Welcome to Castlemaine and the 2019 Castlemaine State Festival. We’ve been working tirelessly for the past two years to put this incredible program together. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
I want to begin by thanking the amazing team at the Castlemaine State Festival. These fine people have been working night and day to bring you what we hope will be our best festival yet. I would also like to give a special thank you to all our patrons and donors. Your support, as you come on this journey with us, means the world.
Over the past 18 months, people have often asked us whether the 2019 Festival will have a theme or curatorial conceit. Initially we said no, knowing the events speak for themselves, but as the program came together it became obvious that there was a constant context that informed every choice we made.That was, of course, Castlemaine itself.
From the very early stages of planning the 2019 edition, the town, its surrounding areas and its amazing people have been our inspiration. If you are lucky enough to be a first-time visitor to the region you will soon notice that Castlemaine isn’t just any regional city. Its 7,000 odd inhabitants represent a microcosm of Australian society: its diversity, successes, beauty and contradictions are all here in this one very special place.
The communal spirit is beautifully showcased in Dialogues, our program of talks and ideas exploring the future of living regionally in an ever-changing world. It is also present in Equinox, the opening-night dance party that will bring everyone to their feet. The elegance of the old gold-rush buildings that adorn our streets is reflected through the music of masters such as Jordi Savall and Floraleda Sacchi. The diversity of people and the landscapes they inhabit is conveyed through works such as Adam Ford’s Dance to the Anticlinal Fold and performances by world/folk legends such as Ego Lemos and Božo Vreco. This region’s unique ability to communicate and connect globally is celebrated through multiple works from South Korea, and collaborations with artists from Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Italy, Germany and Timor-Leste.
With this edition of the Castlemaine State Festival we have made sure that visual art takes pride of place in myriad venues around town, including – most importantly – the historic Castlemaine Art Museum. Our friends and partners at the La Trobe Art Institute have curated a truly inspiring selection of more than 25 artists from Castlemaine, Australia and around the world.
This is Castlemaine, a place that is contemporary, classical and, most importantly, communal. If I don’t see you at one of the performances, concerts, talks and exhibitions in the program, I am sure I will see you after a gig at the Theatre Royal Aperol Festival Club for a spritz and a chat.
Welcome to the Festival.