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Noosa Alive Festival




Another year is over, the stage lights have dimmed, the music has faded, and we have been left with wonderful memories, new friendships forged and old friendships strengthened.

This is a very important year for me being the last as President and although I will be sad to stand down, I remain committed to seeing arts and culture thrive in Noosa.

Our team has done a sterling job as usual and full marks go to Festival Director, Ian Mackellar and the Festival Programming Committee for developing an outstanding program and bringing such a wonderful array of talented performers to town.

For many people who spoke to us, the common theme was most certainly the standard and quality of the performers and of the events overall.  All in all it was a jam packed program and we are very grateful to the many artists, performers, musicians and speakers who made this a special 10 days.

We also had some lovely examples of people going the extra mile to make our artists feel so welcome. This was well demonstrated by our Volunteer Chauffer Garth Donaldson meeting the wish of the OLE! trio by taking them to Australia Zoo so they could meet our unique animals before wooing audiences.  They so loved their stay that Paul Morocco from OLE! felt strongly enough to express their thanks  in a poem outlining his NOOSA alive! experience - quite touching and you can read online here:

We also had artists who gave generously of their time to support our local talent such as the lovely Blake Bowden supporting the child actors auditioning for Annie The Musical (a new musical from Noosa’s very own Mad About Theatre company who brought us the surprise Festival Hit Disenchanted) and giving them some useful tips and ideas to support them to achieve their dreams. 

I thought that I would also share a small number of “behind the scenes” examples about what it takes to put on such a Festival by sharing some changes made this year. These were designed to not only to make us more efficient and financially viable in an increasingly challenging and difficult environment but also to attract the next generation to become long term Festival attendees so essential to our future:

We researched and purchased a modern events management system to streamline a range of Festival administrative and production processes.
We engaged an App designer to create a NOOSA alive! App and this has been embraced by our tech savvy audience. This new capability enables us to engage with a younger demographic in a different way and keep people updated on the go through their phones and sharing their photographs and ideas as a key community engagement tool.
We significantly enhanced our social media presence on all platforms and have set up mechanisms for people to access their own photos from the Festival far more easily than ever before.
We introduced NOOSA alive! merchandise - a range of products from caps to panama hats to polo shirts to hoodies plus other goodies such as beach towels, umbrellas; torches, reusable water containers and coffee mugs as well as silicon card holders for smart phones.    If you missed the opportunity to purchase something, we will have these available on line very shortly.
We included digital lighting as part of the arts-insit-u : INTERACT visual arts program with the Sofitel transformed with moving waves and beautiful lighting on the main Hastings Street Tree to enhance the overall Festival experience .  All the artworks created during the Festival are available for purchase by contacting our Arts Curator Nina Shadforth on 0419 766 654 or via
Another new component of the Festival was the use of the beautiful Rivera Bar and Lounge at the Sofitel for showcasing “festival Pics” from our patrons and Sponsors.  This lovely setting is spectacular at dusk and please visit and become a member by filling out your details to receive a member card and a 15% discount on food and beverages - a great deal!

Now that the dust has settled, I want to say a very big thank you to all our marvellous Patrons for your exceptional support given to the Festival.  This support goes beyond providing the much needed funds but also your personal feedback, your abiding interest in wanting the Festival to develop and entertain, your fantastic suggestions and the special extra ways in which so many in the Patron’s Circle contributed to making our artists feel welcomed and supported.

When we have crunched the numbers and have all the facts at our fingertips we will forward a more detailed report with greater  insight about the 2018 Festival and our Future.

We also look forward to hearing about your entire Festival experience via our survey. Please take the time to fill this in. Your feedback is critical to making the next Festival appealing and relevant. You can access it via this link: 

On behalf of Carolyn Winkler, Patrons Coordinator, Dennis Pitman Chair of the NOOSA alive! Advisory Board and myself, thank you once again for your support which is critical to our future survival.

Johanne Wright

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