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School of rock to shake up Horizon Festival

Horizon Festival 2019

My Time

School of rock to shake up Horizon Festival

The Eumundi School of Rock is gearing up for its first live performance at the 2019 Horizon Festival, a 10-day arts festival featuring more than 100 events and performances from August 23 to September 1.

The Eumundi School of Rock class of 2019 are preparing to bring the house down as they take to the stage for their first and only live performance at the 2019 Horizon Festival.

The 2019 program is set to take over the Sunshine Coast from August 23 to September 1 in a celebration of visual art, music, words and ideas, art, tech, film and much more, with more than 100 events and performances on offer.

Among the events kicking off the festival for opening weekend, School of Rock is the brainchild of award-winning artist Katie Noonan.

Twenty talented young musicians from years three to eight are provided with a scholarship that connects them with seven weeks of one-on-one mentorship with some of the Coast’s most accomplished professional musicians, including Owen ‘OJ’ Newcombe of John Butler Trio fame, Mark Moroney, Andrea Kirwin, Clint Francis and Zac Hurren.

This year, musical director Brett Newman will bring the students together as a band to perform a stellar line-up of Australian hits from the classic AC/DC song Back in Black to Kate Miller-Heidke’s single Caught in the Crowd, Silverchair’s Straight Lines and Gotye’s Feel Better.

“This is our fourth year and we’re going from strength to strength, the quality of the kids we are getting through the school is increasing and this year we had 50 kids audition for 20 spots,” Ms Noonan says.

“I 100 per cent believe in the importance of music education for kids and I think in more regional areas, unfortunately fewer kids have access to quality music education and what better way to give them that opportunity than to start our own school and connect them with working musos who can inspire them?

“Moving into band mode is always a highlight for us and for the kids. There is something magic about being in a band, that collective feeling of everyone working towards a goal and my favourite outcome is to see the sense of confidence, sense of self-belief and sense of worth that transforms our students during the process.

“They are connected with people they might not otherwise have met and make lasting friendships in this wonderful community.”

Ms Noonan says festivals like Horizon are integral to every community and she is pleased to see the Sunshine Coast Council continuing to be a firm supporter.

“Obviously I’m biased in that I’m a musician and I believe that music is the most accessible form of expression, the most inclusive and welcoming.”

“The program that has been created this year is amazing.”

“The biggest challenge for any regional area, particularly the Sunshine Coast, is being so spread out. By the time I drive to the Caloundra Regional Gallery from my home in Eumundi, I’ve spent the better part of an hour and that’s a massive footprint.

“Anything that can bring this diverse and wonderful community together in hotspots where we can make and enjoy arts and culture together and build connection, is incredible.

“I am proud of the council’s commitment to the arts. In terms of the bigger picture in Australia, I still don’t think we realise how integral the arts are to us as a people.

“Financially, the economic return is enormous, but the intangible assets of the arts and how they make us better people isn’t as widely recognised.”

Festival director Zohar Spatz says this year’s program has been designed to connect and inspire.

“The 2019 program was developed to celebrate our community identity and sense of place by showcasing the region and bringing light to individual and collective stories and ideas,” Ms Spatz says.

“I have loved every minute of curating this program as the festival director, taking all of the various art forms and showcasing them on the Sunshine Coast.

“For me this year, it was incredible to explore the identity of the Coast as it grows and turns into such a significant region. We are ready to celebrate what a beautiful region it is to live in and all of the incredible people who make it such a connected and welcoming place to be.”

With a program that stretches from the hinterland to the headlands and beaches, the festival will take over the emerging Maroochydore City Centre, transforming the space from construction site to the thriving creative Horizon hub.

Festival Central, which is located on the corner of First Avenue and South Sea Islander Way, invites you into the Coast’s future city to explore and enjoy parts of the 10-day program of free entertainment including Stalker Theatre’s Mountain, a stunning aerial theatre performance with cutting-edge interactive technology, plus creative workshops, live music, pop-up galleries and delicious local eats.

With more interactive activities and performances than ever before, Ms Spatz says there are plenty of opportunities for people of all ages to immerse themselves in the festival, which has become a signature arts and cultural event for the region.

An array of Coast artists and performances sit alongside national and international offerings, encapsulating the growth of the festival.

