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Entertainment

Festivals return to the North Coast

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti.

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Nimbin MardiGrass
Festivals return to the North Coast

Festivals return to the North Coast

By Christine Tondorf

THE biggest Northern Rivers event since the pandemic started was held in Nimbin over the weekend – MardiGrass.
Organisers say a crowd of about 2500 attended the protest festival, which calls for the reform of Australia’s cannabis laws.
Hemp Embassy president Michael Balderstone said the size of the crowd had exceeded organisers’ expectations.
“It was a beautiful, peaceful protest,” Mr Balderstone said.

MardiGrass, which began 28 years ago, was cancelled last year due to the pandemic. This year it took place just four weeks after the NSW Health Minster signed a public health order stopping Byron Bay’s Bluesfest from proceeding.

“It was pretty nerve racking the last few weeks,” Mr Balderstone said.

“We had lots of talks with police and health and council, but we got the green light.”

Festivals return to the North CoastMr Balderstone said in previous years MardiGrass attracted up to 10,000 people but this year the crowd was capped at 3000 due to Covid regulations.
Lismore City Council public health officer Cameron Smith said MardiGrass organisers had been happy to put together a Covid plan for an outdoor event, which included QR code registering.
“The organisers were very receptive to council’s suggestions because they wanted a positive successful event to go ahead, and we wanted everyone to go home healthy and safe. We don’t want anything to happen in the region which might impact other events as they come back online.”

Upcoming festivals planned for the Northern Rivers include the Mullumbimby Renew Fest (May 7 -9), the Byron Comedy Fest (May 13-16) and the Northern Rivers Crystal and Craft Festival (June 12 -14). The Falls Festival and the Byron Bay Writers Festival are also on track to be held in winter.
The NSW Labor Opposition is lobbying the State Government to offer financial support to Bluesfest. Shadow Minister for Music John Graham said a business interruption fund was needed for festival organisers to confidently plan large-scale events without risking huge losses.

Mr Balderstone said the only downside to MardiGrass was the number of police drug testing sites set up around the town, with many people charged with drug offences.
This complaint was echoed by Greens NSW Upper House members Cate Faehrmann and David Shoebridge.
“Dozens of police are targeting every car driving into MardiGrass with random roadside drug testing,” Ms Faehrmann wrote on social media.
“What a stupid pointless waste of public money just to ruin innocent lives.”

Mr Shoebridge wrote, “Nimbin during MardiGrass is a safe supporting and positive community. It’s also grossly over policed, especially on the road in and out with squads of police and multiple police vans at every entry.”
Former Lismore magistrate David Heilpern said both Ms Faehrmann and Mr Shoebridge were also drug tested by police over the weekend.

“Clearly the police are trying to shut MardiGrass down by using the road traffic laws to deter people from coming,” Mr Heilpern said.
“It is not a road safety operation – it is a prohibition agenda.

“I’m sure the real criminals of the Northern Rivers were delighted that huge police resources were thrown into this victimless crime.
“A ring of testing vehicles surrounded Nimbin for the weekend. What a waste of resources.
“There is absolutely no evidence that drug detection testing leads to less road trauma.”

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Clarence Valley News

Clarence Valley Country Muster

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Clarence Valley Country Muster

Clarence Valley Country Muster

 

If you are missing the country sounds from Tamworth, fret not, as the Clarence Valley Country Muster is just around the corner.

Expanded from two days to four, the event will start on July 25th and go to July 28th at 11 Coulters Lane, Ulmarra, near Grafton.

You will enjoy artists such as Jade Hurley, John, Lloyd, Jack Watson, Lindsay Waddington and Jamie Davis.

Special guest artists, Paul Ricketts, Winner of the Thornton Young Award and Nay McAplin, Winner of the Walk Ups in July, will also make an appearance.

Your comperes for the main stage will be Terry Gordon OAM and Ken ‘Chainsaw’ Lindsay.

And bring those nerves with you, as from 10.30am on Thursday, aspiring artists can take their turn on the microphone, with John Lloyd hosting the walk-ups.

