Queensland Music Festival 2017 Kicks Off Next Week!

Spearheaded by the legendary Katie Noonan, the 2017 Queensland Music Festival is gearing for its big launch day on Friday 7 July. Check out the presser below and be sure to head to their website to see that smorgasbord of sonic goodness that has been curated for the festival!

Queensland Music Festival (QMF) 2017, the first delivered by Artistic Director Katie Noonan, opens with a spectacular lineup of events from Friday 7 July that will span the entire state and range of music persuasions.  

Katie Noonan said she was super excited to see the state come alive from 7 to 30 July and to share her first festival with fellow Queenslanders.

The festival will open on Friday 7 July with lost Indigenous songs and stories revived in Mission Songs at the State Library of Queensland, the tongue-in-check cleverness of Joh for PM at the Brisbane Powerhouse and Indigenous rocker Dan Sultan kicking off his tour of Far North Queensland.”

“There is truly something for everyone throughout Queensland during the opening weekend of the festival, from jazz musos grooving and singing along Queen Street Mall to Nambour’s Currie Street reverberating with the sounds of awesome local musicians,” Ms Noonan said.

Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk said Queensland Music Festival 2017 will delight, move, empower and affect positive change in our community with over 100 performances in 45 towns, cities and regions across the state over three weeks.

“QMF is an extraordinary celebration of music, providing Queenslanders with a dynamic program of concerts, performances and innovative musical experiences including classical and contemporary music, dance, education programs, concerts and opera, as well as free and family events.

“The Queensland Government is proud to support QMF to deliver regional cultural tourism outcomes, unforgettable music experiences, and help create and maintain safe, connected and cohesive communities through the power and beauty of uniting in song,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

The festival opens with Mission Songs, bringing together some of Australia’s best-loved singers – Jessie Lloyd, Emma Donovan, Deline Briscoe and Jessica Hitchcock – for an evening of discovery through Australian Indigenous songs that reflect life on the missions in the 20th century at the State Library of Queensland. Award-winning composer Jessie Lloyd travelled the nation searching for Indigenous Australia’s hidden songs and lost stories to create the unique Mission Songs narrative, connecting the traditional with the contemporary for what will be an entertaining and enlightening musical experience.

Earlier on Friday, ARIA and Deadly Award-winning soul-rocker Dan Sultan and bandmates will board a light aircraft and travel to the remote Far North Queensland Indigenous communities of Aurukun, Woorabinda and Palm Island for the Dan Sultan Tour, a series of free concerts, story sharing and workshops for the region’s budding local musicians from 7 to 10 July.

As the sun goes down over Brisbane Powerhouse on Friday evening, the city’s debut of hot new musical Joh for PM will take audiences on a musical romp through the life of ex-Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the Queensland icon who set state politics alight, in a delightful satire of the bizarre events that define Bjelke-Petersen’s reign.

Meanwhile one of QMF’s most rule-breaking events, Super Conductor and the Big Game Orchestra, invites audience members onstage at QUT to play an interactive video game while innovative Brisbane orchestra ensemble DeepBlue responds with live music and sound effects. DeepBlue’s enthralling mix of precise playing, immersive visuals and unexpected antics have an international reputation for smashing the boundaries that define and limit music and performance.

Down the road, opening night is capped off at the Jazz Music Institute (JMI), where The Music of Duke Ellington featuring the E.M.O. (Enthusiastic Musicians Orchestra) will send the hard swinging brilliance of the Duke around Fortitude Valley for the JMI Up Late Series, which will continue through the festival every Friday in July to span a selection of jazz styles over 100 years.

At 11am on Saturday 8 July, JMI takes the beats to the streets for the first weekend of QMF 2017 for the JMI New Orleans Street Parade. Kicking off with trumpets and trombones blaring and saxophones soaring at Queen Street Mall’s main stage, musicians and music lovers alike are invited to bring their instruments, vocal chords and dancing shoes to join this swinging street party to remember as the sounds and rhythms of New Orleans reverberate through Brisbane city.

QMF reaches the Sunshine Coast later on Saturday with Currie Street Music Crawl, which will transform Nambour’s main street into a free music festival for one night only. Twenty contemporary musicians and bands, including Ayla, Sahara Beck, WAAX, Emily Wurramara, Screamfeeder, The Floating Bridges, Blank Realm and Major Leagues will perform across five stages, encouraging revellers to explore Currie Street’s intimate live music haunts.

In a full weekend centrepiece over Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 July, Argo will team up with QMF and Camerata, Queensland’s innovative chamber ensemble, for To The Earth / To The Sky, which will transform two unique Brisbane landmarks with a dramatic, immersive double-concert experience.

Beginning on Saturday at Brisbane’s heritage-listed Spring Hill Reservoir, To The Earth will drive audiences in a descent to the depths of the earth with raw and explosive music for string quartets and cavernous spaces. In stark contrast on Sunday evening, To The Sky will loom over audiences at the Planetarium’s Cosmic Skydome for a mesmerising and exhilarating night of music for strings, synths and stars.

Weekend one comes to a topical close on Sunday with Twilight in the Red Box, a series of intimate twilight concerts on at the State Library of Queensland throughout the festival. Featuring music from renowned Australian and international composers, Sunday evening reflects on the past, present and future through issues including domestic violence, migration and Indigenous voices, curated by Patrick Murphy and performed by The University of Queensland School of Music students.

Ms Noonan said QMF 2017 would hopefully engage all Queenslanders with song, storytelling and social issues, helping everyone to find their voice.

“Come on Queenslanders, this is your state festival, we want to hear your voice and see you move this weekend, whether that’s joining the raucous laughs during Joh for PM or slipping on your dancing shoes for the JMI New Orleans Street Parade party, driving the DeepBlue orchestra onstage through a video game or singing along to your favourite local band at Currie Street in Nambour,” Ms Noonan said.

“QMF 2017 also supports and raises the voices of those who are often less heard: in weekend one this includes Indigenous communities and Queenslanders living in remote areas with the Dan Sultan Tour and Mission Songs, and victims of domestic violence and those in the process of migration in Twilight in the Red Box.”