Wynnum Fringe presents Rock the Bay

WFF21 Kate Miller-HeidkeEdinburgh, Adelaide…Wynnum? Wynnum takes centre stage as Australia’s latest and greatest performing arts hub with two huge events set to shine a spotlight on the seaside suburb in 2021.

After a mega-successful inaugural outing last year, Wynnum Fringe 2021 is back – bigger and bolder than before – with a star-studded lineup of local, national and international acts across six days from 16 to 21 November 2021.

Brisbane’s only annual fringe festival will also debut Rock the Bay – a one-day outdoor concert on Saturday 9 October 2021 on the front hill of Iona College, Lindum – as a musical precursor to the festival event.

In the grand tradition of Australian music festivals, Rock the Bay boasts a must-see lineup of beloved homegrown icons alongside up-and-coming local talent, hosted by Wynnum Fringe Founder Tom Oliver, Johnny Balbuziente (Married at First Sight) and Brisbane actor Leon Cain.

The brand-new, one-day outdoor music concert is headlined by internationally renowned singer-songwriter and Eurovision queen Kate Miller-Heidke, Aussie music icon, Cold Chisel founding member and guitarist Ian Moss, legendary singer-songwriter and former Little River Band frontman Glenn Shorrock and rocker Sarah McLeod of The Superjesus and solo fame.

Stretching the limits of social distancing, rock royalty Kate Ceberano and ‘90s pop duo Bachelor Girl will join the party remotely, performing a virtual set of their most-loved songs, streamed exclusively to Rock the Bay.

Grooving alongside these world-class headline acts is a packed local lineup including singer-songwriters Luke Kennedy and Mark Sholtez, folk-pop duo Women in Docs plus the electro-pop stylings of Ella Fence and Lucid Safari’s reggae-tinged vibes.

Kicking things off is Minjerribah’s (North Stradbroke Island) Yulu Burri Ba Dancers presenting a Welcome to Country with a twist.

Wynnum-based producer, performing artist, actor and singer Tom Oliver said he is thrilled to bring such a high calibre of Australian musical talent to the Bay.

“Having performed at outdoor concerts such as A Day on the Green and being a music tragic myself, I love the vibe of music festivals and wanted to bring that to my hometown, Wynnum,” said Mr Oliver.

“For the performers and audience, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate and support the music industry, with classic tracks performed by our heroes from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s alongside new tunes from local talent creating the next phase of our musical culture.”

“Music allows people to escape the everyday and I’m keen to create these opportunities where we can come together as a community and just have a good time, especially right now,” he said.

The musical momentum will carry through to the second annual Wynnum Fringe, which will up the ante to build on the runaway success of last year’s festival, which staged more than 50 events with 150 artists performing for an in-person and online global audience of 45,000 within a COVID-safe environment across three days.

Wynnum Fringe 2021 will establish the festival as an annual event, expanding its offering and footprint with an extended six-day program of free and ticketed shows across more local venues to be announced in the coming months.

Wynnum CBD will continue to act as the heart of the arts festival and a pedestrian playground featuring laneway activations, food trucks, outdoor bars and free local performances on Friday 19 November and Saturday 20 November 2021.

Mr Oliver said while the inaugural festival was a local affair conceived as a COVID response, the event attracted visitors from as far as Warwick and Toowoomba and the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, and he expects this year’s numbers to exceed expectations again.

“We’re being ambitious, we’re being bold and we’re being incredibly risky (and risqué) – we’re here to put Wynnum on the global cultural map,” he said.

“Attendees at this year’s Wynnum Fringe can expect world-class entertainment from local and national artists and creators spanning a variety of performance genres from comedy to dance, music to circus and everything in-between.

“It’s a great opportunity for Wynnum to celebrate what it has to offer and for visitors from Brisbane and beyond to experience this beautiful Bayside suburb on the fringe of the city!” said Mr Oliver

Rock the Bay takes place on Saturday 9 October 2021 on the front hill at Iona College, Lindum. Wynnum Fringe 2021 runs from Tuesday 16 November to Sunday 21 November at various venues. For more information and to view the full program, visit: www.wynnumfringe.com for details.

Image: Kate Miller-Heidke – photo by Jo Duck