All acts will be vying for a gig at next July’s event.

Now is the time to grab a group of friends or family members and book your spot by heading to their website www.cvcmuster.com.au or calling Wendy Gordon on 0432 741947.

Gates open for early arrival at the muster site on Tuesday, July 23.

For $120 per person, you can enjoy a full week of camping, camaraderie and entertainment at one of the best value-for-money festivals in the Clarence Valley.

Check out is Tuesday, July 30.

If you have a fire pit, bring it along as wood will be supplied.

There will be songs around the campfire, best dressed Christmas and party games and a big finale on the Sunday.

 

For more local Clarence Valley news, click here.

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Casino NSW News

37th Bentley Art Prize promises to be a great event

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37th Bentley Art Prize promises to be a great event

 

By Samantha Elley

There has been a changing of the guard in the running of the 37th Bentley Art Prize for 2024.

For the past 18 years Bentley’s Helen Trustum has been running the show, but she has now stepped down and a new committee of eight, headed by Gordon Serone, will be taking over.

“Helen’s service to the community, for which we give hearfelt thanks, has been truly amazing,” said Gordon.

“We wish her a relaxing retirement and hope she’ll come along to join in the fun, with no responsibility.”

This year’s Bentley Art Prize is on the weekend of July 12-14, starting on the Friday night with a cheese and wine event.

“Judging will take place on Friday afternoon,” said Gordon.

“The deadline for entry submissions will be June 28 and all entries need to be at the (Bentley) hall by Thursday afternoon, July 11.

“Because the prize will be in the school holidays, if the schools want to deliver their submissions, they can deliver directly to 56 O’neill Road, Bentley.

“We’ve also changed the categories where we took out the Golden Oldies section because everyone is an oldie now.”

All the regular sponsors have continued with their support, collectively donating prizes of over $14,000.

“We are very thankful to Richmond Dairies, Richmond Valley Council, the Casino RSM Club, Macdonalds pharmacy and Dr Castagna and Richmond Valley Library,” said Gordon.

With the expectation of over 300 entries this year, Gordon said the event is shaping up to be a fabulous weekend.

“Starting with the entertainment by Jamie Sullivan on Friday night, Luke Vassella on Saturday and Croaker and the Honeybee and Sylvia Nowlan on Sunday,” said Gordon.

Judging will be done by artist Harry Westera. His work can be seen here.

The cost of submitting an artwork is $10, or free for school children.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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Coffs Harbour

The Circus is in town and it is action packed

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The Circus is in town and it is action packed

 

By Samantha Elley

Put your expectations away and open your mind to the ‘edge of your seat’ experience you will be in for when you go to see The Circus in Coffs Harbour.

“We are a seventh generation circus family, originally from Germany,” said tour manager and matriarch, Marie Weber.

“We bring acts that have never been seen under the big top in Australia before.

“These include FMX (freestyle) riders, the splitting globe of death, comedians, aerialists and even a human cannonball.”

Patriarch, Harry Weber, has been involved in the circus touring life for the past 40 years and the family are excited to be in Australia.

“We have been touring in New Zealand, South Africa, Korea and other international areas,” said Marie.

That’s no mean feat with a family of eight children who have all grown up with the circus.

“We have performers from all walks of life,” said Marie.

“There are about 40 crew and performers, including those travelling with families.”

Marie said they are all like one big happy family, especially when they have been working so closely together for so long.

“Most of us have been working together for more than 10 years,” she said.

The Circus has just wound up six shows at Lismore Showgrounds and is now heading to Coffs Harbour where they have a giveaway on their Facebook page ‘Weber Bros Entertainment’ for two VIP packages and 10 double passes to their shows.

They will be performing their action packed shows at Coffs Harbour Showground between June 6th – 16th.

Book your tickets at 0452003300 or online at iticket.com.au for two hours of great family entertainment. Prices range from $35 – $85 for adults and $25-$70 for children.

 

For more Coffs Harbour news, click here.

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