.
With over 40 events across the week, the program was as diverse as it was accessible and whether people saw themselves as “arts lovers” or not, there was, to use the cliché, truly something for everyone.
It’s hard to pick highlights to review but here are just a few:
Desperately Seeking Somewhere
This powerful piece exploring many views and issues regarding asylum seekers viewed by various characters was performed by the GEMCO youth and reportedly brought some audience members to tears. Initially created in 2012 by GEMCO Intermediates, the script was updated and cast members both new and old did a brilliant job delivering two energetic, heart-felt performances on the same day. Thanks to Cat Gemmell for flawless writing, directing and organising the brilliant show with her support crew.
Let’s go Fly a Kite!
If you happened to be walking around Pepi’s land on 8 April, and if you looked up, you might have noticed a giant Easter Bunny flying in the sky, or a dragon, tiger, pig (yes, they can) or any other number of giant kites. It was a windy, sunny Saturday and the scores of people who joined in exclaimed that it was the perfect day for kite flying. Suggestions to form a kite flying club began and everyone hoped the giant kites will return next year. If you missed out, stay tuned.
Venetian Masquerade Ball
History was made in the beautiful Emerald Hall when it was transformed into a French 16th Century theme with no detail left untended. With the heavy rain storm that hit just prior to the ball, we could well have been in Venice and almost needed a gondolier to reach the venue. But once inside we soon warmed up with the wonderful sounds of The SKA Vendors. Young and old couldn’t keep off the dance floor with their infectious beat. Some poetic licence used perhaps, but there’s no rule that we found that says you can’t have a ska band with a Scottish front man play at a Venetian Masquerade Ball. Great fun and cherished memories for everyone who attended.
Riding on the popularity of Pokemon Go, the creative kids at Sherbrooke Community School made and hid monsters all around the township of Emerald to be found over the week of PAVE. People enjoyed checking in to say they’d found a monster hidden in the bushes, under a railing or some other nook or cranny. A simple idea, brought to fruition can sometimes create the most delightful, old fashioned fun.
PAVE is now taking expressions of interest for putting on an event, playing in the music program or volunteering for next year’s festivals. FunFest 2018 is on Sunday
8 April and the PAVE Festival will run 8-15 April, 2018.
www.pave.org.au Enquiries 5968 3881.
Read this article online to view festival photos.