The international highlight of the 2019 program is the Australian premiere of The Cold Record by Rude Mechs from the USA. The one-man show tells the story of a 12-year old boy who tries to break the record for the most days leaving school sick, and in the process falls in love with the school nurse and learns to love punk rock.

The program also features work by identities like Jack Charles, Alice Skye, Dave Hughes, Tommy Little, Michaela Gleave and Louise King.

This year’s festival also lines up with a national arts conference, which is being held at The Events Centre in Caloundra, with 350 Australian arts presenters and producers taking time out to enjoy the festival.

Itineraries have been created on the Horizon website for easy reference to what is happening near you.

Arts Portfolio councillor Rick Baberowski says,“This year there are a number of more interactive events, that really engage the community and remind us just how diverse our region is becoming and how heritage provides some perspective on change,” Cr Baberowski says.

“I’m so impressed by the incredible workshop program, its expanded range offers an opportunity for people of all interests and ages to dive into this exciting wave of coastal creativity.”

To see the full program and purchase tickets, visit

Get amongst it

Horizon Festival 2019
image: Photo David Clarkson


August 23 to 25, 6.30pm and 8pm

Festival Central, corner of First Avenue and South Sea Islander Way, Maroochydore City Centre. Free

Mountain is a stunning performance that combines aerial theatre with cutting-edge interactive technology. Exploring society’s increasing dependence on technology and the effect it’s having on the world and biosphere around us, four performers seamlessly meld acrobatics, dance and aerials to create a captivating spectacle.

image: credit Greg Sketcher


August 27 to 30, 10am to 4.30pm and 31, 2pm to 5pm

Alexandra Headlands skate park. Free

Sydney company Branch Nebula brings its breathtaking, anarchic street-style to the skate park. The team of professional skaters, BMX riders, dancers and parkourists will infiltrate the park for a week, jamming moves and tricks with the locals and building up to an improvised performance at the end. With a live drummer driving the action, bodies and wheels collide, and blur into one.


August 31 and September 1, 11am and 3pm

Harmony Boulevard, Palmview. Free

Twelve of Queensland’s youngest circus stars, experienced artists and a live DJ come together to create a show that’s bursting at the seams with energy and fun. It is a celebration of what can happen when the rule book is thrown out. Circles, loops, wheels, group bikes, roller skates, unicycles, and even a tractor tyre are jammed onto the stage to create a whirling cacophony of wheeling wonder from Flipside Circus.


August 25 and September 1, 12pm to 6pm

Festival Central. Free

Wind down your weekend with a unique Sunday sesh. There will be six local musicians performing, local brews and locally grown produce. The headliners are Andrea Kirwin and Bearfoot on August 25 and Ayla and Band of Frequencies (pictured) on September 1. For a full list of performers visit


See Horizon website for all dates and locations. $17 per family

Meeting in wild spaces around the Coast, these sessions encourage free play, adventure and exploration in nature to help promote imagination and self-discovery.


Renowned Eudlo cellist Louise King has created the perfect way for classical music enthusiasts and those new to the genre to enjoy a concert under the stars.

Nocturne is the third event Ms King, the founder of Cello Dreaming has produced specifically for Horizon, having created eloquently unique offerings every year
since 2017.

“What I love about Horizon as a festival is that it covers so many incredible artists and so many different forms of art, it’s like a smorgasbord of events,” she says.

“Classical music has so many pieces that have been inspired by night time, the stars and moon.”

Under the baton of artistic director Ms King, the Sunshine Coast Chamber Orchestra and a host of guest artists including Graeme Jennings and Caroline Henbest will perform, along with members of Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Queensland Youth Orchestra and the Young Conservatorium, Sunshine Coast Youth Orchestra Chamber Strings and the Cello Dreaming Youth Excellence Ensemble.

They will bring music by Mozart, Borodin, Piazzolla, Boccherini, Dvorak, Fauré and Tchaikovsky to life.

Nocturne Classical Music Under the Stars is on August 30 at 7.30pm at Festival Central on the corner of First Avenue and South Sea Islander Way, Maroochydore City Centre.


Roxy has been a journalist for more than a decade and joined the MWP team at the end of 2016. She is a chocolate-powered writing machine who loves to engage with the Coast community, uncover untold inspirational stories and share information that can help people.

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