by Yvonne Gardiner
WHILE the Commonwealth Games in April is the biggest sporting event the Gold Coast has ever seen, the arts community is also set to amaze with its own world-class spectacle.
Festival 2018 will reveal a thrilling line-up of arts and cultural entertainment across 12 action-packed days from April 4-15.
Its multi-arts program features free entertainment with more than 1000 arts and cultural experiences including music, theatre, circus, dance, ideas, visual arts and film that will provide something for everyone.
This festival, like the Games, is on a grand scale. More than 1440 artists from 50 countries will feature in a program of 35 world premieres and 15 Australian premieres.
Roving performers will entertain outside stadiums, interactive art installations and live outdoor performances will spill onto beaches and waterways, and two main festival sites will be set up in Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
Presented by The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach will have two distinct spaces, Kurrawa Park and Surf Parade (between Victoria and Queens- land avenues), providing audiences with arts experiences and enterta- inment from 9am to late every day. Yothu Yindi and The Treaty Project will play a Queensland exclusive performance, with world music legend Susheela Raman and Ghana's king of hip hop M.anifest among others performing on the Surfers Paradise Main Stage.
A bold food festival program will also be presented by NightQuarter, Helensvale, from 12-9pm, complemented by a cultural program. Event chairman Peter Beattie says extraor-dinary performances, spectacular public art and exciting new commissions will make the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games one that Australians will never forget.
"Festival 2018 complements the sports program with a thrilling program that is set to entertain and delight," he said.
"The festival celebrates the true spirit of the Commonwealth, bringing together more than 50 nations and territories to share creativity and culture."
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate says the city can't wait to welcome the world's best talent.
For more details, go to: gc2018.com/festival2018.