21 April 2023

Candelo Village Festival returns this weekend as it evolves and changes

| Albert McKnight
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Candelo Village Festival

Candelo Village Festival is held on the streets of the small, rural town. Photo: David Rogers Photography.

A festival that showcases the wonderful life in a rural, and very creative, village on the Far South Coast returns with art and entertainment galore this weekend.

The Candelo Village Festival is a one-day festival filled with music, talks and activities and will be held in the town this Saturday 22 April.

Jess Martin, the co-artistic director of the festival with Tamlyn Magee, said the event was held every second year and it was great to see it return this year.

When asked why the festival was so special, she said, “I think it’s because it’s put on by a core team of people who want to put on the village festival, they want to bring something of themselves and the village to share”.

“What’s good about it is it changes as the people involved evolve and change,” she said.

This year, she said instead of trying to expand the festival, its team was trying to make it a little bit smaller, so it would become more cosy and local. It is also going to be art based.

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Ms Martin said to keep an eye out for the ‘flow project’. All food and drinks will be served in reusable crockery, which will be taken to a wash station, sanitised, then taken back to vendors.

“We are trying to move towards zero waste which is really difficult to do, and festival events are big producers of trash, so we are thinking about how we can minimise that,” Ms Martin said.

The theme for the festival is the ‘Fantastical Mythos of Ordinary Places’ and attendees are invited to come and experience a village spectacularly adorned with tall tales, musical jewels and eccentric ephemeral encounters.

People singing on a stage

This year, the Candelo Village Festival will be held on 22 April. Photo: David Rogers Photography.

When it comes to the arts, a DIY print workshop will be held and attendees are encouraged to bring their own items to make prints on, or they can join in a canoe weaving workshop.

Children will have the chance to make instruments out of junk, then participate in a marching junk band at 2 pm.

Writers can also go to Candelo’s publishing house to publish their own mini stories. These will be exhibited in a mini library.

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A huge line-up of musicians are ready to play across several stages. For instance, Goldie is a five-piece funk bank from the Bega Valley, Lillian McVeity is a local singer-songwriter, Yuin-Djiringanj man Prodikal-1 is a hip hop artist, Skink Tant is a pub rock band and Val Moogz is a songwriter with diverse influences.

There are also theatre shows, circus performer and comedian Rhys the Trickster, as well as a huge range of interests and activities.

There will be talks on the myths and magic of snakes, homegrown mushrooms, soil, bees and the folklore of plants as food and medicine.

To view the program and for more information, click this link to the festival’s website.

Entry, from 10 am, is by donation. As it is put on by the community for the community, if attendees love what they see then donations will help keep the event running.

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Meanwhile, the Bioluminescence Project will also hold its next incarnation at the festival. This involves a spectacular projection display on a designated landmark, all designed and implemented by the young people of the region.

“The intention of Bioluminescence is to support young people to share with their community while building technology, performance and event skills,” project facilitator Scott Baker said.

“To be invited to have Bioluminescence at Candelo Village Festival achieves all of these things!”

It will be on from 6:30 to 9:30 pm under the bridge.

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