2016 Noosa Long Weekend Festival

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This is an archived copy of an event that has already passed. It is online for informational purposes only.
  • Dates: to
  • Location: various Noosa locations, Noosa Heads 4567 Queensland

Paying homage to what has become Australia’s foremost regional Community Arts and Cultural Festival, Noosa Long Weekend Festival director; Ian Mackellar has once again pulled out all stops to assemble the best of local, national and international talent across a multi-faceted program to be presented in Noosa from July 15 to July 24.

True to the festival’s reputation of delivering world class events and something for everyone, this year’s program encompasses a wide range of entertainment options including music, dance, theatre, cabaret, film, food, literature, a festival of thought, events for the kids, some terrific workshops, a new inclusion LOCALE after DARK and an opening Carnivale infused parade embracing the community and visitors in celebration of our 15th year!

This year’s Hastings Street Carnivale parade will include street musicians, performers, stilt walkers, jugglers, dancing girls and an abundance of feathers! With more colour and movement than you could imagine, the parade will conclude on Noosa Beach with a spectacular Twilight Skydiving display finale with Super Heroes jumping and soft landing onto Noosa beach amongst other festive surprises.

Following our opening spectacular and with the festival officially declared ‘OPEN’, patrons who have purchased tickets will head off to THE J theatre to delight in our opening act, the internationally celebrated Queen of Cabaret, MEOW MEOW, direct from her critically acclaimed appearance as Titania in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ @ Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London. MEOW MEOW also opened the 2016 Sydney Festival to a series of sold out shows – we have her for one night only, so don’t miss out!

‘Noosa Long Weekend is a festival I will always move mountains to be part of amidst my hectic INTERNATIONAL JETSETTING SCHEDULE. The Festival’s intimate style and GORGEOUS management and technical SAVVY, coupled with Noosa itself being ‘heaven on earth’, and so very hospitable TO A SHOWGIRL (OF GARGANTUAN PROPORTIONS) –  is what brings me back. So fasten your seat belts and get ready for a great night of theatre that I will enjoy as much as you will! Only wish I could stay longer!’ MEOW MEOW

‘Noosa is a great draw card for attracting the very best talent to participate in our festival’ said Ian Mackellar, Festival Director for the 8th Year.  ‘The Sydney Opera House, Arts Centre Melbourne and other great theatres and venues in Australia / NZ may provide the quintessential Arts experience, however I am told time and again by performers and festival patrons alike that the uniqueness of Noosa as a destination, and the intimacy and quality of performances @ the Long Weekend Festival experience, now marks their annual calendar as ‘must do’, as something special, engaging entertaining and relaxing to lock in. This makes me very proud and confirms to me what our regional arts and cultural festival is all about, and that we are on track in creating an overall unique and memorable experience that see people returning year after year to enjoy!’  Mackellar adds.

Every performance, workshop and festival of thought forum in this festival is a highlight and of phenomenal value.

MEOW MEOW opens our festival and other events not to be missed include:

Queensland Ballet returns this year due to popular demand with a program that includes both contemporary and neo classical ballets performed by the company’s most talented dancers. These stunning performances will be followed by fascinating conversation with Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet, Li Cunxin (and ‘Mao’s Last Dancer’ fame).

We have some wonderful musical performances including internationally acclaimed ‘Steinway Artist & consummate Showman – Julian Gargiulo direct from Carnegie Hall for 2 exclusive performances only. Keith Potger AO, founding member of The Seekers, Up Close and Personal @Noosa Boathouse, also offering an exclusive song writing workshop for limited numbers. Exposing Edith is an intimate and original interpretation of songs made famous by Edith Piaf and her stories performed by chanteuse Michaela Burger accompanied by Greg Wain on acoustic guitarist.

Lauded as ‘Australia’s brightest and shiniest new orchestra’s, ORCHESTRA SEVENTEEN88 CHAMBER ORCHESTRA & SOLOIST is another performance to put on your list and for those interested in Operatic stars of the future, don’t miss the DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND Singing Competition & Awards. May the best singer take the prize purse of $15K.

Stunning, spiritual and mesmeric Didgeridoo player, William Barton returns along with the Southern Cross Soloists in VISIONS ON EARTH and acclaimed cabaret performer Michael Griffiths and writer Anna Goldsworthy join forces to explore the colourful life and timeless songs of Cole Porter in CoLE. A true festival winner SWING ON THIS starring the gorgeous and entertaining Michael Falzon, Rob Mills, Luke Kennedy and the 9 piece SWING ON THIS Orchestra, together with special guest (to be announced ) promise a fast paced, fun and entertaining highlight of our 2016 event calendar.

Theatre experiences include MARIO, the story and music of Mario Lanza, one of the world’s first superstars interpreted and performed to great acclaim by Phil Scott & Blake Bowden.

