Somerset Art Beat Festival | June 1 2019


Creative Arts Alliance in partnership with Somerset Regional Council produced the inaugural Somerset Art Beat Festival (SABF) with an aim to ‘celebrate the creative heart of the region’. SABF took place at The Condensery, Toogoolawah, which serves as a local visitor information centre and regional art gallery.

In the lead up to the festival, Creative Arts Alliance put a call out for local makers and creatives to participate in a visual merchandising workshop. The aim of the workshop was to assist local creatives and makers in designing their market stalls for the day of the festival, and other events they may attend in future. 10 local makers and creatives came to these workshops and worked together to establish new ways of designing and laying out their stalls. This provided a great opportunity for these talented locals to come together and network, some meeting for the first time. Many stories were shared and new connections made.

Pottery by Jan Harthoorn

Further to these workshops, Everybody Now! worked across the Somerset Region in the weeks leading up to SABF, visiting local dance groups and schools. A total of five dance groups and schools performed at the festival, including the local C&K Kindy who had participated in dance workshops with Everybody Now! the day before. Throughout the day of the festival, the audience was invited to join Everybody Now! on stage for high energy dance sessions (pictured above). Building on this lead-up work by Everybody Now! Creative Arts Alliance has been able to secure further funding to have the next stage of the participatory dance project take place in the second half of 2019. This next stage will see a series of dance workshops occurring in the Somerset Region before taking a busload of locals to Arts Ablaze Regional Conference to perform.

The Starlight Dancers

Alongside the creative stalls and participatory dance, SABF played host to a number of local musical acts from all corners of the region and beyond. Wanderlust, a touring exhibition, was on display inside the Condensery which received a record amount of visitors throughout the day. Children had plenty of activities to partake in, with the local kindy providing a clay workshop; local artist Kerry Hetherington providing a hands-on painting workshop, and; Flipside providing interactive circus workshops. The Jinibara Emerging Dance Troup finished up the day, taking the crowd on a journey throughout country with the sounds and movements of native birds.

B-Syde kicking off festivities on the music stage

A huge thank you goes out to all the performers, stallholders, creatives, participants and crowd members who made the festival truly one of a kind. The local community rallied together to help put on the first arts festival for the Somerset Region. Creative Arts Alliance are happy to announce that SABF has received funding for the next two years thanks to the generosity of Somerset Regional Council. So now it’s time to start planning the next one! If you are local to the Somerset region and wish to be involved in the next SABF (June 6, 2020), please get in touch via email: