Blackall was as beautiful as ever and the people as warm and generous. For a small town, it has such a big spirit and truly welcomes all comers.
On Friday night, the Heartland Festival opened with the announcement of the art show winners and then all of the eager patrons that had gathered were invited in to see the exhibition. Artist in Residence, Adriaan Vanderlught was the judge and the winning entires showed his impeccable taste and the depth of artistic talent in the west.
From there it was a short trip across to the mighty Prince of Wales Hotel, for some poetry & song, courtesy of Sheish, Giselle, Cindy and this Lost Shark. It’s a great stage at the P.O.W and the crowd was rowdily appreciative. I could play there every Friday night!
We also brought own own brand of fire to the Blackall sky as part of the Friday Night Lights Project. This week Cindy had the idea to place some steel wool inside an egg whisk, attach it to a dog chain, then light it and spin it in perfect circles. To say the least, the sparks sure did fly (and yes, that’s me inside that fiery orb)!
On Saturday we took part in the Shockwave Festival, performing for and engaging in discussions with the large youth audience that had gathered from Blackall, Tambo, Longreach and Winton. These performances offered up one of the weekend’s highlights as we were joined on stage by an incredibly talented young man who read his poem while Sheish and Giselle created the perfect backdrop of guitar swirl.
The other major highlight came when we performed on Sunday at the Heartland Food and Music Fiesta. As we were tearing into our set, we noticed a sheep being carried up to the smaller stage in front of us and then before you knew it, the clippers were on and the wool, well it was coming off! Not many poets can say that they have done a reading while a sheep was being shorn right in front of them. That is what I call authentic installation art!
My other highlight of the Food and Music Fiesta was the Billy Cart Racing. So much fun! Reminded me of the elation I felt flying down my own street on our Billy Cart made by dad when I was a kid. And there were some cracking designs flying down the track. Check out Hinzy’s Hippo below!
So I just want to say a huge thanks to QLD Poetry Festival and Sally Cripps for being the driving force behind getting us back out to Blackall. I also want to thank Danielle and all the Heartland Festival team for their amazing work. That’s leg one of the 2012 Another Lost Shark Tour over… next stop, Mission Beach, but more on that soon.
(all photographs by Cindy Keong)