Funnyman and brilliant satirist Max Gillies will perform the 2 final ever performances of his much lauded show ONCE WERE LEADERS.

A fiery and sensual tale of romance and intrigue DON JUAN will transport you into a seductive world of passion relayed by acclaimed actor and director Tama Matheson accompanied by the liquid amber tones of internationally renowned guitarist Karin Schaupp.

Steeped in the tradition of the Noosa Long Weekend Festival, don’t miss the ONE-ACT PLAY FESTIVAL. Always on the search for Australia’s upcoming playwrights, this festival within the festival sees the stage premiere of the finalist plays selected from the National One-Act Playwriting Competition and on the Saturday significant prize money is awarded.

‘How does one successfully bring dance to the screen?’

Fabulous choreographer, director and dancer PENELOPE MULLEN appears ‘in conversation’ about the making of her own dance film, Gravitas and talks also about close colleague, Artistic Director of Bangarra Dance Company, Stephen Page’s outstanding dance work SPEAR which will also be screened as part of this special film event.

Don’t think for a second we’ve forgotten about the laughs! Comedy headliner, Mandy Nolan supported by Melony Brests (Matt Dunstan) and international Burlesque sensation Sunday Lucia will bring you to your knees in COMEDY TONIGHT!  A sharp, honest, sometimes self-depreciating, somewhat outrageous, but never cruel or pretentious, frequently irreverent show.

Not to be missed by comedy enthusiasts.

This festival boasts some terrific workshops including three separate dance workshops with Penelope Mullen, Creative Movement ‘Beginner Dance’, Contemporary Dance, and Fosse technique for those who are mad about the incredible choreographic skills of Bob Fosse.

A Burlesque masterclass with Sunday Lucia inviting you to release your inhibitions and take a walk on the wild side! And what about a song writing workshop with Keith Potger AO one of Australia’s great musical legends, a founding member of The Seekers and ‘the’ consummate musician to boot.

Literature events include a breakfast with Hugh Mackay about his new book ‘Beyond Belief’ and how we find meaning, with or without religion. In conversation with Garry Disher, Australia’s connoisseur of crime about his latest book in the popular Wyatt series. Shelley Davidow in Conversation, talks about ‘Whispering in the Blood’ an exquisite, compelling story of courage, destiny and the search for home. Judy Nunn OA entertains with her latest novel ‘Spirits of the Ghan’ inspired by a trip she took on the Ghan with her husband, Bruce Venables.

Something new this year is our ‘Festival of Thought’ presented in association with University of the Sunshine Coast. We have a debate and a lunch on offer about CHALLENGES to the PRACTICAL WORKINGS of DEMOCRACY with moderator – Paul Barclay (ABC Radio National) and a rather salubrious panel. The extremely popular INSIDERS RETURN with a 75 minute forum and Q&A followed by a lunch with Insider delegates. Local authors Annah Faulkner, Susan Johnson & Inga Simpson talk to us about what is it that allows a book to resonate with its readers? plot, character, location, style? Also on offer is the Can ISIS be defeated DEBATE, a must-listen discussion about Islamic State involving seven key questions. Impossible to miss is NOW HEAR THIS with RICHARD FIDLER & MELANIE TAIT. People all around Australia tell their personal story into a microphone, to an audience, without any notes. It’s like being around a campfire, only there are a few more people listening.

We have 6 sumptuous food events this year: DIVA’S AL DENTE DINNER, @ Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant entertained by none less than Belladiva, 4 wonderful young sopranos singing operas greatest hits, the perfect combination of song and soul food at play. SLOW FOOD WITH FILM, a stunning feast to compliment, award winning film ‘The 100 Foot Journey’ @ Noosa Springs Golf and Spa Resort, SMOKY SMOOTH JAZZ & BLUES DINNER @Wood Fire Grill with entertainment by the David Bentley Trio, those who love jazz, can’t miss!  ITALIAN LONG LUNCH, Enjoy a mouth-watering feast whilst relaxing and enjoying an afternoon of traditional Italian flavours and performance with Blake Bowden and Phil Scott. , SHOWCASE ON HASTINGS, A Noosa Gastronomic offer not to be missed , SEAFOOD SEDUCTION, A Noosa Seafood Gastronomic offer second to none.

Not forgetting the kids, we are staging three breakfasts featuring KUNG FU PANDA with special guest GAVATRON the robot who will be on call to entertain the little ones whilst getting ready for the big live show. This is a great Sunday family event – not to be missed.

Something extra special this year is the launch of Locale after Dark hosted by Sam Coward, top rating breakfast presenter -Radio Hot 91 at Locale, Hastings Street.

