Everybody Now! Facilitators leading the crowd at Somerset Art Beat Festival in July 2019
Everybody Now! Facilitators leading the crowd at Somerset Art Beat Festival in July 2019

Projects keeping art alive despite festival cancellation

IT WAS a subdued weekend for the artists of the Somerset, with the date of the long-awaited Art Beat Festival passing by without a performance.

The event was another casualty of the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, stifling plans to make the second-ever festival even bigger than the first.

Though the show won't go on, organisers are pursuing online programs and events to keep the region's artists engaged.

The Stick Together initiative is encouraging budding creatives to participate in online workshops on cross stick weaving, with supplies mailed out to those who register.

Once their projects are completed, the creators can submit their creations to form part of a massive installation featuring hundreds of works.

Registrations will also be opening soon for a special online edition of the Young Mic open event, which will take place on International Make Music Day on June 21.

Young singers, bands, rappers and musicians of all kinds will be able to share their lyrics, songs, voices and music live from home during the event.

READ MORE: Maiden art beat festival for Somerset town

The inaugural Somerset Art Beat Festival took place on Saturday, June 1, 2019, and featured 85 artists, musicians, dancers, groups, and performers from throughout the region, from ages 3 to 83.

Dozens of stalls were also present at the event, representing schools, community groups, and local businesses.

Hosted jointly by the Somerset Regional Council and Creative Alliance, the 2020 festival would have taken place at the Condensery Art Gallery in Toogoolawah, supplementing the region's expansion into the arts through stage performances, gallery exhibitions, competitions, and dance classes.

READ MORE: Have your say on what arts, cultural events you want

Expressions of interest were open to groups, individuals, and organisations from throughout the region, with young people aged 12 to 25, and those who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander being especially encouraged to apply.

Given the rural and somewhat remote area of some parts of the region, funding would have been available to help support transport, performance fees, and materials costs.

READ MORE: 'There's a void this week': Town missing show spirit

The festival joins local agricultural shows, art exhibitions, the Rail Trail Fun Run or Ride, and many other events in being cancelled, or postponed until next year.

A date has not been set for the 2021 Somerset Art Beat Festival.

To find out more, or get involved, visit the website, or by emailing: somersetartbeat@gmail.com