06 Aug 2016

Sunday on the ‘Nard will see the iconic Esplanade foreshore buzzing with free live entertainment all day, and fun for all ages at the annual Kids Festival, as the family favourite day returns on Sunday 28 August.

Concluding the wildly popular event, the celebrated Melbourne Ska Orchestra (MSO) will headline the Festival Family Concert by the Lagoon, providing a foot-stomping dose of funk-filled ska as a rousing finale to cap off the opening weekend of highlights.

As always, the region’s youngest culture vultures will be first on the scene at Festival for Kids, on the Muddy’s Playground lawns from 9am to 1pm, with children to be immersed in a musical journey as local artists guide a range of creative workshops incorporating the Cairns Festival’s 2016 theme of “Colours of Us”.

Little feet will be tapping to the beat of rhythms new and familiar, with a full program of live music designed to engage young fans, from 9:30am to 12:30pm on the Musical Tones Stage.

First up, the Smithfield Jazz Band will shake off any remaining morning fuzzies, before local musicians Brealyn Sheehan and Julia Fujita introduce the audience to the unique sounds of their unusual instruments, a music box and the musical saw.

Children can drum to the beat or strum a song, as local and national musicians, including Will Kepa and Danny Bani, ARC Beats Drummers, Uke-a-ladies, and Dragon Uke keep the good tunes coming through the morning.

Local artist Danielle Henderson will facilitate a collaborative play space at the Colours of Us tent, where young visitors can weave their own stories into the walls of the tepee as they interact with an evolving creative masterpiece.

Then, from 4pm, thousands of revellers will sprawl out on the lush Western Event Lawns to enjoy a free all-ages concert as the sun sets on paradise, featuring local musician, Brealyn Sheehan and the culturally diverse indie collective, In the Element, as well as dance performances from 6pm by Mossman based crew, winners of 2016’s Block Party, Royal Bodiez and Lil Bodiez hip hip crews.

Ensuring a memorable end to the celebration, the ARIA-awarded nominated MSO will have every member of the family grooving along as they take the Festival Stage from 6.00pm, showcasing the jumping beats that have seen this unique band become an international hit.

Assembled from the country’s biggest names in ska and reggae, MSO has crafted its sound with unexpected arrangements and seductive harmonies of powerful horns and big drums, winning over audiences and sealing its place as one of Australia’s most energetic and inspiring contemporary ensembles.

Presenting a lively act comprised of no less than 28 of Australia’s finest musicians, MSO is fronted by the legendary Nicky Bomba (Bomba, Bustamento, John Butler Trio) and has toured festivals around Australia and the world since forming in 2003, with the self-titled Melbourne Ska Orchestra debut album released to rave reviews in 2013 and collecting two ARIA nominations.

Now in its 55th year, Cairns Festival 2016 is a 10-day celebration (Friday 26 August to Sunday 4 September) of our tropical lifestyle with performances, exhibitions, music and film – proudly brought to the community by Cairns Regional Council.

Cairns Festival program, a full-colour listing of what’s on each day of the celebration, is available free of charge from Festival venues, libraries and shopping centres across the region, or download the program at www.cairnsfest.com.au

For more information, visit www.cairnsfest.com.au