Carnival's exciting start
AS YOU read this, the groovy vibes of Bellingen's Global Carnival will already be spreading through the town.
Emerging from last year's soaking, the 15th festival promises a weekend of cutting edge performances and loads of family fun.
Festival director Bryony Taylor said this year's incredible range of artforms and performance disciplines made for an exciting program.
"We have the international acts of Jon Cleary and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band from New Orleans, plus the fabulous Leweton Women's Water Music from Vanuatu," Ms Taylor said. "Our own home-grown acts include the totally cool, totally urban and highly skilled Stalker Theatre and the amazing Band of Brothers with the Tawadros and Grigoryan brothers.
"They are all fresh acts, continuing in our tradition of presenting world music that is outside the mainstream."
Beyond the Deluge is another special element - a Festivals Australia-funded youth project that has seen 19 young people help create the underwater ambi- ence that is the theme of the festival site.
The main gate is a coral cave complete with fish and mermaids and sails - the other gates, six in all, will also inspire.
"I really love the way the younger people are now part of our Global family. Many of them have been here as kids - it's great they see it as very relevant to them."
And what was the weirdest artist request by performers this year?
"Oh! The Leweton women needed ponds of water for their performance - we had to set up children's paddle pools in the InterNational Indigenous People's Village."
There will be a public performance in the Bellinger River on Sunday, 10am.