Caloundra, located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, is known for its laid back style, its family feel and its higher than average over 60's demographic. Caloundra is the last place you would associate with hipster graffiti collaboration First Coat, oversized street murals, pop up block parties and on trend street food. Well I'm pleased to say, 'Ma + Pa', that you did hear right! Caloundra is transforming as we speak into COOLoundra (well at least for the weekend).
As part of the Horizons - Festival of Arts, which officially starts tomorrow (2 September), the 'First Coat Block Party' is set to transform some of Caloundra's rather dull and vandalised walls and alleyways with eclectic, contemporary, oversized street art. Today Australian artists Kyle Hughes-Odgers and Andrew Frazer have been taking on the Caloundra Regional Gallery Wall and it already looks FRIKKIN AWESOME (see my images below of the early stages of the new mural).
And the hipster graffiti chat doesn't stop there. This Sunday, 4 September, from 1pm - 6pm, little known Williamson St, in the heart of Caloundra, is getting closed up, shut down and reinvented for a 'First Coat Block Party' event. Think live graffiti transformation action, hip tunes, street food stalls, and pop up bars. Did I mention IT'S A FREE EVENT.
This on trend affair sounds amazing but I do have a couple of questions??? Are local business maximising this opportunity? and is Caloundra ready for this brave leap into the unknown?
Well, one small business which is taking the bull by the horns is locals favourite Chilli Jam Cafe. They are diversifying and putting their brand out there by manning their own pop up stall for the Sunday event. Lets hope that their beloved customers will follow them to the Williamson St location and show support. Support not only for their favourite Bulcock St cafe, but for the 4 talented Australian artists - Joel Birch, Fuzeillear, Thom Stuart and David Houghton - who will be transforming the one-way, back street.
Is Caloundra ready for this eclectic style of event then? Well The CBD Taskforce think so. A collaboration between local council, local business and the Chamber of Commerce; This group has been tasked with the challenge of implementing a 3 year revitalisation action plan focusing on Caloundra's street appeal, points of difference, future funding and growth strategies. If this event, and Caloundra's prominence in the Horizon Festival of Arts, is anything to go by the Taskforce are having a good go at reinventing our sleepy duck as a modern masterpiece.
What COOLoundra now needs is its residents to get behind these brave local businesses and talented artists. So come on Caloundrians show the rest of the coast that Maroochydore may have the big bucks but we have great ideas, a quirky personality and a lot of heart. Lets embrace this new vision for our beloved town and become unique and fabulously cultured in our own right.
Jane | Loving First Coat | Not loving the usual street vandalism