Feast Festival Pirouetting its way through COVID and Landing in Pridevember

Feast-Self-Isolation-Song-Book-photo-by-Lachlan-YoungWhile the rest of South Australia continues to pivot its way through the latest COVID ordeal Feast Festival artists and event organisers have been nimble performing a magnificent pirouette as they reschedule remaining events to ensure Pridevember can still be celebrated in a COVID safe way.

Feast was forced to cancel its major closing event, Picnic in the Park, which attracts around 3,500 people, when Government restrictions meant events requiring COVID Management plans were cancelled until 1 December 2020.

As heartbreaking as this was, the festival is about community, queer arts and culture and it isn’t over yet! There are numerous cabaret, theatre, literature, tours and community events taking place as a little pot of gold at the end of the Pridevember rainbow.

“Last week’s lockdown was all too familiar and had a devastating effect not only on Feast but the rest of our South Australian community,” said Feast CEO Helen Sheldon. “However, we are a resilient and creative bunch. Many of our Feast events have been rescheduled or are now being delivered in a digital capacity so audiences don’t miss out and are COVID safe.”

Artist Phi Theodoros AKA The Ukulele Dream Girl was set to perform her new show Self Isolation Songbook about the journey of connection and hyper attention, preservation and privilege during these COVID times. Due to the lockdown and now the easing of restrictions the show must now be presented online.

“It’s pretty ironic that my show about dealing with isolation and the digital overload we all felt during the peak of COVID, is now only a livestream performance this Pridevember,” said Phi. “The show explores the need for us to find meaningful and safe ways to stay connected during a time of fear and uncertainty.”

“Postponing the in-person shows and focusing on the livestream is my way of encouraging people to stay safe but still connect with the importance of stories and a sense of community,” said Phi.

After enduring the first COVID wave artists, event organisers and community members have been able to bounce back a little quicker in an effort to support one another. “The artists, event organisers and venues have been incredible during this time, everyone has been working together for one common goal, which is such a wonderful reminder of all the positives that can come from such trying times,” said Ms Sheldon.

Feast was the first multi-arts Festival to take place since the pandemic and has over 100 registered events. 41 events have already taken place since the program launched on Thursday 8 October with a further 18 events mid-way through their season. Over 45 events are now either rescheduling or postponing to a later time. For more information, visit: www.feast.org.au for details.

Image: Self Isolation Song Book – photo by Lachlan Young

Remaining Feast Festival highlights include:

Goodwood Theatre: 25 – 28 November
Martin Sherman’s landmark play about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, traces anti-hero Max’s nightmare odyssey from a Berlin nightclub, via cattle-car to Dachau. To survive, Max dons the Yellow Jewish Star, rather than the Pink Triangle, because homosexuals are ranked lower even than Jews. But, in the dehumanising prison stone-yard, Max learns, from fellow-prisoner Horst, love, acceptance and ultimate redemption.

Online: Thursday 26 November
A storyteller who weaves together music and poetry to share stories and shift stigmas. Our Ukulele Dream Girl is back armed with her ukulele and compassion filled heart, ready to greet you online. Are you feeling hyper stimulated, over connected, zoomed out and anxious from the outside in? Self-isolation’s been a hell of a time. A journey of connection and hyper attention, preservation and privilege. Songs and poems from the COVID era from a socially distant stage. Hi, my name is the Ukulele Dream Girl and welcome to my TED Talk.

Diverse-City: Sunday 29 November 
This Bumblebee Yoga workshop is about creating a practice that feels like coming home. We’ll explore mindfulness skills, practical tools for self-compassion, and how to connect with your body safely and lovingly through gentle movement. The class is accessible, and people from all backgrounds and abilities are welcome. If you have a disability, please get in touch with us before the class so we can best plan for your experience.

The Odeon: 3 – 6 December
Australian Dance Theatre (ADT) proudly presents, Of All Things – a new work from South Australian independent choreographer and performer, Alison Currie. Within this unique exploration, Currie’s investigation into the nature of matter, dancers and The Odeon theatre will morph, meld, fuse and disconnect. In collaboration with award-winning multidisciplinary South Australian design firm, Enoki, Currie will create a tangible middle ground between the animate and inanimate, the mobile and fixed.

South Australian Museum: ongoing

Ongoing Discover the stories of love, desire and identity at the South Australian Museum as seen through the perspectives of well-known LGBTIQA+ South Australians, the Museum’s own vibrant LGBTIQA+ staff and young South Australians exploring gender and sexual identities. A new and thought provoking self-guided trail that challenges the way we view the natural and cultural world and our connections to it. Pick up a copy of the trail at the Museum or head to: www.samuseum.sa.gov.au