On any particular night throughout the festival you may just find yourself dining and / or drinking along with one of our festival stars and treated to an informal ‘Pop up’ experience with them at Locale after Dark. Featured and impromptu pop up performances nightly 15-24 July. Let’s toast to that!

Fifteen years ago (2002) a local group of creative visionaries including renowned Australian playwright David Williamson and author Kristin Williamson (who remain Patrons of the Festival) had the idea to blend their passions and considerable talents with the beautiful environment that is Noosa. Since then this magical peninsula that lends itself perfectly to our festival has hosted some of the best Australian and International talent and entertained literally tens of thousands of local patrons and guests.

2016 Noosa Long Weekend Festival Ambassador, DAMIEN ANTHONY ROSSI (Ch 7’s The Great South East and The Sunday Mail) said:

“I am beyond excited about the wonderfully diverse program slated for the 2016 Noosa Long Weekend Festival and feel extremely honoured to serve as Festival Ambassador for this fantastic festival as it celebrates its 15th year. NLWF is one of my very favourite annual events in Queensland and each year it has been with great anticipation and excitement that I have made the beautiful drive up from Brisbane to bask in Noosa’s stunning winter weather, soak up the festival’s creative atmosphere and enjoy the variety of exceptional arts, literary, cultural and culinary offerings it serves up in abundance. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to promote this unique festival through my role as an ambassador and hope that it will enjoy record-breaking numbers this year as this is truly one of the Sunshine State’s best events that I encourage everyone to place on their must-do list for 2016. Hope to see you all in July!”

Book a package (accommodation, shows and special items inclusive.) Don’t hesitate to head to the website to lock in your booking and plan your own special experience, a long weekend or the festival duration – a whole ten days of life changing relaxation and entertainment in one of Australia’s premiere holiday destinations – the opportunity and choice is yours!

As key sponsor of the Noosa Long Weekend Festival, Tourism Noosa Chairman Steve Mc Pharlin commented on the festival program saying ‘This years Festival delivers a great program of events that literally offers something for everyone. From cabaret to comedy to dance, intimate conversations, workshops and more, the ten day Festival will deliver a range of events that will entice visitors to Noosa’.


Tickets for the Noosa Long Weekend Festival (NLWF) historically sell out quickly and the intimate nature of the festival means that often numbers are very limited, so we urge you to get in quick and book as close to March 15 as is possible! www.noosalongweekend.com

Noosa Long Weekend Festival fast facts:

  • The NLWF takes place from Friday July 15 until Sunday July 24
  • Over 80 + ticketed and free events and 220 local, national & international artists, authors and guest speakers will participate in the 2016 Festival
  • Festival venues are located @ Noosa Heads @ Noosa Junction @ Noosaville all within easy vicinity to Festival Headquarters – THE J theatre and the festival HUB at Noosa Junction.
  • The Festival comprises 10 nights and 10 days of Music, Dance, Theatre, Cabaret, Film, Food, Literature, Festival of Thought and events for the Kids – So there really is something for everyone!
  • The Festival will kick off with a Carnivale inspired street party down Hastings St and concluding on Noosa Beach with a spectacular Twilight Skydiving exhibition – a free community event!
  • Full program of events will be available and released for sale from Tuesday March 15, 2016 (electronically)
  • Ticket Information at: www.noosalongweekend.com with
  • 3 easy ways for you to secure your festival event tickets
  • Online – www.noosalongweekend.com
  • Telephone* (07) 5329 6560 – The J Theatre Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm.
  • Counter sales – The J Theatre Mon-Fri 9am – 5pm –
  • Address: 60 Noosa Drive, Noosa Heads.
  • The 2016 festival offers in excess of 8,000 festival event tickets on sale.
  • Follow the festival on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
  • Hashtags: #NoosaLongWeekendFestival  #TheWorldsBestFestivals  #AustralianFestivals #ArtsandCultureFestivals # Festivals #Noosaisthebest #noosalongweekendfestivalisthebest

Noosa Long Weekend Festival 2016 15-24 July

Celebrating our 15th Anniversary.

Ten incredible days and nights, presenting the best of the best in terms of artists, performers, authors, visual arts, film food and fun!

Ian Mackellar, Festival Director: "We are ecstatic on how exciting our 2016 festival event program is, and truly there is something for all ages, tastes and price ranges on offer in this year’s program."

Download the 2016 Festival Program

Noosa Long Weekend Festival :
PO Box 2200, Noosa Heads
07 5474 9941
07 5474 9940
Noosa Long Weekend Festival

Map Location ( get directions )

various Noosa locations, Noosa Heads

All Sunshine Coast events, gigs, functions etc... onsite are correct as per information provided at time of uploading, please always verify times or dates directly with the venues to avoid disappointment.