Noosa alive Festival celebrates 21 years with a star-studded program

Noosa-Alive-FestivalNOOSA alive! Festival is planning a 10-day party to mark its 21st birthday with a guest list of Australian icons, internationally renowned artists and local legends joining the celebrations.

The annual arts and cultural festival returns to Queensland’s leading coastal community from 21 to 30 July with a packed program of special events and premiere performances.

Queensland Ballet launches NOOSA alive! with the world premiere of its new work, Tartan & Tchaikovsky Mash, at The J Theatre on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 July. The two-act performance features Tartan, a new contemporary piece inspired by Scottish music, and a compilation of dances set to music from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty.

In a stunning Queensland premiere, Meg Washington and Paul Grabowsky partner for an unforgettable evening of music. The ARIA award-winning artists began collaborating when Meg was a newly graduated jazz singer, and their intimate show at The J Theatre on Wednesday 26 July reunites the kindred musical spirits.

Returning from their international tour, globally renowned Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) performs an exclusive, one-night-only performance at The J Theatre on Thursday 27 July, generously supported by the Wilson Foundation. Artistic Director Richard Tognetti leads the ACO through a diverse program that moves from beloved works by Mozart and Bach to contemporary songs by Randy Newman and US-German musician Kurt Weill.

NOOSA alive! Festival President Andrew Stafford says it is only fitting the annual event marks its milestone 21st year with a huge celebration. “NOOSA alive! is one of the most anticipated events on Queensland’s cultural calendar and we are delighted to present our 21st program filled with big events, big names and big performances,” said Mr Stafford.

“I’m particularly proud that Queensland Ballet has chosen NOOSA alive! to debut its brand-new work, Tartan, and that we will also host the first Queensland performance of Meg Washington and Paul Grabowsky’s new work, plus the ACO’s exclusive performance really adds to what will be a fantastic 21st celebration.”

“While the Festival has grown so much over the past 21 years, one thing remains a constant – events sell out incredibly quickly, so I urge everyone to book their accommodation and secure tickets before it’s too late!” said Mr Stafford.

This year welcomes the festival’s inaugural Alive in the Woods – two days of live music in the lush Noosa Woods Park. Australian music icon Kate Ceberano brings her unmistakable voice and signature style to the new precinct on Saturday 29 July. She headlines a day-long musical showcase that includes the Sunshine Coast’s best and brightest young artists performing in Noosa STARS alive! judged by Rhonda Burchmore.

Also performing is TJAKA – a trio of young Indigenous musicians blending hip-hop, reggae, funk and sounds from their ancestral Aboriginal culture. Singers Vika and Linda Bull along with their four-piece band will headline Alive in the Woods on Sunday 30 July, joined by jazz vocalist Emma Pask, to close out the 10-day event.

The popular Seaside Vibes hosts alfresco DJs and live music sets under the EVIE NETWORKS Marquee on the iconic Noosa Main Beach across the opening weekend, headlined by local trio Raw Ordio on Friday 21 July and Bobby Alu on Saturday 22 July.

Also announced for the 2023 Festival is TENORI under the STARS! – an evening of gourmet food, fine wine and exceptional music on Noosa Main Beach on Sunday 23 July. Tenors David Kidd, Craig Atkinson and Andrew Pryor perform a repertoire that blends opera, musical theatre and jazz, accompanied by guest soprano Laura Coutts and harpist Hayley Erin.

From high notes to high wires, Cirque Bon-Bon ENCORE! returns with a new show to dazzle audiences by fusing contortion, aerial artistry, dancing and death-defying acrobatics across two performances at The J Theatre on Tuesday 25 July.

Get giggling at Light – an energetic afternoon of stand-up comedy for the whole family at The Majestic Theatre in Noosa’s alluring hinterland on Saturday 22 July. The fun-filled event is hosted by Anna Brennan and headlined by Greg Sullivan (Sully) with support acts Matt Ford and Jemma Bayley.

Enduring star of the Australian stage and screen, Rhonda Burchmore, revisits special moments from her illustrious career and performs a selection of her favourite show-stopping numbers. Rhonda Burchmore: Up Close & Personal is at Noosa Waterfront Restaurant and Bar on Friday 28 July and hosted by Damien Anthony Avery-Rossi.

Join acclaimed author Anna Funder in a special conversation where she discusses her new book, Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life, at The J Theatre on Thursday 27 July.

Best-selling author, straight-talking doctor and engaging broadcaster Dr Norman Swan shares incredible insight at a special breakfast event, So You Want to Live Younger Longer? at Noosa Springs Resort and Spa on Friday 28 July.

NOOSA alive! partners with Sunshine Coast Screen Collective to present an evening of locally grown and independent film and TV projects spanning short films, documentaries and reality program concepts at Pomona’s The Majestic Theatre on Friday 21 July.

The Festival also partners with Slow Food Noosa to present The Perfect Dinner at The Majestic Theatre on Monday 24 July. Guests start with a screening of The Perfect Dinner – a delicious film about an Italian mafioso who crosses paths with a chef, followed by a three-course Italian feast.

Hungry for more? Join Sunshine Coast Foodie Martin Duncan and local producers at Noosa Hinterland Producers’ Long Lunch at BlackAnt Gourmet at Kin Kin General Store on Friday 21 July. Indulge tasting and sample produce from Noosa hinterland locals at this fabulous feast.

Seafood Seduction is a three-course lunch at Ricky’s River Bar & Restaurant on Wednesday 26 July where seafood is the indisputable star of the show. Diners are serenaded by local singer Lizzie O’Keefe supported by Aaron Bool on jazz guitar and Louise King on cello.

NOOSA alive! Festival runs from 21 to 30 July 2023. For more information and full program, visit: for details.

Image: NOOSA alive! Festival (supplied)